Solving the Halloween Candy Conundrum

• 09 November 2009

So, it's been a little over a week since Halloween, and you may be wondering what in the world you are going to do about the massive candy intake still taking place. Here's a little idea my husband came up with and I must admit, it was the best thing we've done as parents in some time. Our kids loved it so much that we are making it an official tradition!

The goal was to make tossing out candy both fun and the child's own choice. In no way did we want to manipulate them into tossing the candy, we simply wanted to create "incentives". So we gathered the 3 kids and asked them to go retrieve their Halloween candy bags. Once we regrouped, my husband and I presented them with coupons we made to be used in our "store". When making the coupons we tried to come up with experiences, services, treats or excursions that were enjoyable and inexpensive (and in some cases, "free"). I can't tell you how excited they were to turn in 5 pieces of candy for each coupon. No coercion necessary! They were cheering and laughing and pretty much thinking this was the best idea ever. Some examples included:

* hike with Dad up the canyon
* stay up 30 minutes past bedtime
* mom cleans your room
* dad cleans your room :)
* popcorn + a movie with mom
* kids meal at Kneaders
* special drink at the grocery store
* overnight with Dad in the teardrop

Watching the kids redeem their coupons is a hoot. One morning my son presented me with his "mom cleans your room" coupon right before we left for preschool. You should have seen the ear-to-ear grin on that boy's face. Guess who had a change of plans that morning? The next evening his sister took a turn...after I thought all my children were down to sleep, my oldest came downstairs to the kitchen. Before I had time to ask her what she was doing or what was wrong, she quickly presented her "stay up 30 minutes past bedtime" coupon and we both smiled. All in all it's created a fun, positive feeling in our family and we are really thrilled with the discovery.


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