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The Scary Tween Eye-Roll for the Not-So-Scary Conversation

Want to have a Halloween filled with all treat, no trick? Let’s talk about your kid’s night once the sun goes down and the costumes come out.

The extent of your engagement for this particular holiday will depend on the age of your kids and what their expectations are for the night. The number one priority for this spooky evening: Don’t be afraid of the eye roll and a conversation. It’s important to set rules and ask questions before the night begins, or even a few days leading up to Halloween. Try asking about their plans casually and in a non-intrusive way, so you get full answers instead of shoulder shrugs. Try one of these:

Instead of saying “Where are you going tonight?” Say

“You looking to top the amount of candy you got last year?

Better pick a good neighborhood – any ideas?”

Instead of saying “Who will you be with?” say

What are your friends going to be for Halloween that you’re going out with?”

Instead of saying “Will their parents be home?” say 

“I heard a few parents are getting together tonight, do you think so-and-so’s parents are going?”

Seizing these opportunities for conversation can also show you’re paying attention and care about what they do. This interest shows that they’re accountable for their actions and believe in them to make the right decision to not only combat peer pressure, but also to come to you if they ever need to get out of a sticky situation.

Another tip is to make a code word before they leave the house. That way, if you get a text or call with the word, you can help them out by “being the bad guy” and picking them up from something potentially uncomfortable.

These are just some tips and conversation starters to help your kid make the best choices this Halloween, especially regarding peer pressure and alcohol. For other great tips and starters, check out how to continue a lifetime of conversations with your tween here.

Have younger kids? Check out this infographic with tips and get more insight into how to help them say “NO” at

As the online voice of Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix and manager of #TalkEarly, Genevieve Adams, Manager Communications, has always had a philanthropic spirit and enjoys working for a non-profit that positively impacts our nation’s youth. 

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Have a fun and safe Halloween! Here's an infographic to help you start a conversation with your kid about their night trick-or-treating.