Mama Drama: Calming the Candy Crash
posted by: Lisa Vratny-Smith
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
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 [email protected], 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.