Let’s talk about Halloween! Some people say that Halloween has changed from a child-centric party to a more adult-centric party.
Others say Halloween is WRONG (too scary, “satanic”, etc.) for children.
I challenge both positions and would like to explain why I think Halloween is not only fun, but also IMPORTANT for kids.
I consider Halloween to be an important “rite of passage”. In fact, it’s one of the first rites of passage children can do without full adult supervision.
Maybe the first time you went to a neighbor’s door, rang the doorbell, and chatted with the adult who answered, was on Halloween. And, it is a progressive rite. When you’re a baby or toddler, of course, your parents go out the door with you.
By the time you’re five or six, maybe mom and dad have been waiting a few yards back or on the sidewalk. At ten or eleven, maybe you can go out WITHOUT your parents, just with friends. Or maybe that’s how it worked when I was a kid forty years ago in a town of less than 15,000 people.
Also, there is a community building aspect to Halloween, especially tricks or treats. For all of us, we’ve heard of “stranger danger” (most of which has been debunked, there’s an element of trust.) We trust our neighbors to play along with the holidays and “join in” to make the night fun and safe for our kids.
Trick or Treating is also a great way for children to learn how to interact with others. That’s why it’s important to teach your children to talk to adults: say clearly “Charity Please”. Be sure to say “thank you” when you receive candies.
Say “thank you” if someone compliments your costume. If the owner hands out a bowl of candy DON’T take the biggest handful possible. It’s those simple lessons of interacting with others in person that kids don’t get as much in the digital age.
Let your children trick or treat. Let them help distribute candies to other cheaters. Enjoy Halloween. It’s done GOOD for the society !