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Ahh, Halloween — a double-edged sword. It doesn’t matter how much you used to love this national excuse to overload on sugar and spooks. Now that you’re a parent, this freaky fest is both a blessing and a curse for anyone raising their own little monsters.

The Positives

On one hand, the month of October lends itself to tons of creativity with the kiddos. Pumpkin carving, art projects, and all those other festive, time-consuming activities — anything that keeps them entertained is a gift from the cosmos.

Tradition is important, and you’re not about to pass on the rare opportunity to shimmy into skin-tight leather boots on a school night and have it be circumstantially appropriate. You’ve never felt more yourself, standing proud in your Wonder Woman costume complete with compression leggings, and a Radio Flyer wagon full of Batmen and Elsas in tow. And what better excuse to stir up a spooky dry-ice mixed drink than getting through a long day of papier-mâché and slime-making? This could be considered drinking on the job — but for Hershey’s sake, we’ll let it slide.

The Downside

Regardless of all the ghoulish greatness of All Hallows’ Eve, there are a few drawbacks to the commercialized candy fest. For example, you might find yourself laboring away on your child’s homemade Halloween costume until 2 a.m. the night before their school’s costume competition, only to find out your creation did more damage than good to your kid’s street cred. You didn’t see that coming, but neither did they.

Another Halloween pitfall is that, from October 31 to the middle of December, your child will turn into a candy-obsessed gremlin, constantly hounding you for access to their stash. Throwing out their Halloween bounty is tempting, but would be a cruel, cruel parenting move. Noting this, we’ve come up with a nifty solution to this age-old problem.

The Plan

Taking candy from your baby isn’t a good look, but you’re well within your rights to withhold it and repurpose it as collateral. This may sound rather extreme to a pushover parent. We get it — setting boundaries is never an easy task. But with the help of our printable Candy Chore Chart, you can kick back, relax, and maybe even shed a proud tear or two while your kid takes care of business and learns a thing or two about earning their keep. Candy can be pretty handy after all.

PRO-TIP: Print this out and hang it on the wall, or stick it on the fridge for all to study. We’ve included some ideas to get you started, and some blank spaces to allow for some creativity as you think up chores perfect for your brood, and your household.

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