Halloween Life Lessons


Conversing in Lynn’s office the topic landed on Halloween.  “There are so many life lessons in Halloween,” Lynn declared, and started off on a brainstorming marathon.  I couldn’t resist joining the fun. Here is our list.  

  1. Delayed gratification:  A common question we are asked is, how much candy do we let the kids have?  It reminded both of us of the famous “marshmallow experiment” in which a researcher brought 4 year- old children into a room by themselves, positioning a marshmallow right in front them.  He then explained that if they waited 15 minutes to eat it he would return and give them another one, so that they could have two instead of just one.  Only 1 out of 3 children successfully resisted.  Following up 14 years later the researchers discovered that the children who delayed withstood the challenge had the highest high school grades, clear life plans and healthy relationships with others.  So consider dumping out that candy, allowing your child to select 7 pieces to eat and then give him the choice – eat them all immediately – or parcel them out and have one piece every day for an entire week and earn a bonus of three more!
  2. Mathematical concepts:  Candy doesn’t just have to be for eating; it can also be a tool for learning mathematical concepts like sorting, by color, size and shape.   You can also classify by type, like chocolate or not chocolate. Then all you have to do is convince the kids that chocolate of any kind is really yucky and that you would be willing to take it off their hands. Being a magnanimous person, though, you will allow them to have all of the DELICIOUS non-chocolate treats.  They can also match pieces, count and group.  Graphs could be drawn.  And then of course there is the art of negotiation.  I’ll give you one Snicker for 2 KitKats.
  3. Creative thinking:  Costumes and masks can actually be frightening to young children, as well as expensive to buy. So why not use this as an opportunity to be creative.  Go through your old clothing.  Pull out the unused cosmetics you were convinced to buy by that great salesperson and never used again.  Create your own costumes – heck this can go on for weeks and turn into writing a play. 

Teachable moments surround us.  Enjoy! 

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