Parent Rap: 12 reasons to appreciate Halloween more than ever


In our tech-crazed world where virtual reality and texting trump, Halloween is as much of a celebration of connection as it is of witches, ghosts, goblins and candy.

Halloween is a welcome throwback to the times when real interactions were all that counted. It’s a standout celebration that is so popular it’s recognized in Europe, North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 

Halloween provides an entire dimension of fun that online gaming can’t come close to. It provokes all of our senses and alerts us to the possibility that we may encounter some hair-raising pranks and spooky fun. And unlike other “real” traditions that are not tech focused, today’s youth get excited about it. Seeing kids animated about a non-virtual activity — now that’s a treat in today’s tech driven times.

On Halloween we celebrate our kids’ and our own creativity through costumes, drawings, decorations, scary stories, Jack O Lantern carvings and creations of sweet treats. It’s a social holiday where interacting with others is an integral part of the festivities. It’s a fun holiday with haunted houses, creepy graveyards and mysterious mazes. And most important, Halloween can’t be celebrated without actual connection between people. Halloween requires participation in the flesh such as going outside and walking to houses and asking for candy, forcing interaction with friends and strangers, alike — a rarity these days!

Here are 12 reasons to why Halloween is more special than ever:

1. Family time. Families today have less and less time together. Halloween brings families together and offers a shared, exciting and fun traditional experience.

2. Active. Halloween is an active night. Trick or treating and going to a party requires energy and physical exercise. You can’t get candy without getting fresh air and walking.

3. Personal. Whether you are giving out candy or taking it, you have to communicate with others to participate. There will be no texting the words “trick or treat” – it must be done in person.

4. Creativity. When do people dress up in costumes any more if not for Halloween? Children used to pretend play in dress-up clothes. Today, video games like Webkins satisfy dress-up and pretend play needs.

5. Relaxation. In our highly sensitive world of monitoring and managing almost every activity and food morsel our children take in, Halloween is a time when many parents ease up and allow kids more freedom to splurge on silliness and candy. It’s one night where society and parents want kids to truly be kids.

6. No homework. This year Halloween falls on Saturday, but if it didn’t teachers who typically assign homework nightly wouldn’t ,and that’s a special day in and of itself!

7. Jokes. People still play jokes on each other during Halloween. The scary stories or booing neighbors or spooky pranks make the celebration more like the good old days where people were connected enough to care about practical jokes and making others laugh. Booing is always a good time where families go out and leave surprise treats at their neighbors’ houses while incognito.

8. Community. In many towns people trick or treat on one or a couple of streets and therefore people come together in ways that they typically don’t. People pitch in and donate candy to the streets that host the trick or treating. They decorate the town and they join together during the night to share costumes and Halloween fun. It’s an inclusive holiday that young and old and all cultures celebrate.

9. Bonfires. Halloween is perfect to reason to have a bonfire where people gather to share the warmth and tell stories and share traditions.

10. Anticipation. Is a holiday of great anticipation. How many of us enter Halloween without great excitement about the night ahead and who we will meet and what will transpire during the festivities and trick or treating? And there’s always the fun in wondering exactly how much candy we will get.

11. Sibling cooperation. Siblings who typically don’t get along enjoy trick or treating together and even trading their candy at the end of the night. Halloween is a happy time that brings out the best many siblings including cooperation and negotiation skills during candy swaps.

12. Halloween witch. Don’t forget about the Halloween witch. For those kids who are always looking to make a buck, the witch will buy back the candy, keeping the sugar damage to a one night as opposed to weeks.

Dr. Kate Roberts is a psychologist and parent coach on the North Shore. Questions can be directed,



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