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Trick or Treat … or mixed messages?

It is interesting the role of parent, often the one thing that comes up in advice to new parents is consistency. As parents, not sending mixed message is important. I try to work with my ex-partner to ensure we are consistent in approach.

So this week on Monday the news was full of the need to get Stranger Danger on the national curriculum. ITV Daybreak were showing a video of how many children are unaware of the dangers and that we need to look at what is a stranger from a child’s point of view. I cannot fault this advice, we need to ensure the safety of our children. 

This was in the same week they featured Halloween and Trick or Treating, a time when children go to houses of strangers, knock on the door and accept sweets. Is it just me or am I the only person who sees this as slightly ironic?

As I write this, last night was Halloween and I went out with my youngest a 6 year old, both of us dressed up. My eldest stayed at home with my partner and scared trick or treaters and gave out sweets. The feedback from home was good, but the number of younger children without supervision was surprising, I saw them randomly knocking on doors without a care in the world.

As a responsible parent I was with my child, we had rules, only houses that had pumpkins outside and decorations and we talked about not going to the door alone and that if he was nervous or sacred I was there. Every time he was offered sweets he would ask me if it is okay. We also talked about strangers and not talking sweets from people he doesn’t know.

Now perhaps you could argue I was over protective, you could say having him checking with me if taking sweets was ok might have be overkill, but I have been consistent in my approach. I wish that perhaps TV companies and media outlets could consider the bigger picture and some consistency in the messages presented in the news and then in social/lifestyle programming. It would make my job as a parent a little easier.

Then again isn’t that the joy of parenting, finding your own way through, trying  to be consistent with our children, but also realising it may not always be possible and presenting facts to our children in the best way we know how. For me the joy comes from the hardest part for any parent – sometimes letting your children know you don’t always have all the answers.

If you can’t wait till the next blog you follow me on twitter @marcdominic, but till then be safe.



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