Tomorrow is Halloween, which means we have some duties as parents. Besides making sure they are warm enough, that they have some sort of reflective gear on since it is dark out, teaching about stranger danger, telling them not to run in the street, etc., there are other duties that might not be talked about so much. Some of them benefit us as parents as well, so pay close attention folks!
1) Teaching our children about taxes. Halloween is the best time to teach our children about tax deductions! Where I live, taxes are at 15%. That means that we, as the parents, automatically earn 15% of the Halloween haul. We’ll call it a “Thanks Mom and Dad” deduction since we were generous enough to walk around with them on a cold night so they could get their sugar fix. This will help mentally prepare them up for their first job, when they see that a significant portion of their paycheque was lost to deductions. Life’s tough kid. Learn early.
2) Testing for poison. I learned how important this was from my Grandfather. Whenever I had a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, a cookie, or any kind of tasty treat as a child my Grandfather stressed how important it is to check the food for poison. He generously risked his own life by taking my treats from me and eating a bite or two, followed by a long pause for dramatic effect before deeming them safe for me to consume. It felt really great as a kid to know that he loved me enough to eat/test my treats for me to make sure I wouldn’t be poisoned. We all need to eat our kids candy and show them how much we love them. It’s a parental duty!
3) Stranger Danger – the night off! We spend our whole lives telling our kids to never take candy from strangers. I’m not one to preach “stranger danger”, but more or less to preach “stranger awareness” – the difference between a safe stranger and a bad one. (Ex. Police officer is a safe stranger, but a creep in the back of a van with a puppy and a lollipop is a danger stranger). However, this is the one night of the year we get to confuse the shit out of our kids! “Yes, dear child. Go take candy from that stranger. Yes, you can walk up to the scary house that gives you the heebie-jeebies. Yes, you can talk to the man covered in blood on that front porch”. Poor kids – with all that promise of free candy, they don’t stand a chance!
4) Teaching the value of clever costumes rather than slutty ones. I hope to teach my little L that you garner much more respect from a clever Halloween costume than you do with anything that has the word “sexy” in front of it. They are making everything sexy nowadays. Sexy Ben Franklin. Sexy Bert and Ernie. Even sexy corn on the cob. Yes, corn on the cob. How the hell can you make that sexy you ask? Like this.
Scary stupid isn’t it? Can you imagine the pickup lines you’d get? “Mmm baby, I’d love to butter your cob”, or “If things get heated between us, will you pop?”. How about “Come on girl, let me peel away the rest of that husk”. Gag.
5) Halloween candy can evaporate! Remember how we are teaching our kids about tax deductions via the Halloween tax? It’s also a perfect time to teach them about evaporation! You know how if you leave out a glass of water, it will slowly evaporate until it is nearly gone? The same thing happens to Halloween candy over time. It disappears! That explains why when they wake up every morning, there is less than there was when they went to bed the night before. In our house, it’s the chocolate and sour patch kids that seem to “evaporate” the fastest. For this I have no scientific explanation to offer. We just won’t tell my dentist (or my dietitian) that they’ve been disappearing so quickly.
Do you have any other “valuable” lessons for the kids to learn on Halloween? I’d love it if you shared!
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