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STFU Parents: Parents Who Take All The Bloody Fun Out Of Halloween

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A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a Halloween decoration I’d been eyeing called ‘Scary Peeper Creeper’ was banned in Canada after a mom complained that it “makes light of a very serious crime. Voyeurism is a crime in Canada.” This story didn’t really surprise me, given that every year, there’s a somewhat frightening number of parents with Halloween-related complaints who make their voices heard. Whether they’re messaging news stations, knocking on neighbors’ doors, texting their kids’ teachers, hassling local business owners, or simply posting on Facebook, the contingent of parents who wish to alter, judge, or personally control some element of how Halloween gets celebrated grows each year. What used to be a holiday centered on children running around in homemade costumes and shoving candy in their mouths unsupervised has turned into a holiday that represents the most irritating aspects of modern parenting. Halloween is now the holiday equivalent of participation trophies in children’s sports. Parents have zeroed in on what they DO and DON’T like about Halloween, and the list keeps growing year over year.

1Every parent who is in some small way turning Halloween into an annual Complainer’s Ball chooses his or her area of discipline. Some parents want more vegan snacks. Others want their kids to avoid harsh dyes. Peanut allergies must be considered. So should children with any number of disabilities — some of which we haven’t even come up with diagnoses for yet — because promoting inclusivity is trendy, and making assumptions makes an ASS out of U and ME. Be accepting. Be nice. Be patient. It’s everyone’s Halloween.

2.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was a kid the only thing my mother was concerned with was how she would newly scare all the neighborhood children. In her eyes, kids shouldn’t be rewarded with candy just for wandering over to our house. They had to greet my mother, wearing lan outlandish witch costume, usually sitting in a rocking chair pretending not to be real until the last second when the child reached out for a piece of candy. Her number one priority was buying cheap chocolate in bulk and decorating the house with an excessive amount of synthetic spider webs. Our house didn’t have any mangled baby dolls dangling from the trees, but getting spooked and overeating candy were very clearly the hallmarks of Halloween. Sure, I knew one kid whose sugar-phobic dad took the majority of her candy away the minute she got home from trick-or-treating, but uptight parents were rare. If anything, Halloween was exciting because it felt kind of “acceptably lawless.” Now, parents set out special teal pumpkins, bring their kids to health-conscious “trunk or treat” gatherings, gripe about gory displays at stores, and drive their kids door-to-door like chauffeurs if it’s even the tiniest bit cold, dark, or “scary” outside. 

3I’m sorry, unless you live in a rural area where the houses are *really* far apart, I’m not sure why you’re driving your kid around before s/he eats their weight in chocolate. Halloween candy hand-outs are designed to be earned. Plus, the entire point is for kids to roam around and freak each other out and delight each other with their costumes. Hasn’t everybody watched the Halloween scene in E.T.? The holiday shouldn’t be taken so seriously, and parents should pull the sticks out of their asses for a night (unless, of course, they’re dressing up as a ‘Helicopter Parent,’ which I could see involving a stick prop of some kind). Not to mention, if Halloween is supposed to be about “inclusivity,” why have so many parents taken to putting up signs like this?

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Honestly, I can’t keep up with the rules anymore, nor can I decide who the bigger asshole is in this scenario. Is it the snobbish and rude parent who takes the time to put out this sign, or is it the parents who “truck their children” into other neighborhoods because they’re better for trick-or-treating? (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention last year’s video featuring a mom stealing a bucket of candy.)  At this point, it’s hard to decipher just how varied and complex the rules of Halloween have gotten due to parents being paranoid and/or flagrantly entitled, but one thing is for sure: Nothing scares me more than a generation of parents who sap the fun out of arguably the year’s best holiday. Let’s check out some examples of parents who might want to loosen up and throw on a pair of devil horns, if only for a day.

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