By Dawn Cranfield

Halloween Advice for Parents of all the Ghouls and Boys

With the upcoming celebration of All Hallows Eve, no doubt that parents and grandparents alike will be scouring the Internet for any safety advice they can find to keep their little ghouls, goblins, Lady Gagas, Barack Obamas, and Angry Birds safe when they head out for tricks or treats.

Interestingly enough, I have two grown children (aged 22 and 23) who lived through many Halloween nights out with ringing doorbells and collecting candy all without incident.  However, in today’s litigious society I thought I would pass on some of the wisdom I have learned over the years for those parents who are looking for some guidelines and may not know how to parent their way out of a paper bag.

  •  Go trick-or-treating with your child, do not let them go alone
  •  Does this one really need to be explained?  It is dark, you are sending your child in search of candy to knock on the doors of people you have probably never met.  GO WITH THEM.

v Dress your child appropriately for the weather

  • Ø If you have to wear a parka to walk around the neighborhood with your children, it is not appropriate to let your four-year old dress up like Nicki Minaj wearing thigh-highs and a mini-skirt
    • If you do, then do not get irritated with said child when they whine and cry the entire night that they are freezing cold and want to go home after going to the first house, even if you have spent hours applying make-up and have spent no less than $100 on the costume


v Do not approach houses that are not well lit

  • Ø People that do not light their houses appropriately on Halloween mean that they do not want to be disturbed
    • If you choose to force your child to ring the doorbell “just in case”, then be prepared for whatever lecture they choose to unload on the little monsters
    • Or, be ready to send your little one to therapy if they peer in the windows and see something they should not while trying to determine if there is anyone home
      • You do not want to hear the words “Mom, I think I see some people wrestling on the couch”


v Cross the street in the cross walk, and use the sidewalk

  • Ø While this should be a given, as Halloween is no different than any other time of year, amazingly enough, on that special night, there will be neighborhoods of kids all evening long with kids crisscrossing back and forth, parents in tow
    • No doubt, if a motorist dare to drive down the very street intended for cars and your little Tinkerbell is flitting about and almost struck down, you will undoubtedly flip them off, screaming obscenities, blaming the driver of the car instead of your own poor parenting skills or wild child


v Inspect your children’s treats before you let them eat them

  • Ø While I hardly think people are putting razor blades in apples anymore like they did when I was a child (have you seen the price of razors?), it is still a good idea go through their treats, if for no other reason than to select your favorites before they gobble them all down in the first thirty minutes of arriving home and spend the rest of the evening throwing up


While these tips will not completely cover every possible scenario you or your child may encounter, use your head, empower yourself with any parenting skills you may possess, and remember, if something does go wrong – they are your children and your responsibility.

Happy Halloween.  Be safe!

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