Russ Brown

Children's Author

upright pops

Make it an appropriate half term "horror"day!

By russbrownauthor, Oct 23 2011 12:01PM

I am writing this blog posting from a strange place, not physically but mentally. As most of you know I get the majority of my readers through social media and over 2500 readers of the last post showed that I am hitting the correct note with most of you. However I have had one person state that I over post on my feeds and blog and that I do not have anything constructive to say. I therefore took onboard all that this person said sat down and wrote a blog post, :) if they don't like what I say they don't have to read it simples! So here goes....


I'm not a misery and children enjoying themselves, is the reason I love teaching, I like the idea that the children I teach learn safely and in a fashion which is suitable to their age. So it is with some trepidation that this time of year has come around again. I am not religious and do not worry too much about the faith based logic behind Halloween because to be honest I see it as a children’s celebration similar to the day of the dead in Mexico and other European countries. But I cannot say I completely feel comfortable with the UK interpretation of Halloween, I enjoy the idea of children dressing up and families going door to door in appropriate costumes and eating sweets and bobbing for apples but my experience is moving further and further away from that image.


The all-American tradition of Halloween is a great one and appears to work well for my friends over the pond. I have been in America in the Halloween season and it is run with perfection, Trick or Treating is timed and allows parents and children to have fun in the manner in which it is accustomed with toilet papering perhaps the worst thing to happen.


Also if you believe all of the red-topped UK newspapers then you would be led to think that in the UK it is now ok for gangs of teens to be given free licence to terrorise our streets for one night and basically do whatever they like. I know this happens because if it did not then the Police would not spend this time every year reminding Primary aged children about what is expected of them and to tell them to “ignore” any bad behaviour they see from older children.


It does appear the celebration has taken a somewhat more sinister turn. The costumes are gorier and contain much more adult based characters in sizes for children, surely that should ring alarm bells, but it does mean that those costumes must sell. There is also the idea of buying costumes, most children expect a new, better than the year before, costume the days of creating a ghost costume out of a white sheet are long gone! I also question the validity of Trick or Treating over here. I have heard children clearly state that they expect money rather than sweets and if the house owner doesn’t give them it they will egg or flour their house! Is this not demanding with menaces?


I love the tradition of Halloween and enjoy the concepts of children being given the streets back with parental support. Add to that the excitement of being out in the dark, wearing a creepy or creative costume and getting sweets is the stuff that many children dream about. We live in a world whereby parents are often scared of letting their children out, we often don’t know the names of our closest neighbours and see fear around every corner, but for one night a year we should allow the children to be scared and create good memories.


I think here in the UK Halloween only doesn’t work properly because of lazy parents, go out with your children, go door to door with them, dress up for them and enjoy yourself just a little bit. If more and more of us did this then surely it would rapidly become uncool for the older children to do and so the celebration would return to what it was originally planned to be a night where we eat that many sweets we get belly ache!


Thanks for reading and enjoy Halloween!


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