When Good Parenting Makes You a Bad Neighbor

trick or treatHalloween may be your kid's favorite holiday ever. What could be better than a night to eat as much chocolate as they want? But parents, here's your warning: Halloween sucks.

Nothing will get you labeled the neighborhood crank faster than leaving your light off on Halloween night. Which gives two parents a big choice on Halloween: do I skip out on experiencing the most kid-centered night of the year with my child? Or do I make the neighbors hate me?


Yes, Halloween is officially the one night of the year that being a good parent makes you a really bad neighbor. But as in all things, proving one thing does not prove the inverse. It's OK to skip trick or treating with your kids. For realsies.

It doesn't matter where they go. It will look something like this:

Kid walks to door.

Kid knocks on door (or rings the bell -- there's a little room for innovation here).

Adult comes to door with big bowl.

Kid says, "Trick or treat!"

Adult drops handful of candy (or some cool non-chocolatey option -- you can always dream Mom and Dad) in kid's bag.

Kid says, "Thank you" and runs back to waiting parent/car.

Throw in a few exclamations from some nice old lady about how cute they look, maybe one or two sashays by your excited kid, and you've pretty much got the scene right there.

Wanting to watch it all go down in all its repetitive glory makes you normal. And a pretty good parent. It's their day, you want to be involved! Good for you!

But if there are two parents out there taking in the whole scene, who's at home helping the other kids on their path to a sugar high? You're denying another parent the pleasure of walking their kid up to your doorstep and letting them shriek trick or treat in the high pitch only a 3-year-old can still reach.

It's time to take turns, folks. Or run out for the first house with your camera in hand, then hightail it home to turn the light on and let the neighborhood know you give as good as you get when it comes to haunting the town.

Would you rather be the candy giver or the chaperon?

Image via A Forest Frolic/Flickr

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