parents

"Why my kids won't be doing Halloween."

It’s pretty simple. This is where my problem begins.

Halloween: An event held on October 31, celebrated by children going door to door while wearing costumes, begging for treats and playing pranks.

What? Everyone’s okay with this?

I truly think Halloween is the most bizarre, confusing and ridiculous festival. And this is why:

1. Knock-knock …

“Don’t talk to strangers.” Yet here we are.

I’m BAFFLED. Seriously. I believe I may have spent about an eighth of my life telling my children, “Don’t talk to strangers”.

And yet, HERE WE ARE!

Walking the streets at twilight, knocking on doors, yelling slogans in people’s faces and eagerly awaiting a treat? Call me a grinch, but my old-fashioned brain is struggling to connect the dots. Trust me, I want to be with you. I love a party, I love people, I love treats. But I’m lost.

I have three small kids. Sometimes (most of the time) I have no control over where they go. They wander into houses, down lanes, across streets, they wash their hands in dog bowls out the front of cafes, they pick up snails, they walk in dog poo, they stop to watch ants crawling up fences.

Alissa Warren

Walking along a footpath with young children isn’t for the hungover or the disinterested. They are wanderers. It’s like herding hungry goats. So, understandably, I have created ONE rule.

Stick with me — and don’t leave the footpath.

If I bring in a footnote to this rule — such as except on Halloween, when you can walk into people’s homes and knock on their doors — I fear my children will either become very confused or very early adopters of Knock ‘n Run.

2. Treats!

Easter. Birthdays. Christmas. Birthdays. Weddings. Birthdays. Retirement party for Nanna. Birthdays.

My kids get enough treats. I’m surprised their toes haven’t turned multi-coloured from the amount of Smarties they’ve eaten.

So, why, oh, why do I need to teach them they can get EXTRA treats if they knock on strangers’ doors and beg?

So many treats.

Recently, I took my four-year-old son to the park. While we were there, he made a little friend who was about the same age. They ran around together, made dirt pies and taught each other wonderful phrases like ‘bum-bum’ and ‘poo-poo-head’. In other words, he had a fabulous time. As we were leaving, my son’s friend’s grandmother (and carer while we were at the park) offered my son a lolly. He asked me if he could have it. I told him he couldn’t but we’d buy a lolly on the way home. Happy days.

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Am I the most boring mum on the planet? Nope. Just a safe one. If it’s okay to take lollies from one person, how does he know it’s not okay to take lollies from the next person? A person who might not be quite as lovely?

3. Trick or treat?

“Hey kids, if this stranger who you randomly selected to annoy doesn’t give you treats, THROW AN EGG AT THEIR HOUSE. Rock on!” said no normal parent ever. Surely. This can never be unsaid.

So, how is this any different to when we were kids?

This.

I remember playing pranks when I was a kid and I certainly remember other kids playing pranks on Halloween night. When I was in primary school, a bunch of boys got busted for pranking an unenthusiastic Halloween participant. They wrote LOSER in lipstick on his driveway. Eek. The boys were suspended, blah blah blah.

These days, the whole Halloween night is under tight surveillance by helicopter parents. Actual parents.

Walking children from house to house, waiting outside front gates. Now, if your child is old enough to get the premise of Halloween — trick or treat — isn’t that sending a message to them that you condone that whole idea. You support ‘trick or treat’?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But the ‘trick or treat’ lesson won’t be happening on my watch.

4. Creepy costumes… 

I’ll be taking Queen Elsa over the Wicked Witch any day. That’s all.

I can’t believe I’m bagging a celebration, but honestly — I just don’t get Halloween.

Take a look at some celebrities with their Halloween costumes (post continues after post):

I don’t get the celebration.

I don’t get the pumpkins.

I don’t get the creepy, ghosty stuff.

I don’t get the concept. It’s the antithesis of everything I tell my kids NOT to do.

Oh Halloween, you certainly are the devil.

What do you think of Halloween? How will you and your children be celebrating?  

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