By Michael

As all parents know, we should take every opportunity to teach our kids important lessons. Halloween is no exception.

Yeah, the kids like to think it’s all fun and games, costumes and candy, but we know better. There’s no holiday quite like Halloween for teaching our progeny the most important ethical and social values. Among the most important rules of the holiday:

Take care of others. Mom and dad are much too old to be sticking out our jack-o-lantern buckets and pleading for candy, so it’s important that you kids do it for us. We put macaroni on the table for you all year, so now it’s time for payback. Sounds fair to me.

Be prepared. Know in advance whether dad wants the Almond Joy, which has nuts, or Mounds, which don’t. Being prepared is a critical life skill and studying dad’s candy list is a great way to start.

Thrift is a virtue. Our daughter only thought she was wearing the same costume four years in a row, but it was all part of our lesson in thrift. After she grew five or six inches, that cute little pumpkin costume was transformed into a carrot—so she got a second costume for free. You’re welcome, honey.

Recycling is good for the earth. It’s important to conserve resources, so mom is only buying a starter bag of candy corn and gumballs this year. After an hour, she’ll start recycling the candy you bring home, but only after separating out the parental portions.

Pumpkins are people too. A pumpkin had to die to make your jack-o-lantern, so it’s important to be respectful. There will be no throwing pumpkin parts at your little brother and no sticking pumpkin seeds up your nose, little missy. Of course, if dad decides to smear some pumpkin guts on mom’s forehead, well that’s just the way grownups say “I love you.”

Just as it’s important to teach lessons to the children, it’s also important for parents to observe proper Halloween etiquette. All Hallows Eve protocol requires:

Never talk nutrition. Yeah, we know, it’s all sugar and it’s not good for them and they’ll be bouncing off the walls until midnight if we let them eat as much as they want. One day a year, though, it’s okay. And after we siphon off mom and dad’s share, there will only be a limited amount available on day two.

Never take any candy from the donor’s bowl/tray/box/dumpster. Never point to the candy your child should take and never correct your little tyke if she grabs the candy corn and leaves a Heath Bar behind. If you haven’t taught your youngster about your candy preferences before they ring the bell, you are a really bad parent.

Don’t go to the door with any child over the age of six. Adults at the door are never cute, but especially when the child is old enough to read the candy wrappers all by himself. Stand five feet closer to the sidewalk for each year your child is over six. Once you’re far enough back to be on the sidewalk, they can handle this themselves.

There are more rules, of course, but right now there’s a bag of Snickers that’s so heavy it’s crushing the Milky Ways. I have to go reduce the pressure, if only I could figure out how……

Michael Rosenbaum is 5 Minutes for Parenting’s first dadblogger. He is a business consultant, playwright and author of Your Name Here: Guide to Life.

Michael blogs on life issues at Your Name Here Guide to Life and manages the Adult Conversation discussion group on Linked-In.

2 Responses to Halloween
  1. Kara
    October 31, 2009 | 11:00 am

    LOL This is hilarious!

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