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Mama Drama: Calming the Candy Crash

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Dear Mama Drama:

Every year I dread the post-Halloween crash. My kids are exhausted and alternately hyper and cranky from sugar highs and lows. After they spend so much time planning costumes, decorating the house, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating, I don’t have the heart to limit their candy. How can I help them moderate their candy intake without ruining the fun?

~Crash Tested Mama

 (photo credit)

Dear Crash Tested:

The hype, anticipation, and preparation for Halloween do make it a holiday many parents struggle to manage. However, just like with other parts of parenting, it’s our job to set limits and create structure for our children.

I’m assuming your kids are a bit older as you have experienced this a few times. First, I would talk with your children about what you notice when they binge on their candy and how it effects how they feel physically and emotionally. They may notice the connection of the highs and low or it may be a good learning moment for them.

Next, negotiate a reasonable plan for eating their candy. Some things to include in the conversation are eating plenty of fruits and veggies as well as protein to even out those highs and lows, eating candy after meals, and limiting their overall intake each day.

Depending on their age and how trustworthy your kids are, you may also need to address whether the candy is out for them to access independently or should be put away for you to dole out. I would involve them in this decision as well, asking them how they think they’ll be able to handle regulating themselves. They may each have different needs or skills, so be flexible.

How do you manage the Halloween candy aftermath?

Motherhood is an amazing journey that can have its share of Mama Drama. The Mama Drama column runs on Fridays with everyday mothering questions from readers and answers providing strategies to tackle these daily challenges. Send your questions and challenges to Lisa@milehighmamas.com, and your Mama Drama could be in next week’s column! Lisa is also available for private consultations. All emails and identifying information will remain confidential. Read more of Lisa’s parenting perspective at her Laughing Yoga Mama blog.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 2, 2012

    Negotiate a plan. Have to say I haven’t involved them in our candy-eating conversation but that’s great advice!

    • comment avatar Lisa Vratny-Smith November 2, 2012

      I think it helps to get their buy in and then they feel they have some input instead of just being told how things will be.

  • comment avatar Elizabeth November 2, 2012

    We moved into a Denver neighborhood last year and discovered from neighbors the “Switch Witch”. After three days of picking x number of candies to eat, you then have the option to put the rest of your candy outside the front door for the Switch Witch. In return, the Switch Witch leaves you a present. Candy gone for good! And kids happy.

  • comment avatar Kim R November 2, 2012

    My daughter, who is older (9), is a very charitable person, so we negotiated working with her to donate her candy to the troops overseas via a local dentistry office. That way, she feels she is gaining a lot out of the deal (charity) and that its not just mommy and daddy eating it all instead of her. We let her select a limited amount of candy (say – 20 pieces) and it goes in a kitchen cabinet for special treats. But this way, she feels in control. I found when she felt that if she didn’t eat it all herself, that daddy would eat it, she would get angry – she EARNED that candy! Now, we found a happy medium for everyone.

    • comment avatar Lisa Vratny-Smith November 2, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your family’s plan, Kim. I love how you were able to see things from your daughter’s perspective and find a way to meet her emotional needs, give to others, and balance the amount of candy she’s eating. Great plan!

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