Mom’s Guide to Surviving Halloween:  5 Tips to Minimize the Meltdowns and Have a Fun Halloween This Year

Mom’s Guide to Surviving Halloween: 5 Tips to Minimize the Meltdowns and Have a Fun Halloween This Year


A Moms Guide to Surviving Halloween. 5 Tips to Avoid Halloween Meltdowns, Candy Overload, and Costume Emergencies.

Try these 5 tips to survive Halloween and make some awesome memories with your kids.

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween.  It can be stressful! It can be fun and (relatively) stress-free if you plan ahead.  

I’m not a huge fan of getting dressed up myself.  I feel too much pressure to come up with the perfect costume, and now it’s even more intense with the matching family themes everyone seems to be using.  While we’re on the topic, I’ll admit there was a time in my past (before kids), where my husband and I would turn off all the lights and pretend we weren’t home.  Thinking back, I can’t believe we did that.  I put that in the same category as getting so frustrated by the kids kicking my airplane seat when I traveled for business (again pre-kids).

But, I do LOVE my kid’s excitement for the holiday and seeing their eyes light up as they accumulate candy. The holiday is growing on me.

Do you (partly) dread the holiday,

  • knowing how tired the kids will be (especially on a school night),
  • thinking about the potential for intense negotiation over the fate of the candy and
  • anticipating the almost-inevitable meltdown over the costume 5 minutes before you’re wanting to leave the house?

How do you feel about Halloween?  It seems to be a love-it or hate-it kind of holiday.

Here’s my 5 Tips for Surviving Halloween.

1) Start with an early, healthy dinner.  

Mac and Cheese with Ham and Peas

If you only plan out one meal this year, make it this one.  Trying to figure out something at the last minute isn’t going to fly.

  • Either put the dinner in the crock-pot that morning or
  • Have something pre-made that you can easily put in the oven.
  • Eat early, like 4 pm.  Don’t skip planning this step, I’m writing from experience.  Set an alarm if you need to. 
  • If you’d like some ideas on easy crock-pot or make-ahead recipes that kids will actually eat, check out my Halloween and Fall Pinterest board.  I’ve pinned quite a few options for you.
  • Ideas: baked ham & cheese sandwiches (this was our tradition when we lived in Hawaii), chili, stuffed shells

2) Take the Costume Photos Before Halloween

Have you ever tried to take the photo as you start out trick-or-treating and NO ONE cooperates? Or, you

5 Tips to Survive Halloween.  A Moms Guide to Surviving Halloween.
Photo credit: Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

remember to take photos after a few houses and the light is already gone?


Remove the pressure by taking the photos the weekend before.  You’ll be able to take pictures in the poses you want and in good light.  

Plus, this will give you a dry-run to identify potential costume complaints (can’t you just see it now — there’s a tag that bothers the kid and you need to cut out in order to avoid a colossal melt-down….save yourself and find it now).

3) Make a plan for the night and ask for everyone’s input so there’s less chance of defection on Halloween night. 

How long will you trick-or-treat? Where will you go? Will you go to a party? Will someone stay home to hand out candy?  Will you trick-or-treat for awhile and then go home to hand out candy?  Who will hand out the candy?  How will you handle potty-breaks?

Seriously, go over as many details as possible and get the kids to buy-in, so there’s less arguing on the street in front of the neighbors.😉

4) Review your expectations with the kids in advance. 

Talk to them about what they will say when they walk to the door, how many pieces of candy they will take, and remind them to say thank you before leaving.  Practice a few times. 

But, also remember it’s a crazy night fueled by sugar so they won’t be perfect.  BONUS TIP: If you are worried about dealing with the chaos, consider filling your travel mug with an alcoholic beverage.  That technique helps a lot (I may be speaking from experience…).

5) Agree about how you’ll deal with all the candy afterward.

There are a lot of ways to handle the candy.  (I personally try to pick an option that avoids the candy ending up in a hidden spot only I know of, and then I eat it all….yes, that’s happened before too).A Moms Guide to Surviving Halloween.  5 Tips to Avoid Halloween Meltdowns

The main point here is to agree in advance of what the kids will do with the candy, and help them remember that agreement when they get home and the sorting begins. 

Plan ahead and talk it all out.  It will be a fun holiday!

Try these 5 tips and let me know how it goes.  If you plan ahead, knock out some pre-Halloween prep, and try to get full-agreement by the family in advance, Halloween will be a lot less stressful. 

And, as always, I’d love to hear your advice and ideas.  Do you have other tips you’d like to share?  Please share in the comments below or post them on the Crushing Motherhood Facebook page

Let’s help each other crush motherhood!

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