Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teen Screams for Halloween; Mom Fears Mischief Is Afoot

Dear Tazi:

Halloween is approaching, and my 14-year-old daughter has informed me she would like to go trick 'o' treating this year, after taking last year off because it was "too babyish". She says she misses it, and would like to go again before she gets "too old to get free candy". I can't help but be suspicious that her goal is not to trick 'o' treat, but to meet up with her friends and cause some Halloween trouble.

When I asked her point-blank if this was her plan, she flew off the handle and accused me of not trusting her. Tazi-Kat, she is 14; and I clearly remember the things I said and did to try and fool my parents when I was that age. My daughter does not seem the type to start trouble, but then neither did I when I was 14. I do not want to judge my daughter by my past behavior; but I do not want to allow her to pull the wool over my eyes, either. Any suggestions on a happy medium, Tazi?

Not the Wicked Witch!

Dear Not the Wicked Witch:

Fourteen is an age at which your daughter is being torn between two lives - the childhood that has slipped away from her and the adult world that is fast approaching. It is a difficult time to for anyone to navigate, especially the people going through it.

Fourteen is also a little too old to be trick 'o' treating, and my cat instincts tell me that your instincts are right on the money. A happy medium would be a compromise in the form of a Halloween get-together for your daughter and her friends. You do not have to host a party at your house, but do think of an activity that a group of 14-year-olds would enjoy, while keeping in mind that it is a weekend. Halloween is on a Friday this year, which means a weekend of mischief may be afoot for bored teens!

An evening of Rock 'n' Bowl is always fun, and I am certain the local alleys will have something going on for Halloween night. Roller-rinks can also be a great hang-out that will provide fun for all, and mischief for none. If you would like, you could also host a small gathering in your home (and provide lots and lots of Halloween candy, so your daughter does not feel deprived of her treats).

If, in the end, your daughter is adamant about going trick 'o' treating, check with your neighbors to see if any of them need a responsible teenaged girl to escort their younger children through the neighborhood; and exert your parental authority: let your daughter know that her options have all been presented, and she can take them - and spend an enjoyable Halloween with friends or trick 'o' treating, as she wanted - or leave them, and spend the night at home.


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