We live in a world with many social rules that are important to be aware of and follow. Many of these rules are spelled out clearly and many are hidden. The hidden rules are those that are not always easily understood and some are not taught to us. They change depending upon the situation and people involved (including their age, gender, beliefs, culture, etc.). Some children (and adults) learn these hidden rules on their own by watching and learning from others without being told directly. Some children need more direct instruction followed by reminders or models for them to learn and remember. Either way these rules are a crucial part of social success and should not be overlooked when supporting children.
Halloween is a perfect example of an event that has many hidden social rules to be aware of. It is a fun time for children, especially when things go as planned without obstacles or awkward moments. Reviewing what is “expected” (hidden rules) can help the events go as smoothly as possible.
Here are some questions that you can answer to help understand the hidden rules and know what is expected in various situations:
- Where are we going, when and for how long?
- Who will be there?
- What is expected of me in this situation?
- What are some things we should or should not say or talk about?
The following are basic social rules for Halloween trick or treating:
- Trick or treating usually begins when the sun starts to go down. People need to get home from work and get prepared before you can go out.
- Generally 9:00 p.m. is the latest time to knock on doors. If there is no one out in the neighborhood, it is probably time to head home and call it quits.
- Once you are out, stay with your parents or the group you are with. There is no need to run from house to house or across the street, there is plenty of candy to go around.
- When trick or treating, take one candy from the bowl and save some for others.
- Please and thank you’s are appreciated on Halloween. Don’t forget, these are your neighbors and they will see you again. It’s important to be nice!
- If a light is out at a house, don’t bother to knock because most likely they are not at home.
- Eating all your candy in one night WILL make you sick and leave nothing for you to look forward to the next day.
Have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!