RVA Parenting: Making the right choices for Halloween

(WWBT) - Halloween is a really fun holiday, but how old is too old? Richmond Macaroni Kid parenting expert Carissa Garabedian says, everyone can go trick-or-treating. "I think there are far worse things than a teen trick or treating if they are polite and respectful. Being outside with friends and family and getting dressed up is a better option than a few more hours on electronic devices."
However, she says older children should participate by dressing up. "Teens must be respectful to both the families they are getting candy from and the others in the streets. [They] should be dressed up if they are ringing for candy," she said.
She also recommends considering situations where a child doesn't match expectations. Children with sensory or verbal issues may not be able to dress up, or ask for candy. Therefore, it's important that everyone is patient and keeps an open mind.
"As long as children aren't being rude, moms suggest that you give little ones with no costume the benefit of the doubt," Garabedian said. "You also cannot assume that a child who is taller than you is a teenager, either. Some kids are just bigger than the norm."
She also says think comfort when choosing a costume. Make sure the costume won't be itchy. "If your child has allergies, or has extra-sensitive skin, stay away from foreign fibers," Garabedian said. "The best material is one that is breathable. Cotton is a lightweight, breathable fabric. Be sure your child can move freely in the costume."

Also, she says to make sure your child can walk. It might be worth ditching the sparkly heels for some glitter on the sneakers, for example.

She also says it's important that your child can be seen, even if that means adding reflective strips. When it comes to your child's costume being appropriate, think about the big picture.

Garabedian also says social media is a strong influence these days.

"I feel like if your inner gut says, 'My child shouldn't be wearing this,' you should trust that and think to yourself, with social media now and the way that pictures are shared all over the place," she said. "If there is an element of possibly being able to upset someone [by] doing what you're doing, then don't put your child in that situation."

She also says it's important to talk to older children about their costume choices. Make sure they understand possible consequences.

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