Friday, November 2, 2012

The Art of Candy Negotiations

Halloween. It's a spooky time of year. Husband and I love Halloween and have been dressing up for years.   Since Son joined our scene we have not been as creative, or rather haven't had the time to be as creative as we would like and instead pull one from the 'Tickle Trunk". This year was a trunk year again. Husband and I were both able to pick up Son from Daycare on Halloween, so Spideywoman and the Hulk towed Son home in his wagon.  I don't know how many parents dress up for their kids at Halloween, but I'd like to think that it's something that he'll remember.

It was a busy evening. We rushed home, ate dinner, and then headed out to spook a few neighbours before handing out candy at our house.  Son was going to be spiderman with his spidermom, but at the last minute decided he felt more like a fireman that day.  So Daddy cobbled together an awesome fireman costume complete with hose, siren, axe (pretend), and a little red wagon.  Before we got out the driveway a friendly neighbour gave Son a special chocolate treat - and there our journey of the highs and lows of candy started for the evening. It was bound to happen....

Husband and I don't keep candy in our home...and for the most part none of us eat it.  Halloween for us is about dressing up and having fun. We ate our fair share of candy when we were kids...and there's a reason why Husband's mouth is full of cavities.  Over that last decade we have slowly made health related changes to our lives...and that includes the exclusion of candy.  Where this become tricky is with Son and on holidays that tend to centre around the consumption of sweet treats.  We don't want to make him feel like he's missing out on something that the other kids get, but we also don't want him to consume every candy in sight.  Our solution to this is that we have deemed some candy acceptable in moderation (chips, chocolate, liquorice), and others not so cool (toffee candy, hard candies, bubble gum, candy necklaces, etc.). This is a choice we have made. 

Last year was somewhat easy in this regard. Son was young enough that he was unaware that we disposed of those candies deemed unfit for consumption.  This year was a different story. Son knew of every candy that went in.  And he has an amazing memory. No way could we dispose of a single sugary item without that boy asking us where it went.  Plan B.  We decided that together, all three of us would sort his candy.  He got to keep all his acceptable candies, and the not so cool candies (the ones we felt were especially bad for his teeth and his health) were traded in for a new toy car.  We gave him a seperate negotiation for the suckers to make it extra special. He could trade them all in for another car, or, keep 2 of his choice.  He thought about it and decided to keep the 2 of his choice.  Not what I had hoped for, but he got a choice in the matter and I felt that was important for him.  Now I just hope that he will forget about those treats before a week has passed.  He's allowed to have one treat per day.  In our experience, out of sight has meant out of mind. Which means we'll move on in no time...right?  I realize that I will have to reach a new level of crafty with each sweet treat holiday to follow.

I'm certainly open to ideas.  How do you handle candy in your house?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Halloween all!

Candy in our house is almost non-existent also. Too much of it contain wheat (I remember being shocked at Twizzlers and Smarties). But now the oldest can read ingredients (my friend says he is brainwashed - I say he is responsible). He spent an evening sorting what he and his brother could keep, and what would go to the FoodBank.
Incidently, I caved on a few products that contained highfructose corn syrup, and Husband paid the price by having to take the day of work to spend with the little guy.
Today we traded the junk in for Lego and a Chuggington. Small price to pay for good physical and mental health!