Wednesday, 25 October 2017

On using special occasions to confuse children

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently, which is never safe. This particular thinking session was triggered by the assault of Halloween and Christmas products in the shops at the moment, and the firework displays which began a month in advance of fireworks night. It seems that on these special occasions, we ditch all our beliefs and inhibitions - fine for adults, but somewhat confusing for children. Think about it:


What we tell them the rest of the year:
  • Always be yourself
  • Be a good person
  • Don't take sweets from strangers
  • Don't go knocking on strangers' doors
  • Don't do anything that might get you arrested
  • Don't waste food
What we tell them on Halloween:
  • Pretend to be someone else, preferably someone really bad
  • Knock on strangers' doors after dark, asking for sweets
  • If they don't give you sweets, egg their house or cover their car with toilet roll
  • Waste a whole pumpkin that could feed a family for a week by chopping it up to make a lantern


What we tell them the rest of the year:
  • Don't take presents from strangers
  • Don't talk to strangers
  • We're not going to bribe you to do as you're told
  • Sweets and chocolate are occasional treats, not everyday food
  • Drinking alcohol is bad
Sure, invite this guy into your house while you're sleeping.

What we tell them at Christmas:
  • Go and sit on that strange, bearded man's lap while we take a photo
  • Write him a letter inviting him into our house while we're asleep. Perhaps feed him with a mince pie or two while he's here
  • Do as you're told or Santa won't come
  • Have some chocolate everyday for a month, in the build up to a day when you'll eat more chocolate than you do in the rest of the year combined
  • Sit and watch while Grandma gets tiddly on sherry

Fireworks Night

We're going to celebrate a massive terrorism plot which would have wiped out the constitutional epicentre of our country.

(Pedant's note: I know we're not celebrating the actual terrorism plot, rather the fact that it was stopped, but surely No Terrorism is the very baseline at which a country should exist - a sensitive topic at present, I know - rather than something to celebrate?).

The Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy probably doesn't look like this, but why risk it?
Where do I start? You're basically encouraging kids to sell off parts of their bodies from a young age. From a tooth, it's a slippery slope to a kidney, a limb, and finally, a soul. To the devil.

New Year and birthdays

Another year closer to death, son.

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