When Hippie Parenting Fails

So a few years ago I had this clever idea that I would save all the various random toys that come into the house, get played with for five minutes, and then just clutter up my life by throwing them into a bag and giving them away at Halloween. Not candy! Environmentally better than just tossing them (if less admirable than not acquiring them in the first place, but what can you do)! Clever!

Of course, I never actually *remembered* to drag out the bag, or if I did, I couldn’t find it, right? But this year, I saw the bag and it’s all ready to go.

Only, HITCH. Pseudonymous Kid is now old enough that he has FIRM OPINIONS on the complete and utter lousiness of this plan. “Mama. Kids HATE the people that give out non-candy crap. And no, you cannot give out sugar-free gum this year, either. Kids want CANDY.” He even tried to talk me out of the $20 worth of ETHICALLY SOURCED NON-SLAVE-LABOR CHOCOLATES* I bought yesterday at the overpriced “health food” grocery store, finally relenting by grudgingly insisting that I could buy that chocolate to give out, but that I would also be required to buy a bag of almond joys and reese’s for us to eat.

Only Almond Joy and Reese’s are both Hershey products, and Hershey is sucky on the chid-slave-labor front. I’m trying to talk him into a homeschool cooking project to make them at home. He is intrigued by the idea of making them for ourselves, but, on realizing that I was not proposing whipping up a ton of these to hand out to every kid that comes to the door but rather proposing to hand out the health-food-store chocolates, he reverted to “NO. You will hand out the regular, unhealthy, bad-for-the-environment stuff. Or the kids will hate you.”


*Endangered Species makes halloween-type chocolates–little individually-wrapped squares. And yes, they are much more expensive. Which is kind of the point.


16 responses to “When Hippie Parenting Fails

  • Aaron Potter (@TwoBodyProblem)

    What’s the hippie parent’s philosophy on what to do with the kid’s trick or treating loot? “Kid, these chocolates support slave labor. I’m doing you a favor by eating most of them.”

  • tedra

    I confess that once it comes into the house, I eat it. I mean, throwing it away doesn’t do anyone any favors. (I keep my hands off the first night unless he offers, which he is quite generous about doing, actually. Then I eat them while he is at school. Of course this year he isn’t GOING to school, so I’m going to be screwed.)

  • Tardis_blue (@tardis_blue)

    I have little trouble being hated for my unpopular beliefs and practices. This is a great opportunity for you to show him the strength of your principles, and stick to them in the face of popular pressure.
    And it is NOT true that all kids hate non-candy Halloween treats. Food allergy kids LOVE them, and are grateful somebody has something they can enjoy. Your toy idea is awesome. Usually it’s stuff like play-doh, which is made of wheat, or temporary tattoos, which have soy lecithin in them.

  • Christy

    I find geocaching a good way of convincing the kids to give up some of the random stuff. Of course it also introduces other random stuff into our house, but at least there’s a change of “stuff.” When I’m lucky we can leave more little toys than we take.

    It’s hard to balance the whole kids wanting to be normal kids and parents wanting to make changes. Its neat reading your account.

  • tedra

    @Tardis, Oh, I don’t really need to prove anything to PK, and he’s plenty resistant to popular pressure, believe me. I intend to offer both, in any case. In fact I may end up pitching toys into the bags of kids who choose chocolate…

  • tedra

    (In all honesty, PK is *far* less suceptible to peer pressure and the desire to be “normal” than I am. If anything, the pressure in my life is far more along the “omg you can’t possibly give kids *sugar-laden candy*” lines, which is part of where he’s coming from. :-) )

  • Russ Barnes

    Tell him you’re handing out condoms.

  • jo(e)

    I admit that when I was a kid, I hated the houses that handed out apples.

  • danny

    This could serve as a caution about going overboard on the pro-science learning. You don’t want all your life to be ruled by rationalist arguments grounded in observable realities. :7

  • Eleanor

    The ingredients are made with slave labour, but they’re put together by union labour:


    Hallowe’en with compromised principles: it’s trick AND treat.

  • max

    Pseudonymous Kid is now old enough that he has FIRM OPINIONS on the complete and utter lousiness of this plan.

    Old enough to join Future Pains in the Asses of America. And well done to him!

    he reverted to “NO. You will hand out the regular, unhealthy, bad-for-the-environment stuff. Or the kids will hate you.”

    The kid is right.


    At least he’s not trying to build catapults or raid mortuaries for bodies to leave on the front lawn or anything. (I know: weak.)

    In fact I may end up pitching toys into the bags of kids who choose chocolate…

    You still get trick or treaters? They seem to be extinct most places.

    Anyways, I say, go with the slave labor chocolate and tell the kids they have to pick a toy first before they get their (LOUDLY IDENTIFIED) slave labor chocolate.

    [‘At the end of the night you should have a big stack of toys and no chocolates. Science!’]

  • tedra

    Oh, Max, believe me. The kid has built catapults. We also have a ginormous potato cannon out back.

  • max

    1) Lucky bastard. (I didn’t have that kind of back yard.)

    2) But has he built giant dog and/or goat-throwing catapults?

    Maybe you could make a giant pinata full of toys. Then they can whack the hell of it once per kid. Winner gets everything.

    [‘{sings}… what if we give it away…?’]

  • Rana

    See, you’re thinking of this as the kids getting exposed to one good thing out of many bad things. That’s not necessarily the case.

    Speaking as a former kid who lived in a no-candy household, Halloween, Christmas and Easter were the _only_ time my brother and I got to eat that sort of stuff. So some parents’ forcing us to be “good” on one of the three days we were allowed to be “bad” – with our usually strict parents’ blessing – was met with the resentment it deserved. Better to just not hand out anything, than to hand out something with an unwanted moral attached.

  • Rana

    (And apologies for the late comment. It’s been one of those autumns.)

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