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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is this world coming to?

Am I overreacting when I cringe when the kids at Julia's school are taught a song that includes the word "dumb"? At our house I always censor that word and many others. Usually "silly" makes a good substitute. This time of year parents have many choices to make about what they want their kids exposed in regards to socially acceptable Halloween traditions. I'm the first to admit that my philosophy is to avoid as much of it as we can. I don't take my kids into Walgreens. Have you seen their Halloween displays? Ish. We don't go trick or treating. We don't allow the kids to pretend to be ghosts. Sam is into monsters right now which I try not to make a big deal about. Kids tend to want what they can't have so I'm simply choosing to distract rather than forbid that sort of imaginary play. It's a good thing he wasn't at our library's story time this morning. The theme for the day was Monsters. What 2 year old doesn't like a good monster book?

I know the day is coming when I can't just avoid Halloween. I'm going to need to get my act together and know what to say (to a child Sam's age) about why our family does not "do" Halloween. Does anyone know of any good resources on the topic or suggestions for what works for your family?

6 comments:

  1. You might be overreacting a bit about Halloween. I know that our children do Wholesome Costumes (non-violent, non-scary, non-spooky & they can't be any characters like Thomas the Train, etc) We do usually very genuine animal costumes, or police officers, other type of costumes where you can respect what who and what you are pretending to be that day. And we only go trick or treating to our church (they hand out fruit, toothbrushes, popcorn balls, etc)who have the same values we do, or to the neighbors homes. We are not into the commercialized Halloween stuff, but want our children to experience the fun of being able to be something else for one day out of the year. We don't want them to miss out on the experience so we just make it as wholesome as possible for them. So far its worked great!

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  2. We choose to have a Fall Party (with another family)every year on Halloween night. No costumes and no trick or treating. We play games with the kids and have lots of candy. Our kids are 7, 9, and 12 now and they don't know any different. We have always told them we will celebrate the christian holidays. All our kids really care about is the candy so we make sure we have lots of that.

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  3. I was just telling my son about how Halloween was when I was a kid (in the 60's!). We didn't have all of the ghoulish stuff w/ blood and death and monsters.

    We choose not to participate. We don't answer the door because I feel that sets a double standard to my son.

    Our church has a Fall Festival community outreach, which is nice.

    I know what you mean, though, about the awful displays. You can hardly avoid them at Walgreens and Walmart, etc. Kind of like avoiding Victoria's Secret with my son!

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  4. Hi,
    I am a Christian mom and a public school teacher. We encourage the students to be a storybook charactor for Halloween. To participate in the parade contest,they need to carry the book with them. No book= no parade. This helps a lot. With the amount of books to choose from in an entire school, if a child forgets or doesn't have a book, we can usually locate one for them.(Oh, we cannot seem to find a Bart Simpson book!) We really don't have a problem with disrespectful and inappropriate costumes. As for the word "dumb". You may be over-reacting a bit. The words you will hear as your children get older will allow you to look back and think that maybe the word 'dumb' wasn't so bad after all. Having said that, no student in my class would ever be allowed to call someone 'dumb'...but the word dumb in a song...you can lighten up on that a bit. Just give it some thought. Great blog...found you through Stellan's Mom's blog. Beautiful children. Your daughter reminds me so much of my sister when she was young!

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  5. I don't like to use the word dumb or stupid here either. I called a driver stupid a few weeks ago, only to hear my 3 yo repeat it - and I told her we probably shouldn't use that word and that I was wrong to say it. And she understood. You know, it's not that those words are that bad, but I would like to shelter them from it as long as I can. The more they DON'T say things, I think the more they are apt to finder better words and get used to saying the better choice, instead. It's like letting your kids watch Supernanny and getting all kinds of ideas of NEW ways to disobey! Kind of silly.

    As far as Halloween - we dress up and we went out this year for the first time, really. It was fun - and it was actually a great time to practice our manners with strangers...holding hands and looking both ways when crossing the street, etc. So there were teachable moments in there - and great family time of walking around the block :-)

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  6. I agree, I don't like "dumb"...especially for a small child's use. We're teaching our daughter that word is inapporpriate.
    We don't celebrate Halloween either, and have found that the movies are empty on Halloween night! And all stores are off limits for our little one Sept. -October, she suffers from a mild case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to her first 15 months in an orphanage. I don't know of any sources to help, we just have taught our little one from the beginning that we decided to skip this one ;)

    Terrye in FL

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