Yes, there is such a thing as Halloween Etiquette.
What I mean by this is that it is a great opportunity to teach good manners when we are having fun with our children. Halloween is the perfect opportunity to show our children how to behave and show respect to the people they will interact with when they go trick or treating around the neighborhood.
Here are some tips to put into practice, both for the kids and the parents!
1- Due to both cultural and religious reasons, may people might decide to not celebrate Halloween. If so, we should teach our children to respect these differences and as a consequence, if you see houses with the lights out, then don’t ring the bell. Great way to show respect.
2- When you get to a house to ask for a treat, always say please and thank you and have eye contact with the person giving you the candy. Don’t just grab the chocolates and place them in your goody bag while looking around for your friends or the house next door. That would show very bad manners of the children’s part and lack of consideration for the person handing you the treats.
3- Be Grateful. Never refuse or show displeasure for what you are given. Let’s teach our kids to receive a gift with a smile and say thank you. This is especially important now days that many adults decide not to offer candy but to substitute them for stickers, pencils or small toys. If your children are expecting chocolates, they might be tempted to roll their eyes or refuse the gift. Remind your children that what is important is to thank the gesture irrelevant of the fact that we might not like or expect that gift. It is the kindness of the neighbors that we should be grateful for, as they as not obligated in any way to provide any treats at all!
4- If there is no one handing out the candy, but instead they have left a basket with candy at the door, have kids show their good manners by taking one or two pieces only, so that there will be enough for the children coming after you. Remember that sharing is not only Caring, but a sign of good manners.
5- The following is an aspect of Etiquette, but certainly also of safety. Tell your children to never go inside a house to get a treat. If someone asks you to step inside a stranger’s house to get your candy, always say NO, and leave as soon as possible to be with your group or to the closest house.
6- Lastly, let the children be reminded to not start to eat anything they have been given before reaching home. When they are back at their house with their over flowing “Treat Bags”, give the parents the opportunity to review the contents and decide what is safe enough to consume.
Have a fun and safe Halloween while practicing your Good Manners!