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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Helpful Halloween Lies

Halloween can bring up a lot of questions from little kids, questions you may not be ready to answer quite yet. Of course you’re going to come clean on all this stuff, eventually, but in the meantime, while your kid is still a toddler or pre-schooler?
LIE.Halloween lies
*Note: I think lying to our children is the absolute worst thing we can possibly do and I believe honesty is one of the most important traits to model and impart…except when it comes to preserving their innocence. In that case, I say throw truth right out the window and watch it take flight. Our munchkins only get to be naïve about the horrors of existence for such a short time; we might as well do what we can to maintain that.
So here are some quick comebacks to have ready when your little tykes ask the tough, uncomfortable questions this Halloween season.
Blood? Oh, that’s just ketchup! She must have eaten French fries for lunch. She probably should have used a napkin, don’t you think? <Conveniently, this serves as a nice, use-your-napkin morality tale.>
Gravestones? Oh, those are…um…story rocks. Each one tells a story about someone’s life and family. Yes, that whole hillside on the way into town is filled with story rocks. <Note that, while this isn’t of course the whole truth, it isn’t completely lying, either. >
Mummies? Those look like towels wrapped around him, don’t you think? He must have just gotten out of the bathtub. Or maybe he just got a massage! One time, Mommy got a gift certificate for a spa and there was a eucalyptus-scented steam room that was so relaxing… <insert full-day spa fantasy including facial and pedicure…>
Witches? She’s just making soup, Honey, very hot soup. I think it’s pretty spicy. <If you don’t want your kid to have nightmares, do not accidentally mention that the contents of that caldron could also turn overly-curious children into seven-eyed toads that never ever turn back. But you could add: “And she takes that broom everywhere so she can clean up after herself. Isn’t that so considerate?”>
Ghosts? No, no, no, ghosts aren’t scary. They’re just really good dancers. When they say BOO!! What they really mean is, “Boo you want to dance?” Come on! Dance with me! <Do not expect child to dance with you.>
Monsters: Oh, I think he’s actually a nice guy most of the time, but he ate too much candy. He’s just cranky because his tummy hurts. <If you’re feeling really bold, this could be your opportunity to confiscate at least some portion of the junk food that has come into your child’s possession i.e. “you don’t want your tummy to hurt like that do you?”>
Vampires? Oh, yeah, they looooove ketchup (see above.) They eat it on everything, even on their tomatoes! Isn’t that crazy? Those extra-pointy teeth are just for opening packages – you know, just like Mommy did last night with that stubborn bag of pretzels. In fact, those pointy teeth would come in really handy sometimes. <Make sure to omit part about drinking human blood.>
Zombies? No, zombies aren’t dead! They’re just extremely tired. They must not have taken their nap yesterday. Maybe they didn’t run around the playground enough to get their energy out like their Mommies suggested. <As a matter of fact, you can bring almost everything back to naps. As in: “Those huge cobwebs are where spiders take their naps.” And: “Bats like to nap alllll day long, they’re really good nappers, in fact, champion nappers, the best nappers in the universe. The next time you see a bat, you should congratulate him on his napping talents.”>
As you can see, if we spin it the right way, Halloween can teach us a lot of lessons. While many of the questions our kids ask us (really, all year round) are indeed terrifying, they are also an opportunity to get…extremely creative. Happy Halloween!

Freelance writer and author Jocelyn Jane CoxJocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave Zornow reports on the Great State of Parenthood with advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need every other week in the Chronicles of Parenting. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.

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