Halloween 2016 [PARENTING TIPS]: International Etiquette Expert Shares Important Trick Or Treating Guidelines For Parents And Children

By KJ Williams, Parent Herald October 28, 01:55 pm
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It is the time of the year again where parents and children alike are busy looking for scary costumes, carving pumpkins and candy shopping for Halloween 2016's trick or treating. But as the Halloween looms, there are some important things that both parents and kids should remember before having fun trick or treating.

Halloween is a long disputed festival because of its origins and it has evolved from both pagan and Christian practices. According to The Telegraph, the trick or treating practice has begun in the 16th century in some European nations but in the United States, the "trick-or-treat" phrase was first used in 1927.

Following the World War 2, Halloween became a widespread holiday that is centered on kids. As Halloween became popular, pop culture influenced the costumes, which was even more sexualized in the '70s.

With that said, international etiquette expert, author and Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide founder Sharon Schweitzer shared some helpful tips to parents and children to follow this Halloween. According to an email sent to Parent Herald, here are some guidelines that parents and children need to remember.

Choose Age-Appropriate And Suitable Costumes

As the United States celebrates Halloween soon, the excitement of putting on a costume is indeed palpable. However, Schweitzer warns that parents should be aware of what types of costumes that are appropriate and inoffensive.

According to Schweitzer, inappropriate Halloween costumes include those that represent a "culture, race, ethnic or religious group or someone with a serious illness, poverty or other hardship." Sexually explicit costumes and those that mock LGBT or gender identity often embolden negativity, so those are also a no-no.

Speaking of appropriate Halloween costumes, Saint Anselm College psychology professor Loretta Brady also warns to be considerate with costumes. According to Brady, parents should choose Halloween costumes that are "timely, amusing or irreverent" as long as its being "culturally responsive without being degrading."

Brady also advises children, teens and parents or adults to do their best to come up with outfits and accessories without highlighting skin pigment and other ethnic features. Furthermore, Brady stresses children should be encouraged to have responsible fun on Halloween but they should also stay "thoughtful, considerate and respectful."

As for age appropriateness, parents and adults should remember that Halloween is a children's holiday. Hence, parents should choose costumes based a child's age and the age of his or her peers.

Candy Alternatives But No Homemade Treats

Halloween often makes children excited because trick-or-treating means there would be a lot sugary stuff - from traditional chocolate or sugar-laced candies. But since today's parental generation is more health conscious, one should consider offering "sealed mini bottled water, pre-packaged popcorn, coloring books, pre-packaged healthy snacks, small inexpensive toys, or pens/pencils."

Being health conscious, however, doesn't mean parents should prepare handmade treats. Due to food allergies, it is quite understandable why some parents are on high alert when it comes to homemade treats so, it's best to buy pre-packaged candy from trusted brands such as Hershey, M&M, Skittles, Dove, Reece's and many others.

Teach Kids Some Manners

Halloween is indeed a time to have fun but it is also a great opportunity to teach children their manners, like greeting and saying "thank you" to each homeowner who gives them trick or treat goodies. In addition, it is also the best time to explain to older kids and teenagers that bullying and pushing smaller kids out of the way won't be tolerated.

Observe School Policies

Education policies differ from each other. With that said, it's safe to say that parents should never assume that kids may wear their costumes to school. In fact, several school districts across the United States have banned wearing Halloween costumes because of safety reasons. So, it's best to double check and don't assume the policies.

Safety First

Despite having fun celebrating Halloween 2016, never forget that child safety remains a top priority. So, it is a must that younger children should always be accompanied by parents or a designated chaperone.

Older children and teens, on the other hand, should go trick or treating as a group. Lastly, parents should warn children to "never enter someone's home you don't know, no matter how nice they seem" this Halloween 2016. Additionally, parents should remind them to bring flashlights and mobile phone.

So parents, follow your instincts and if you have a bad gut-feel about something, try avoiding it. What do you think about this Halloween 2016 guidelines for parents and children? Sound off below and follow Parent Herald for more tips and updates.

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