The Issue of Treating

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Bri DeRosa (Red, Round or Green)

Bri DeRosa (Red, Round or Green) › I like to think of myself as a young, cool, urban fringe locavore, but the reality ...


“To treat, or not to treat?”

It’s a question a lot of parents have been asking themselves in the days leading up to Halloween. Bri DeRosa examines the debate about treats and offers her own thoughts on the issue of kids, Halloween candy and the rest of the year.

Every year around this time, as people’s thoughts turn to Halloween, I see a lot of questions floating around the internet. What should we do about the candy? Do we let our kids have candy? Why can’t Halloween be done without candy?

I used to worry exclusively about answering the Halloween question in and of itself. But this year, it’s become part of a larger issue for me, and one that I have come to a very deliberate decision about for our family. It’s not about one day for us, nor should it be for anyone. It’s about the treats. It’s about what you do, what you believe, fundamentally, about the treats. Not on Halloween, per se, but in LIFE.

There’s no one right way to do this. Let’s get that out of the way with right off the bat. Some people don’t really do treats, either on Halloween or in life, and that’s fine. If that works for you and your family, more power to you. Some people do lots of treats and think it’s just about short of criminal to deprive kids of their birthright to trick-or-treat and pass out in the delirious sugar coma that most of us enjoyed when we were children. And you know what? I’m okay with that, too. Then there are, of course, various stances along the spectrum between the two. All of which are basically fine by me. Unless, of course, you’re being inconsistent.

What do I mean by that? I mean this: If you don’t really do sweets and treats, ever, and you decide to allow your kids to enjoy Halloween to the fullest, you may be sending the kind of mixed message that will not only confuse the kids, but make your life harder later on when you try to rein it all back in. On the other side of the coin, if you are a person who tends to be relatively lax about treats, but you decide to clamp down and start rationing the Halloween candy because it feels like a lot of excess, you are probably setting yourself up for a battle there, too. Kids want to know where we stand on things, and the more power we give to a single day (like Halloween) or a single item or group of items (like treats), the more power that day or that item will have over them.

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This article originally appeared on It is partially posted here with permission from the author.

How do you feel about letting kids eat candy on Halloween?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons