“It’s just a little scary these days,” Barbara reminisced reflecting on her childhood days of knocking on neighbor’s doors and being allowed to yell, “Trick or Treat.”

“But that was another time,” Dave, her husband, was quick to add to the conversation in his way of a beginning answer to my question – “Will your kids be trick or treating this year?”

The couple with two children ages 7 and 9 live in an upscale neighborhood which they like to think is a safe-haven.

What is a safe haven?

They both agreed on the concept of safe meaning there have been no house invasions, well, what used to be called burglaries.

They said family walks in the evenings are a regular activity for the locals with well-behaved dogs on leashes, kids sometimes on their bicycles and little ones in strollers or on tricycles.

Dave and Barbara paid a lot of money for their tri-level home in an upscale and safe neighborhood so what’s the scary part when it comes to dressing their kids in costumes and letting them carry a jack o’lantern and knock on the neighbor’s doors and gather up lots of candy?

Barbara bemoaned the fact that they don’t live in a gated community so part of her fear was centered on “just who” might pick their safe-haven as the place to drive to for trick or treating.

Good point! Parents have been known to pack up their kids and drive to a place where the “candy-take” for the night would be more lucrative than in the less affluent part of town where they live.

Dave and Barbara said they considered taking their kids to a Halloween Fest at a nearby recreation center BUT once again they were haunted by the concern of not knowing who the other children and parents would be.

Scary movies on the giant screen TV in their home entertainment room was a thought they dismissed fairly quickly even though treats galore would be on every table in the room.

“No kid wants to be isolated on Halloween Night and stuck with parents who aren’t that much fun,” was the reasoning that got a thumbs down for this possibility.

Gated communities may well have residents who dwell within them who aren’t who we’d call the safest of people.

How often have we heard up-scale residents say on a news report, when a crime has been committed where they live, “ I can’t believe this happened, here!”

Dave and Barbara, like every parent, have a lot to consider in planning tonight’s pumpkin and candy celebration.

Whatever choice is made kids don’t belong out there without a parent by their side.

  • Knocking on doors? Parents must be at that door with their kid
  • No eating the goodies until they arrive back at home to be inspected.
  • Every parent must keep their eyes wide open for anyone in a costume or not in one, who just doesn’t seem okay.
  • There are many list available for having a safe Halloween.
    Barbara and Dave resurrected the entertainment room with lots of candy and junk food idea BUT added an invitation to 10 kids and their parents to join the festivities that will include costume judging and a scary story contest.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jean C. Troy

    I think Barbara and Dave are silly. Their problems are middle class worries. If you truly live in a neighborhood you should know your neighbors. Doesn’t the nine year old attend class with some of the children who live in their area? I agree That we need to follow safety precautions and while my kids were growing up they never went alone. But we knew our neighbors and our children participated on our block and we had lots of safe fun. My biggest worries were that the children would dart into the street and get hit by a car. As to the children being driven into a neighborhood, most of them are just kids and are not dangerous. Teach your children to be cautious but with you by their side they should have fun

  2. Bill


    How appropriate your blog is,for this particular night. Even though thoughts should be about—–celebrating, trick or treating, goodies to eat, parties and old fashioned neighborhood camaraderie; all of the points that you brought about should be adhered to, by responsible-minded parents & relatives. While our world is much harsher now, when my brother and I were kids, our mom had the SAME STANDARDS/RULES/CONCERNS BACK IN THE DAY;as you were discussing now.
    Well, since I have now effectively conveyed that I’m an “ol’ dinosaur;” I am SO GRATEFUL THAT WE HAD SUCH A WONDERFUL, SUPPORTIVE MOM (and family)during our formative years…and even into adulthood. I wish that ALL kids had parents with great parenting skills! NOW, THAT WOULD BE THE BEST TREAT! But then again, for those kids who are not as fortunate—-that is WHY GOD CREATED YOU,SHIRLEE! YOU ARE DEFINITELY A MOTHER TO ALL KIDS…AND A “COUNSELING ANGEL” TO ALL PARENTS, WHOM ARE IN NEED OF “A LITTLE MORE HELP.” HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN TO EVERYONE!
    —–Bill Allen, Jr.,
    p.s. I’m glad that the parents in your story had a Halloween party for the kids AND their parents (so the parents could monitor their own children)…in their own, decorated home.

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