Be Careful! Stranger Danger And Halloween
The other day a person I respect gave me some advice regarding my toddler and Halloween. I wasn’t necessarily seeking out any tips or advice about this topic but nonetheless I was the received her opinion on the topic anyways. She told me that she was anti-Halloween and to watch out for poisoned candy. Apparently, everyone is putting needles and poison into our children’s candy apples and Tootsie Rolls and parents must be on high alert.
Our conversation seemed to be in a bit of a time warp and maybe she thought it was the 90’s when the ‘stranger danger’ approach to parenting peaked. Internally I started to roll my eyes as she gave me her advice, but on the outside I just smiled and nodded as she talked about the horrors of Halloween trick or treating. I didn’t have anything concrete to shoot back to her but I didn’t buy her advice one bit. Luckily for Ben, I like to be quite logical about things and trick or treating is one of them.
My husband emailed this interesting article written by Lenore Skenazy. You might remember her name from her book ‘Free Range Kids’ or maybe you might remember that mom who let her son take the subway all-by-himself! That’s Lenore! I appreciate her common sense approach to parenting and I also enjoyed this specific article dismissing the spooky stranger that lurks around on October 31.
Her article spells out the myths of ‘stranger danger’ related to Halloween trick or treating for school aged children in todays world. Here is a short excerpt from her article that resonated with me, ‘…sure, the folks down the street might smile and wave the rest of the year, but apparently they were just biding their time before stuffing us silly with strychnine-laced Smarties“. Ahh, a breath of fresh air to my logical brain.
While I was little I remember a rumour that an elderly old man was known to give out out hot boiled pennies to unsuspecting children. I can recall some friends telling me that they were skipping the traditional door to door trick or treating and were totally shocked that I was allowed to still go out and enjoy the festivities. Funny enough when an older man attempted to give me some loose change for my Unicef collection, I totally freaked out and hid my little Unicef box.
Truthfully, no one had burned hands but the rumours persisted. Fear was perpetuated and not based on anything other than someones far off hunch about a little old man who lived on his own in a dark house. Now that I am an adult I can’t help but think, what were those parents thinking?
Ben’s first year dressing up in a costume, 2009
This year Ben is dressing up as the Itsy Bitsy Spider and is going to the Yaletown Family Trick or Treat in our neighbourhood. He will wave to our neighbours, show off his rendition of the Itsy Bitsy spider and eat a few Halloween treats. I’m assuming that the rest of his treats will be designated to my husband, because that’s what you do when you have a toddler and a sack of treats sitting in your house!
Our scary little skeleton and his blue Crocs.