Halloween is less than a week away as I write this. I really like handing out candy on Halloween. I enjoy seeing all the costumes and the smiles I get for handing out full size candy bars. (It’s a reward for the few brave souls who will dare to come down my somewhat dark cul-de-sac street!)
I also like to see a display of good manners on Halloween. Trick-or-treating gives parents a great opportunity to have children and teens practice good manners. These manners aren’t just specific to Halloween. These are the good manners we want our children to use every day – even though they don’t always get rewarded with candy for using them at other times of the year!
1. Greet people warmly and make eye contact with them.
On Halloween children use “trick-or-treat” as a greeting, every other time of the year, “hello” will work just fine.
2. Say “Thank You” when someone gives you something.
Each and every time candy is dropped into that treat bag (or pumpkin or pillow case), the appropriate response is “Thank You.” The more practice a child gets in giving thanks, the easier it will become to do so without being reminded.
3. Share/Save some for others.
If someone has left a bowl of candy unattended, or offers children their choice from a bowl they’re holding, it’s one piece per person. The temptation to take more can be hard to resist. As children get older, they often approach the door without parents watching, so it can be helpful to provide a reminder before starting out for the evening. Young children may have a hard time understanding how there wouldn’t have been any left for them if everyone who came earlier had taken a handful, but hopefully they won’t have to learn the hard way by finding an empty bowl!
4. Don’t leave behind a mess.
Littering is never acceptable at any time of the year. If a child wants to eat some (inspected) candy along the way, they should throw it away in a public garbage can, or carry the wrapper with them until they get home to throw it away.
5. Respect others’ property.
Walking through yards may be the fastest way to go from house to house, but it’s also the fastest way to damage someone’s yard and landscaping. Children should show respect and use driveways and sidewalks when possible. It’s also for their own safety, as it gets dark and they may not be able to see hidden hazards in yards.
There’s nothing about these five manners that are scary. None of these are even special to Halloween, but using these manners will help make Halloween special for everyone.