Readers -- wouldn't it be great if somehow kids could spend a day (or night!) getting a tiny taste of what it means to be an adult? It would be a hands-on learning experience.
They would have to dress up like an adult -- whatever career they dream of. Then they'd have to go outside without their parents, just like an adult. They'd have to do a job, because that's what adults do. What job?
Maybe sales. They'd cold call on folks, and get paid on commission. The more deals they closed, the more they'd make. And they'd have to get themselves from sales call to sales call, because adults don't have parents driving them everywhere. They might even have to be on the road in the cold, or the dark, which could be a little scary at first, but boy would they feel proud of themselves!
The next day, they'd go back to being kids again. But they'd carry with them the memory of the night they were BIG and brave. It would be a new layer of confidence in facing the unknown, and conquering fear.
They'd see that the world is their oyster. If they're shy or anxious, this would be a kind of "exposure therapy" that could help. And as an added bonus, they'd get to know their neighborhood -- and their neighbors. Suddenly they aren't babies, they are full-fledged people who belong out and about! To ensure all that social-emotional growth, it would make sense to have a national Practice Being an Adult Day.
And we do.
It's Oct. 31.
Resist the pressure to turn it into a totally adult-run, let-us-handle-it, I'll-ring-the-doorbell-for-you experience.
Let them go out with a gaggle of friends, unchaperoned, at whatever age you did. Remember: The crime rate is at about a 50-year low. And contrary to urban myth, there is no uptick in sex crimes against kids on Halloween. The only thing kids really need to learn is to look both ways before crossing the street. And they should wear something reflective, so cars can see them.
Think of Halloween as a one-night "adulting" class you are enrolling your kids in. Free! (Except you might insist on a bite-size Snickers or two as an "activities fee.") - L