Candy Fairy Theory

Children have been coming to preschool this week telling me about the Candy Fairy. This is someone who they give all their Halloween Candy to, and in return they receive a toy for their donation. It struck me as this new trend is on the scene, what are we teaching ? Is it a good alternative, or are we not giving children to chance to be immersed in their obsession for candy?

To me the goal of control is self control, which I know it not an easy behavior to learn. Children need small lessons in learning how to master the desires we all have for pleasure in life. As a child to be able to go to someones house, say a few words while dressed up in a costume, and recieve free candy is like a dream come true. WithΒ  a bucket full of sugar you are given the chance as a parent to teach how to have the candy and moderate the amount that is eaten. If a gift is given to deter us from all of our obsessions does that negate to lesson of self control, taking away the chance for a learning experience? Or are we just all to fearful of what will happen if children eat too much candy.

My concern is that we are taking away from the children the opportunity not only to indulge but to regulate. Life is about continual regulation. Don’t eat too much, don’t watch too much, don’t do anything too much. So how do we teach this for the moments when we are not there to be the Candy Fairy?


  1. Diana says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I hadn’t heard of this new trend. As parents we can all relate to this situation! It’s a sweet idea but I have to say that after a few years of trick-or-treats, I am finally seeing that moderation IS something that can be taught to young children. Up until now I was just going through the motions and hoping for the best, not truly believing that kids were capable of such self-control. Luca is fine with just picking his favorite few and there haven’t been any meltdowns (fingers crossed). Well, once again I have been the one to learn a lesson: don’t underestimate our children’s capabilities.

  2. Rachel Ashton says:

    Never heard of the candy fairy, but Debbie I agree with what you are saying. I don’t know how others deal with the issue and I will say my method was purely from my instinct, but this is what we did with Erin. From the very beginning I made all foods available to her, fruit, veggies, and yes “junk/sweets” – I never placed extra value or restrictions on the “junk” but made sure there was always healthy options offered at the same time. As I suspected, this allowed Erin to see “junk” food as just another option that she could take or leave – it was not elevated to the status of “special” or seen as a scarce resource to be hoarded. As a result I have more often than not had her tell me “I don’t want any chocolate. I want strawberries” or while at a birthday party “I don’t want cake today, I want some more grapes.” Are there days when she refuses broccoli but insist on ice cream? Oh sure, but don’t we all do that some days? The good news for us is that those days are not the norm and Erin already has a great understanding of healthy foods and how to make food choices based on what she senses her body needs rather than what her mind/emotions desires. It works for us.

  3. The Sweetest says:

    I have heard about this, or donating all the candy to a shelter or something, but I never considered that it could be a missed opportunity for reinforcing the life skill of self control. Hayden still has not been trick or treating, but I’m sure this will not be an option next year πŸ™‚ I think letting a child collect candy and teaching them to ration (not eating it all at once) might be a good alternative for those who want to let their kids experience the chocolate.

  4. Cat says:

    I love the thoughts about learning self control that you mention about and using the opportunity to teach our children! I had not heard of the Halloween Fairy before two weeks ago either, and I actually heard about it through our children. They said “mom, did you know there is a Halloween fairy, just like the tooth fairy?” I said that I didn’t, but that we could see what would happen if we left some candy for her/him! I suggested that they pick out a few things to leave (which was of course all the things they didn’t like) and put in on the front door handle to see if the fairy really wanted a treat. In the morning they found three dollars waiting for them in the bag to put in their save up jars! They were thrilled by eat, since we use quarters as our incentive for things in the house – so three dollars seemed like a lot. Anyway, I guess what I wrote in for was to say that we sort of did both without taking away the thrill of all that delicious candy and learning self control!

  5. Amanda says:

    Good points, not for everyone, but I was sooo happy when a teacher friend I know told me about it. Max likes, but doesn’t love candy, so he was so excited to trade it in (and his parents were happy to take it of his hands). Anyway, we had a lot of fun with it and will do it again, but your points are well taken πŸ™‚
    Thanks for reminding us about the blog.
    Amanda (Eating her son’s candy) πŸ™‚

  6. alison says:

    Yes, we did “Switch Witch ” this year. I heard about it the day of Halloween and I ran to Target to pick up a small toy. It was brilliant in our household as it seems that all the events leading up to Halloween are just as “sugar filled” as Halloween itself. The parties, the school things, the pumpkin patches,etc. We let Rowan pick out 7 of his favorite pieces of candy and let Switch Witch take the rest. He was more thrilled with the toy that he even forgot about the 7 pieces of candy he had chosen. And believe me, it was a small, inexpensive toy. Having a 4 year old that has had extensive tooth surgery because he had 9, yes, 9 cavities by the time he was 3 ( family genes of thin teeth) , this was a welcomed new tradition in our household.

  7. Ivy says:

    Hi there. The Candy Fairy is something I practice with my girls at home. I give my girls the choice of either choosing the Candy fairy to visit them or keep the candy themselves. Some years they keep the candy, and others they trade. We also let them keep pieces of candy (the age they are) so they do get a little.

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