If your house is anything like ours, we started hearing about what our boys wanted to be for Halloween somewhere around New Years. But now it is here, and even I’m beginning to get geared up. Halloween has changed a lot since I was our boys’ age. We roamed in packs house to house, from the time school let out until past dark. We would hear about mythical houses somewhere blocks away giving out full size Snickers and wonder if we should take the journey. We huddled at the end of the driveway seeing if anyone had the guts to knock on the well decorated “House of Terror”. Usually, it wasn’t worth the risk.
It was the neighborhood we played in everyday, just with a spookier slant. Even the universal parent warning of razor blades hidden in popcorn balls felt like part of the game. It was thrilling. (I always felt bad for the lady that made the popcorn balls on our block. Not only did they not compete against chocolate and nougat, they were the first plucked and tossed in the trash for safety considerations.)
We could debate what has caused the change since then, but with children and parents less comfortable in their own neighborhoods the biggest victim has to be Halloween. I mean, parents take their kids to the mall for Halloween! That makes me a little ill. Something about my six year old kids getting candy from the low-rise staff of Abercrombee and Fitch really creeps me out. And not in a good way.
So my suggestion for this Halloween is to start rebuilding what once existed. We need to reestablish our connections with our neighbors. How? A Haunted Open House. Get an invitation out to all the local neighbors to come on by, kids or not. Get movement happening again. Make it quick, just a stop in a stroll on Halloween night. No more hiding inside with the lights out hoping the TV light of CSI doesn’t give them away. Enjoy the lights outside, the costumes, the fun. Ply them with liquor if necessary. Dry ice punch can do wonders. Most importantly, let’s teach our children about interaction with others by our own example. Halloween is the ideal time for kids and parents alike to embrace our fears and enjoy the thrill that comes around each corner.
Here’s some ideas around the web for hosting your own Haunted Open House:
Dry Ice Halloween Punch
Halloween Party Ideas
Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes
In the never-ending and possibly futile race to keep up with our children’s technology, I am always looking for an advantage. Sometimes it is simply learning how to upload photos in new software, other times it is making sure my children understand their online responsibility and safety. In this case, one tool that can help is an educational app designed to simulate a social network, while teaching correct behavior and how to deal with online pitfalls.
‘BeSeen’ is a single-player game that simulates a social networking site where players create a profile and travel through a condensed school-year, with each game day equaling a fraction of a minute in real life. To earn awards, the player must make positive choices when presented with challenging
Continue Reading ‘Be Seen’ App Teaches Online Safety
Ah, the first day back to school. The clothes to wear, the new lunchbox, the friends and rivals gone missing for three months. New classroom, new teacher, new school. These are just some of the things students stress over from kindergarten through the rest of their academic career. A child’s anxiety over these first-day details inevitably leads to stress for us as well. So what is the best way to deal with the nerves on both sides? Here are some of my favorite tips to make the transition run smoothly.
Many schools have open house days before the school year begins. Take take advantage of these and take a tour with your children. Knowing where to go the first day is
Continue Reading Dealing with Back to School Nerves
Jennifer L. Jacobsen, director of PR and Social Media for the electronics review blog, Retrevo.com, has compiled some interesting statistics regarding how us parents use social media in our daily lives. The respondents in the study consisted of over 1,000 online individuals in June of 2011, compiled by an independent panel.
The study found:
18% of parents say they feel like they couldn’t stop using Facebook/Twitter even if they wanted to.
47% of parents of kids under 19 say they’ve used Facebook to learn more about their kid’s friends.
iPhone owning parents (iParents) are twice as likely (28%) to get anxious when they don’t check Facebook/Twitter as most parents (14%).
Dads are more likely (13%) to
Continue Reading Move Over Helicopter Parents: “IParents” Are Here
Ah, the elusive parent workout. How do we stay motivated with shifting schedules and the obvious distractions that children bring? How do we get it in without feeling that we are sacrificing time with our children? Without nearby family or choosing childcare to give us some free time, one of our biggest workout challenges as dads is when the kids are within earshot or closer.
The first option is the home gym. It is available right when you need it, perfect for the unpredictable schedule. Before wake up, during nap, after bedtime, it’s there. And it can take as much or as little space as you’d like. An entire core workout can be built around a Swiss Ball and some
Continue Reading Staying Motivated: Workouts for Parents