It's that time of year again, and many of us might be thinking what we need to do about ADHD and halloween this year. The weather has started to get colder. The leaves have started changing colors and falling. Now, your kids are looking forward to that wonderful day at the end of the month where they get to dress up, stay up, and eat a lot of candy. Sounds pretty scary, right?
As parents, the last thing we want to do is spoil any of the fun. Still, we dread the idea of the potential chaos that could come with late nights, changed schedules, and much too much sweets.
Halloween can provide a lot of fun for the whole family. You should have fun, and your kids should have fun, as well. How, as parents, though, do we make sure we strike the right balance between fun and keeping close to our ADHD management goals?
When it comes to ADHD and halloween, there are many things to stay on top of. Depending on your child, you could have to manage the sensory changes. The treats and sweets definitely pose a risk. Staying up later might also present challenges.
In this post, we want to give you sure fire tricks to help make your ADHD and halloween run smoother. Your kids deserve to have fun. At the same time, though, you, as the parent, need to keep your own sanity. Read on to get some tools to make sure both happen.
#1 Eat Healthy Earlier During the Day
The first trick you need to master when it comes to ADHD and halloween is the old trick of a healthy diet. For most families, halloween starts off a season of holidays and the downfall of most of our diets. Halloween comes first, then Thanksgiving, and then comes Christmas, which all present their own diet challenges.
For your sake and your child’s sake, you need to make sure you keep your kids on a healthy diet as much as possible. For halloween, that means that you make extra effort to avoid sweets the week and day of the holiday.
We know that diet has a profound impact on ADHD. This applies just as much to holidays as it does to any other day. The better you manage what your kids eat the better you can manage ADHD symptoms.
For halloween day, make sure your kids have an extra nutritious breakfast. Send them to school with a healthy lunch and try your best to control the candy during the day. In the evening, serve them an early well-rounded dinner.
Through closely managing their diet, you can keep your kids from having a sugar high and sugar crash. In the end, your halloween will go a lot smoother if you stay on top of your kid’s diet during the day.
#2 Check with Your Child's Teacher about What's Going on at School
The second trick for effectively managing ADHD and halloween involves getting your child’s teacher involved. After all, your child spends most of their day and much of their time each year at school. This means that the adult that has the most control over their day happens to be their teacher.
You could try your hardest to control your child’s diet, but you have little direct control on candy in the classroom. Many schools have parties and some schools allow kids to dress up on halloween. To help your child during school, you need to talk to your child’s teacher in advance. Ask your child’s teacher about the plans for that day. Ask the teacher to help you make sure that your child avoids sweets as much as possible during the day.
If you haven’t found out already, communicating with your child’s teacher about ADHD can help you in a lot of ways. You need to be on the same team with your child’s teacher for your child’s sake. When it comes to ADHD and halloween, the teacher can help you manage symptoms effectively even before the evening starts.
#3 Consider Hosting Your Own Party
The third trick to help improve ADHD and halloween involves trying to make sure your child’s nighttime routine goes as close to normal as possible. Halloween provides a special occasion for everyone. Special occasions should allow for bending rules. At the same time, though, you can’t do away with your rules altogether.
More than most people, children with ADHD have to have routine to help them stay on track. Without the boundaries of a daily ADHD routine to help them, kids with ADHD can lose control of their symptoms quickly. Make things easier for them at night and the next morning through trying to keep them as close to their normal bedtime as possible.
One great way to keep their nightly routine close to normal is through keeping them at home as much as possible. Yes, you will want to go trick or treating. You can do this early in the evening, though, so as not to keep them past their bed time.
If they want to have a party or spend time with friends, you can then recommend having friends over at your home. With the party and get together at your house, you can help control the flow of the evening and make sure your child’s routine doesn’t get too off track.
#4 Give Your Child Special Rules for the Evening
A fourth trick to help with ADHD and halloween involves making sure your kids know what to expect halloween night. Having the right expectations can make the difference between a great evening and a terrible one. Halloween has a lot of opportunities for your child to get into trouble or to get overwhelmed and stressed. As the parent, you can help them prepare by giving your child the right expectations to start off with.
One way to set up the right expectations involves setting down ground rules. First, you should tell your child the outline of how the night will go. If you plan to go trick or treating and then come home to hang out with friends, you need to let your child know those plans. Tell your child your route and how long you plan to do each activity during the night so they know what to expect next.
After you have explained your outline for the night, you next need to give them rules for each part of the night. For instance, during trick or treating, you need to set rules to make sure they walk on the sidewalk and hold your hand or follow where you go. You also need to give them rules on what they can do with their candy.
You can’t let your child eat all the candy as they get it. In advance of them having a meltdown, though, you need to make sure they understand what they can eat and when. For instance, let them know that they can have one piece of candy every thirty minutes. The rest of the candy you then can promise to store for them later in the week. Through establishing ground rules early you keep your child from getting upset over having unmet expectations.
#5 Break in the Halloween Costume Early
A final helpful trick for making ADHD and halloween run well includes breaking in your child’s costume early. Many things about costumes possibly present issues for children with ADHD. Children with ADHD sometimes don’t adjust well to change, and they sometimes have trouble processing sensory changes.
Costumes typically fit strange or look weird or are uncomfortable. Furthermore, nearly all costumes look nothing like what children normally wear. Putting all of this together means that your child might have trouble adjusting on halloween night. Trouble adjusting could spell trouble for keeping the ADHD symptoms under control.
To help your child, you need to break in your child’s costume early. You should act proactively to get ready for halloween night. As soon as halloween costumes go on sell, you need to go shopping with your kids to pick out something. Once they have something they like, you need to buy it and let them try it on. Let your child wear the costume at home playing dress up or on the weekends to play games.
This way, you can tell if the costume really fits or not. If it doesn’t, you still have time to switch it out. With wearing the costume multiple times, your child then also can feel comfortable on halloween night in what they wear.
Use Any Tricks You Can to Help ADHD and Halloween Go Well
Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening or scary at all. In fact, for your kids and your family, halloween should be fun and festive. It should also involve a little bit of candy and sweets and dressing up in fun costumes.
The trouble with halloween, though, can include all that candy and fun costumes if not approached correctly. As the parent of a child with ADHD, you need to plan a little more than some other parents. You need to act proactively to use strategies at hand to prepare your child for the uniqueness of halloween and the change in pace in their daily routine.
With using the tricks presented in this post, you can stay on top of halloween. Using tricks will help you manage ADHD even when circumstances change. For more ideas on making halloween go well refer to the ideas in this article or in this post. Make sure that you and your kids have fun on halloween, and don’t let ADHD symptoms get in the way.