Kids Halloween is Getting More ‘Adult’ Every Year
Let’s talk about Halloween! Some people say that Halloween has evolved from a kid-centric holiday to more adult-centered.
Some others say that Halloween is BAD (too scary, “satanic”, etc.) for children.
I take issue with both of these positions and would like to explain why I think Halloween is not only fun but also IMPORTANT for kids.
I think of Halloween as an important “rite of passage”. In fact, it’s one of the first rites of passage that kids can do without complete adult supervision.
Maybe the first time you ever went to a neighbor’s door, rang the bell, and actually conversed with the grown-up who answered…was on Halloween. And, it’s a progressive rite. When you’re a baby or toddler, of course, your parents go to the door with you.
By the time you’re five or six, maybe mom and dad waited for a few feet back or on the sidewalk. By ten or eleven, maybe you get to go out WITHOUT your parents, just with friends. Or, maybe that’s just the way it worked when I was a kid, forty-something years ago in a town with fewer than 15,000 people.
Also, there’s a community-building aspect to Halloween, especially trick or treating. For all, we’ve heard about “stranger danger” (most of which has been debunked there’s an element of trust.) We trust our neighbors to play along with the holiday and “pitch in” in making the night fun and safe for our kids.
Trick or Treating is also a great way for kids to learn how to interact with others. That’s why it’s important to coach your kids to talk to adults: clearly say “trick or treat”. Make sure you say “Thank you” when you get candy.
Say “thank you” if someone compliments your costume. If the homeowner holds out a bowl of candy DON’T grab the biggest handful you possibly can. It’s those simple lessons of interacting with others in person that kids don’t get as much in the digital era.
Let your kids trick or treat. Let them help hand out candy to other trick-or-treaters. Enjoy Halloween. It’s actually GOOD for society!