Trick or Treat is something I loved as a kid but lets face it, the world these days seems much more scary and from a parent perspective, especially of Black children it is a scary prospect to send them out on the dark streets going door to door. I am absolutely certain that Black whilst trick and treating is one of the terrible offensive crimes that will be committed this year (sarcasm!)!
Anyway, I want to keep this serious but positive at the same time and provide some tips and food for thought for letting our little stars out to have fun but keeping them safe at the same time, honestly it saddens me to write this but we know how bad things are.
We’d also love your input and thoughts so we can make this a much bigger conversation! So please comment below and share this far and wide on social media.
1. Consider costumes wisely, no guns!
Kids love playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, action heroes, and whilst these costumes used to be top on the list we simply can’t let our kids out there with ANYTHING resembling a gun! Swords should probably be off limits too so even though there are plenty of superhero choices make sure they are weaponless. I know this seems extreme but there are plenty of amazing choices.
I LOVE to encourage kids to dress up as their Black heroes and load themselves with knowledge about that person. Angela Davis with her iconic afro, MLK with his mostache! If the kid can give a brief history of who they are they will feel empowered in their costume and like a real superstar!
PS. If you are reading this and you are White, your kids can ALSO dress up as Black icons BUT be tactful. This kid dressing up as his hero Malcolm X from a few years ago was DOPE!
2. Stay in the neigborhood and let each other know the kids will be out tonight
Once a kid gets their first bounty they want to wander, they want to try every new neighborhood and street! But let’s keep this local. If everyone just makes sure they are aware the kids will be out tonight they will also be ready and waiting with plenty of goods!
3. Make sure older teens are dressed up too!
It is not abnormal to ask your older teen or a teen from the street to accompany the younger kids on their rounds, however make sure the fun is continued with them and they dress up (silly) too! They will have MUCH more fun and maybe the young ones will even spare them some candy!
4. Have a few dressed up parents to jump out and scare (keep en eye on) the kids on route!
It can be a fun night for parents too, they can be stationed on route, ready to jump out and scare, and keep an eye on the kids and let them roam a bit more free if the neigborhood is small!
5. Use the candy stash as a teaching tool
Another aspect of safety for our kids is health! Bad habits can form from letting kids stuff their faces and having this much candy suddenly available is going to drive your kids wild!
This is a perfect time to talk about a few subjects, health, savings and economics! Work out a plan for saving some of the candy and eating it on a self reward basis and help the kid realise they can make their windfall last weeks!