Thursday, 17 October 2013

Do you Trick or Treat?

From the moment they are born, all we, as parents, want to do is protect our children. When they are old enough to understand, we drum into them the dangers of life around us. How to cross the road safely, how medicines are not sweets, why it's not a good thing to pull your little brother around by his arm (yep, I've had that!). One of the most important things we teach them, especially in this day, is not to talk to strangers. My worst fear as a parent is someone snatching my child.

 So why is it that every year we allow our children to knock on doors unknown. We dress them up in little costumes and let them get sweeties from all those who like to open their door. Yep, I'm talking about Halloween.

 It's only been the last couple of years that I've allowed the kids to go out on Halloween. J was almost three when we first took him out. Dressed in his little Skeleton outfit, he looked really cute. I only allowed them to visit people that we knew in the area, yet they still managed a bag-full each of different sweets and treats.

Last years costumes!

However, the following day while walking down my nans street, J started to walk up someone's path. When I asked what he was doing, he replied so innocently "I'm trick-n-treating mum! I want some more sweeties!"

It made me stop in my tracks. my almost-three year old was linking knocking on doors to getting sweeties. What had I done? It made me realise why so many parents don't allow their kids to go out "Trick or Treating". It also made me think how many did and allowed them to knock on strangers doors! Why do parents spend the time to inform their kids of the dangers yet freely allow them once a year?!

How about you? Do you let your children go? Do they go alone or you do take them? Do they knock strangers doors?

I am quite excited this year, as it's Baby B's first Halloween and I've bought him the cutest little Frankenstein costume!

The girls haven't decided what to dress up as yet, but I've heard some whispers about Smurfs. J wants to dress up as a skeleton again (for the third year running!). I'm even going to attempt some Jack O'Lanterns this year! 

Considering last year’s event I think it’s a smart choice to chaperone them again this year until I feel like they’re at an age where they understand the hazards involved and can do it safely on their own…it’s not all fun and games you know. This costume infographic from fancy dress ball (scroll to bottom of page) has some excellent ideas if you like me are chaperoning again this year and will give you some food for thought if you want to spook not only the kids, but also put a scare into the neighbours.

Some tips for a safe "Trick or treat!":

  • Please remember that, although the costumes look lovely, in darkened areas they aren't so easy to spot! Get some reflection badges or bangles - they are cheap to buy and make seeing a child so much easier!
  • If your children are going out alone, make sure they understand the dangers of knocking on strangers doors.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your group when you go out. With some lovely costumes available it's likely that other children have the same one - it's so easy to grab a hand of the wrong child.
  • Don't let them eat too many sweets! Apart from being bad for their teeth, too much sugar means very hyper kiddies before bed! Not a great thing, believe me!

If the weather is bad we'll be staying in and playing some games! We'll be playing "Pin the foot on the skeleton", dunking for apples and spider treasure hunt! I think I'll get the kids to carve some pumpkins too!

I’m still wondering if there’s a reasonable way to dissociate Halloween from the notion of getting treats…any ideas?

Have any of you made any cool Jack O’Lanterns?

We hope you all have fun on Halloween this year, but please remember to be safe!

This post was a collaboration :)

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