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Non-participants should not be subject to criticism

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 9:06 a.m. CDT

Halloween is such a great time of the year, especially for the kids to go out and learn about the different things involved with the holiday.

Whether it be learning about ghosts and goblins, or carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, kids learn about the fun and “spookiness” that goes along with Halloween.  I always enjoyed this time of the year with my children (who are now grown) and the time we spent together, especially when we went “trick-or-treating.

The one thing I stressed to them was to know the rules about trick-or-treating and to show proper respect when visiting a house. They learned the rule that if a front light is off, don’t knock because no one is home (or participating), and if they accidentally ring a bell of someone who is not participating, to be polite and offer an apology.

For the few years I went with them, I made sure they were polite and respectful and made sure to show by example so they knew what they should do.  (Yes, kids being kids, I’m sure mine had their moments when they went alone and were mischievous, they were kids.)

So saying that, why is it so difficult for some parents/adults to remember something as simple as following the rules and being polite these days. I feel sorry for the father of the child I spoke with after he decided to insult my wife and I for not participating in trick-or-treat this year.

The choice and reason was ours to make, and we provided a note at the door and turned out the lights to ensure the kids would know we weren’t participating.  But yet, they allowed their kids to approach the house, ring the door bell and to even open the screen door and repeatedly knock on the door until we approached.

After informing them we were not participating, it was a surprise to be insulted by the father for not having any candy, and for him, when approached one-on-one to be offered a polite explanation and asked for one in return, for him to continue the verbal insults and cursing at us in front of their kids and the kids of other people who were around.

I truly hope that this father takes a step back and realizes the importance of trick-or-treat, and realizes that it is a privilege and not a right for people to participate.

I am sure he will be telling his friends about how we were rude about not having candy, and that we were rude to confront him, but yet he won’t include the facts about his behavior and the inability to “follow the rules” of trick-or-treating when it comes to homes that don’t participate.

My intent is to share this story with future trick-or-treaters and to help remind parents to know and understand the rules that go with this tradition. Please help everyone to make this enjoyable and teach kids to be good trick-or-treaters and not to set poor examples.

And by the way, we didn’t participate due to having a sick child at home and others coming off the illness and not wanting to expose anyone else to it. Guilty of being considerate.. lol.

Happy Halloween.

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