Ah, Halloween. A day when parents let their kids become whomever they want in order to score an unnecessary amount of candy. It's mostly innocent fun, except for the creepy masks and irritating pranks that tend to occur on the scariest night of the year. And while I would argue not much has changed about All Hallow's Eve since I was a kid, there are some things my parents let me do on Halloween that I'd never let my own kids do. Never ever.
When I was a kid, my parents were way more nonchalant about, well, everything. I didn't have a car seat, didn't wear a seatbelt, and on holidays like Halloween we were basically left to our own devices. Scary movies and candy were a legit free-for-all. My younger brother and I were allowed to roam the neighborhoods to fill our candy bags. It was a different, less responsible time.
As parents we know better now (or, at least, we're more fearful). With things like child abduction or safety concerns at the forefront of at least my family's Halloween conversations, I'd like to think I'm much more careful with my kids than my parents were with me. I get that, at times, my concern translates to being overprotective, but honestly? I'd rather be safe than sorry. With that, here are some thing my parents didn't seem all that concerned about when it came to Halloween. And for the record, I won't allow any of it.
Walk Alone At Night
Logically I know the world probably isn't more or less safe than it was 20 or 30 years ago. But I'll never be the mom who lets her two kids walk alone on Halloween night. I'd worry the entire time my kids were gone, and I just don't need any additional stress in my life. I just know too many things could happen.
My parents cared about my safety, I'm sure, but I'm pretty positive they just never thought anything bad could happen. I would argue parents of today can't escape endless warnings about their children's safety.
Go Into Other People's Houses
You know those houses where they say "come on in while I get some more candy?" This happened a lot when I was little, and I would stand in a stranger's home with no adult supervision. Anything could've happened to me, you guys.
OK nothing happened, because I'm still here, obviously, but I wouldn't dare allow my children to stand in a stranger's home for any reason, including Halloween.
Eat Homemade Treats
Granted, there were a few times my mom took my brother and I to have our candy x-rayed (this was a thing) so we could make sure there weren't any needles in any of the chocolates. But for the most part, like when we were given brownies, muffins, and any other home-baked good, we were allowed to eat whatever was given to us without all the scanning, checking, and investigating. If my kids get something baked and not pre-packaged, nope. That goes straight to the trash, my friends.
Sexy cat. Sexy dancer. Sexy whatever. I could dress however I wanted, but as a parent I think, personally, that the majority of my costumes were pretty damn inappropriate. My parents didn't really think Halloween through in terms of what was OK for a 9-year-old girl to wear, and what wasn't. My kids can be whatever they want, to be sure, but only as long as it's age-appropriate, weather appropriate, and not culturally insensitive.
Watch Scary Movies
I was allowed to watch all the Halloween movies. The scarier, the better. At the time I loved them, but when it came time to go to sleep I couldn't get those terrifying images out of my head. It really messed with me. So I won't let my kids watch any of the scary stuff. If I find out they did, I die a little inside as I remember my sleepless nights after Child's Play or Nightmare on Elm Street.
Eat As Much Candy As I Wanted
Oh, how I remember the stomachaches. Endless, painful stomachaches all because I didn't know how much candy was too much candy. I can't let my kids suffer the same fate.
Have A Sleepover
As a parent, I'm not sure how I feel about sleepovers. I went to more than my fair share of over-night get-togethers as a kid, and I can't say I was a fan or have great memories as the result. Halloween was the worst time for sleepovers, too, because "friends" thought it the best time for pranks. My daughter has had a friend stay over a time or two, but we'll just hold off on this fine holiday to avoid any unnecessary discomfort.
Be In Charge Of My Younger Sibling
My parents put me in charge of my brother a lot and I never loved it, but on Halloween it was the worst. My brother was three years younger so he didn't want to listen to me at all. He wanted to run off with his friends, argue with me about everything, and generally ruin Halloween for me at any and all costs. I won't give that responsibility to my kids so they can, you know, enjoy trick-or-treating.
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