The Halloween night checklist will probably go something like this: Kids fed and in their costumes? Check! Finished playing their ZisBoomBah Halloween games for the night? Check! Homemade Halloween bags in hand? Check! Princess wand and pirate eye patch accessories accounted for? Check, check! Assurance your children will say thank you when they receive their treats? Um, uh, well..I think so?…check?
I will never forget the year my daughter and I spent hours tying organic lollipops to Halloween-themed pencils and stickers as our alternative treat to the usual Snickers Bites and Smarties. I naively hoped the time spent would be noticed by adults and kids alike, each child taking just one treat with a gleeful, “thank you!” My hopes were smashed when our second group of trick-or-treaters cleaned us out in one fell swoop, faster than I could say, “Happy Halloween!” and then silently scurried down the porch steps with parents in tow. I could have let the fact that they took all of the treats (after all, my bad for holding out the basket instead of handing just one to each child) if they had said thank you. I was left shaking my head and realizing regardless of what treat I offered, a thank you is as necessary an accessory on Halloween night as the princess wand and pirate eye patch.
Here are 4 tips to help your children remember to show appreciation for the halloween treats they receive:
Write a Halloween Thank You to that special person. Children may want to thank you for all your hard work and efforts! Or how about Grandma or Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles? Why not try out ZisBoomBah’s Thank you Notes! Click here for the Halloween Thank You Notes!
Practice before they go out for the night. Have the children knock on your own door to practice their loudest, “TRICK OR TREAT!” Hand them a treat and if they don’t offer a thank you on their own, remind them to say it. Aside from prepping them for proper trick-or-treating etiquette, your child will get a kick out of getting their first treat from you.
Encourage your older children to remind the younger ones to say thank you. If you don’t have an older child, give another gentle reminder to your child as they walk up to the door. Just a simple, “Have fun and remember to say thank you!” can help jar your child’s memory. Eliciting the help of older children can help them feel like they are in a mentor role, while simultaneously reminding them to offer their own gratitude.
Stand within earshot and if you don’t hear a thank you, ask them to go back and say it. At 12, my daughter is now old enough to walk into a coffee shop and order her favorite decaf chai while I wait in the car. She is still getting into the habit of remembering to tip. When she returns to the car I ask if she remembered; if she didn’t, I send her back in. Even though they are just Halloween treats, taking every opportunity to encourage the “thank you” habit will mean eventually your child remembers to show appreciation whenever they are given something, no matter how big or small the gift.