For the kids and you when are struggling with chronic illness
What do I mean by less spooky? No, not supernatural. Less exhausting. Less plagued by anxiety. Less painful, because being in pain can really take the fun out of Halloween and give a different meaning to Boo. And for your teens or little ones who struggle with having a chronic illness or autoimmune disorder this can be particularly challenging.
My children and I escaped the knowledge of our having chronic illness/autoimmune disorders until we were well into adulthood. I do not envy the very difficult task of keeping little ones away from the tempting sweets and artificial colours and high fructose that can often be found in candies. Children are bombarded with the talk of Halloween several weeks before hand and there’s chattering amongst them about what costumes they will wear and what they will be doing and who is going to what house for a party. I can’t fathom the stress of a parent who wants to make the day fun, special, spooky but safe for them. This difficulty increases by ten-fold when you are dealing with children.
However, it’s not just children who want to have fun on Halloween, it’s the teens and adults. Don’t worry, I have tips for everyone to make this Halloween Spook-tacular!
- Teal Pumpkin Project: This involves a teal coloured pumpkin placed outside on the doorstep to show that there are safe, non-food alternatives like stickers, small toys, cute pencils or bubbles, etc., to promote the inclusion of all Trick-or-Treaters.https://www.foodallergy.org/our-initiatives/awareness-campaigns/living-teal/teal-pumpkin-project
- Find a Trunk-or-Treat: During trunk or treat events adults decorate the back of their cars for Halloween, load up on candy, and come sit in a parking lot for kids to “trick or treat” from car-to-car. It’s like a tail-gate with candy and costumes and the kids have an absolute blast. I’ve heard of trunk-or-treat events where kids show up by the hundreds. Parents typically have to reserve a parking lot or at least make sure they can use it for the event if it’s private property and you just hand out treats to the kids. This great for parents who struggle with chronic illness and kids who are fighting it too. For example, if your child is food sensitive, or you are doing your best to keep them from candies and store bought sweet treats, get a group of friends together with the same problems and have a trunk-or-treat with them. You know your child is safe then. This is also an easy and wise choice if your child can’t keep up with going around the neighbourhood but they still want to go out.https://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/6287-how-to-organize-a-trunk-or-treat
- Throw a Pot-Luck Halloween Party: I know. A party sounds like it is the complete antithesis of less work, but a pot-luck can lighten the load with all your guests bringing treats and sweets and you have the ability to delegate to people what you need and what to bring. Remember you can invite everyone from friends, family, and neightbours. Remember everyone brings food, treats, candy to trade and even games or movies. https://www.allrecipes.com/gallery/halloween-potluck-ideas/ https://sanfrancisco.momcollective.com/mom-life/mom/host-a-trick-or-treat-potluck-on-halloween/
- Pace yourself: This is for both of you. Don’t leave things for the last minute, however you decide to celebrate Halloween. Even giving yourself a week is better than leaving it until the last minute. Your body will thank you. This goes for your child too. And remember that goes for Christmas and putting up the tree on Christmas Eve. Decorating the night before might seem like a nostalgic tradition, but your body will think it’s torture and scream at you.https://www.yahoo.com/now/taking-holidays-day-day-spoonie-232047353.html
- Stay home: If this is an option for you, make it an event. Like-wise, if this is an option for your teen or even your little one, don’t let it go by just being another day. Halloween is about the magic as well as the spookiness. Dress up in costumes, pass out candy to the kids, watch scary movies and have tasty snacks.
- No Pressure: The best thing to do with an older child is to do your best to help them not feel pressured into doing something everyone else is doing. I know, I could feel the eye-rolling from here. But it’s easier than it sounds with Halloween than other things. Give them options. Fun options and they will be more willing to take it easy. But if they don’t, comfort them and help them use it as a learning moment.