Halloween is a great excuse to get dressed up and go out and have fun – no matter how old you are. And while, as parents, we mainly focus on ensuring our younger kids have a fun time, it is also important you make sure your teenager has a safe time.
If this is the first year your youngster has finally grown too old for trick-or-treating and wants to go off without you, it is important you keep the following in mind:
1. Host a party in your home
This way you will be able to keep an eye on them; the tween years are awkward as your child will be seeking independence that they are simply not ready for yet. However, having a party in the house will mean that they can have the independence that they want, with restrictions to ensure their safety.
2. Get them to hand out trick-or-treating sweets
If you aren’t happy about hosting a party or your budget simply won’t stretch to it, try to get your tween involved in the activities in some other way. If you don’t want them to go out that night assign them the responsibility of handing out sweets to trick-or-treaters. The graduating from being the trick-or-treater to being the person who gives out the treats can sometimes (although not always) satisfy their need for independence.
3. Give them a curfew
Avoid allowing them attend sleepovers unless you are 100% certain that they are going to be supervised by a responsible adult. If they are heading out, make sure they have a curfew that they absolutely must stick to so that you know when to expect them home.
4. Talk to them about consequences
It is important your tween understands that what happens on Halloween doesn’t go away when the spooky season is over. Make sure they are aware that their actions have consequences, including pictures they post on social media, pranks they do that night and anything they might consider fun that really isn’t a good idea.
5. Offer to drop and collect
If possible, offer to drop your tween to wherever it is they want to go and collect. The streets on Halloween night can be particularly dangerous and you don’t want your child walking home alone, no matter what time of the evening it is. And if they insist that they have already organised a lift home with another mum, it is important you follow up by confirming this with the named parent.