Dear Ilana and Jess: My teens are getting too old to trick-or-treat, but they want to enjoy the holiday. What can they do to make it through this awkward stage? — Frank
Dear Frank: The awkward stage you’re referring to is the teenage years themselves, and there’s plenty to enjoy there; especially on Halloween! Adolescence marks the transition to adulthood, and this remains true during holidays. This year, give your teens new roles. For example, on Halloween, they might be in charge of handing out candy to the neighborhood kids. They can do this in costume (it may actually be more fun for everyone that way) so they don’t have to forgo that tradition.
Let the teens be a part of decorating the house (if they haven’t been already). Choose a theme – like haunted house or monster mash - and let them set the scene outside for trick-or-treaters. They can even be part of the scene directly; sitting outside to chat with kids and their families.
Your teens might also have their own party to celebrate. If you’re willing to host, give them parameters, (e.g. how many people are allowed, where guests can and can’t go in the house, etc.) then let them organize it for themselves. Make sure they’re prepared to be good hosts and review the basics with them: taking jackets, offering refreshments, leading people to the bathroom, etc. You may think that’s unnecessary to review, but it’s always best not to assume. Your teens are adults in-the-making, and it’s important that they become increasingly considerate of others.
Say This: “Since you’re both too old to trick-or-treat this year, I want you to think of other ways to enjoy the holiday. It would be great if you could help me decorate and hand out candy to the kids. It’ll be fun if you dress up for that. If you want, you can host a Halloween party for a few friends, too.”
Not That: “You too old to trick-or-treat, so figure something else out.”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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