Trick or Treat! It’s a common phrase we hear over and over on the night of October 31st. Halloween is full of ghouls, skeletons, costumes and candy. Kids fixate on the perfect costume to run house to house and collect their treats. But if you are part of my family, things look a bit different.
My now 9 year old does not like Halloween nor does he want much to do with any of the festivities. This was a hard concept for me to grasp for the longest time. When each year he said he didn’t want to go trick or treating and I made him dress up (usually as an athlete of some sort to try to get him excited about it) and just “try” it. He would hit 2 houses and refuse to do anymore. Why? Because, if you look around on Halloween, it is totally creepy. He hates the masks, scary noises in yards and all the weird looking costumes. Maybe not to some, but to my kid it is the worst. What’s worse than Halloween? Me making my kid trick or treat because ‘its what you do’!
UGH. Me: hands in face….
Why all the pressure to do what is viewed as ‘the norm’? Is it family FOMO? If my family isn’t trick or treating (or insert whatever you may or may not do) – what are we missing — what is my kid missing out on? Honestly – nothing. You’re not missing out on anything because if you (or your kid) have your own beliefs and make your own rules, that’s what you follow, not anyone else’s. You do you.
It took me some time (like a couple years) to understand this and be okay with it. Once I figured out this mom fail out, which, by the way, I don’t love that term -‘mom fail’. It’s only failure if you don’t do anything about it, grow from it, learn from it. It’s more of a mom fall…you can have trips or nose dives but you always get back up, you don’t just lie there helpless and you can bet you won’t ever have the same exact tumble. So, as I was saying, after my mom fall – life is a little bit more stress free because I actually listen to my kids and don’t feel like I have to give into the social pressure, which can be real easy in our society.
As it turns out, by listening to my kids, I’m teaching them to listen to their intuition and if something doesn’t feel right, simply don’t do it. Big lessons over here, for me.
So, this year you’ll find my son spending Halloween like it is any other day. No pressure, no stress, no costumes.
Do you have any holiday alternatives that your family has created? I would love to hear all the great unique family traditions that you have made.