Halloween Safety for Older Kids and Teens

Halloween Safety for Older Kids and Teens

Dear Ali,
My kids are older now and would rather hang out with friends than go trick-or-treating. How do I keep them accountable and safe this Halloween?

Janet in Virginia

Dear Janet,

Hopefully, over the years you have established a good pattern of accountability in your home. Having teens who have earned your trust goes a long way in determining what you are comfortable allowing them to do.

As your kids prepare for Halloween, be sure to discuss the following areas of accountability with them:

1. Costumes

Dressing up is a fun way to express yourself creatively, but as kids get older, costumes tend to be more mature. Talk with your teens about the way they express themselves through their dress.

Teach your teens to be accountable for the image they present to others.

Girls’ costumes have become quite revealing, providing the opportunity to express their sexuality rather than their creativity. Boys’ costumes have gotten more gory and violent. Teach your teens to be accountable for the image they present to others while still having fun.

2. Activities

Know what activities your teens plan to be involved in. Parties, regardless of the occasion, present the opportunity for alcohol, drugs, and inappropriate behavior. Conversations about what is expected of them should be a continual dialogue.

Halloween also presents an opportunity to dabble in the supernatural realm with games such as the Ouija board. Be sure they understand the dangers that can arise from this type of activity. Set clear expectations about behavior and good decision making.

3. Check-Ins

Be aware of who they are spending the evening with and where they plan to be. Contact information and regular check-ins throughout the night are a good idea. Stress the importance of calling a trusted friend or family member if they get into any dangerous or uncomfortable situation, such as riding with friends that have been drinking.

Know what activities your teens plan to be involved in.

In addition, accountability software such as Accountable2You provide location tracking through GPS to give parents the assurance that their teen is where they said they would be.

Be the Parent

It is our responsibility as parents to gauge our teens’ development and intentions. If you have a teen who is bent on mischief and is more interested in the “tricks” than the “treats” this Halloween, you will need to set appropriate limits. If they can’t be trusted, set up activities close to home by hosting your own party, going to a fall harvest activity together, or have them give out candy.

Having teens who understand and desire to make responsible choices will help to ensure a safe Halloween!

Yours in accountability,

“Ask Ali” is an op-ed column answering common questions about accountability and related topics. Do you have a question for Ali? Send your question to [email protected]. Please note that the views and opinions expressed may not represent those of Accountable2You.

October 7, 2019
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