Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's Talk: "I Ate Your Halloween Candy"

So I recently watched the video being passed around the Internet that's a supercut of parents taking all of their kids' Halloween candy while they're asleep, hiding it, and then telling the kids the next day "we were hungry, so we ate it all."

While recording it.

I'd link the video, but honestly, I don't want to get it any more views.

Here's the part that bothers me:

The parents in these videos are, quite simply put, monsters.  Not the terrible monsters of people who abuse their kids, starve them, or do other things that leave kids in therapy for the rest of their lives...but seriously.  Who gets enjoyment from making their own children cry?

A lot of the children in this video look really young.  Some are still at that age that I describe as "not knowing the difference between truth and not-truth."  If their parent tells them something, they believe it.  If their parents tell them how something works or why the universe is a certain way, that's what they accept.

Now, a child also doesn't realize that if you're recording them you're hoping for a reaction.  You're not wasting your precious, precious battery life to see them sniffle with big puppy dog eyes and ask in a tiny voice "why?"

So, when you take their candy, something that you are fully aware they were excited to gather- you know, let's look deeper into that.  Sure, kids love candy, but what I mostly remember about one particular Halloween (other than a terrible little girl who failed at basic simian biology) was how excited I was to be out doing it on my own.

When I hand out candy, that's the big thing I see with a lot of children, even small ones.  Their parents aren't standing directly behind them saying "trick or treat" for them (unless they're really shy).  It's the child doing the asking.  It's the child in the costume, living the holiday and getting a reward for going through the ritual.  The candy is a reward for being outgoing and brave enough to face the night, and let's face it, nights are terrifying things on every level.

The candy is a badge of honor.  When I was little, I remember kids who had more wouldn't brag about the amount of candy, but about the fact that they went to more houses.  They were obviously braver or had more freedoms, and we were jealous about how far they got to travel, that their parents let them stay out later.

At least, that's how I remember feeling when a kid would come in bragging about having a pillowcase full of candy.  "Wow, he got to go EVERYWHERE."

Maybe I'm just different from other kids.

But let's assume I'm not.  The next morning, my badge of honor, the proof that I had, in some small way, shown that I could do something by myself (even if my parent was twenty feet back waving at the people in the doorway), was gone.  My parents admit "oh, yeah, we ate it.  Because it's meaningless.  Who cares if it was something you really valued?"

It'd be one thing if they tried the "switch witch" thing on their kids, though I still have issues with that, as well.  It'd be another thing if they had a shredded up bag somewhere and claimed "Oh my goodness, a badger/wolf/Tasmanian devil must have gotten in and ate all the candy!"  That would be different, because it wouldn't be the parent indicating to the child "I don't care if you valued that."

See, telling a child that "I took something of yours without asking because I wanted it and didn't care that it was yours" is something a bully does.  These kids aren't emotionally prepared for a prank like that from someone they trust.  Go find one of the videos and watch as kids completely fall apart emotionally.  Their bodies and emotions simply aren't equipped to handle something like that.  It's the equivalent of telling them that Santa doesn't exist and then pushing them into the mud.

Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but somehow I suspect that if these videos continue, it won't be long before Jimmy Kimmel is airing "Oh, yeah, I sold all of your Christmas presents after Santa dropped them off so I could get some new light bulbs for the bathroom" or "We took all of the Easter Bunny's eggs that you gathered and threw them away because the fridge was full.  Oh, and we ate your Easter basket.  Even the fake grass."

Maybe it's just me, and maybe my knowledge of being a parent is just sincerely lacking because I don't have any kids of my own, but when did we become a culture that believes it's okay for a parent to intentionally try to make their kids cry so it can be recorded and shared across the country?  If someone I knew told me "Oh, yeah, I did that to my kid, you should've seen him cry" I'd look at him like I had no idea who he was any more, because that wouldn't be the kind of person I would want to know.

(Side note, I did find one child's reaction interesting.  A young girl, being told that her parents were hungry, replies with a stressed out "SO EAT AN APPLE."  That's a girl who's realized that her parents are not only bad people for taking her candy, but they're also hypocrites, because "eat an apple instead of candy" is not something that a child comes up with on their own.  That's something they're taught.)

1 comment:

TheLastOutlaw said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks those videos aren't funny.