When I wrote "Little Girls Should Not Look Like Hookers for Halloween" last year, there was a flurry of comments about sexualizing girls via Halloween costumes. Not one commenter said "Hey I'd buy those fishnets and that corset for my 10 year old." So if no one is buying them then why are sexy tween girl costumes still on store shelves?!
Just look at what we - consumers - can buy...
Alice in Wonderland
But doesn't Alice look like this?...
But doesn't she look like this?...
But don't doctors look like this?...
Who are marketers marketing to - with thigh-high costumes for tween girls? Parents, we own what we buy...and what we allow our girls to buy into...
Easy, fast and FREE the internet is full of Halloween printables for your kids. You don't need to be Martha Stewart to decorate your house for Halloween - you just need to visit her site...and others like it...which have tons of ready to print activities for your kids.
Martha has a great creepy mice printable which you can print out and have the kids cut out. Tape them to the stairs, neer a floorboard or have them crawling up the walls.
The HP Halloween landing page will take you to many different Halloween craft pages such as THIS colouring page and THIS connect the dot page (great for pre-schoolers).
One of my favourite bookmarked pages for kids colouring is Hugo L'escargot (it's a French page which is great for kids learning French but also has an abundance of colouring pages). Hugo's Halloween page is full of non-scary, kid-friendly colouring and craft printables.
And check out kaboose.com Halloween for free colouring pages, pumpkin stencils and kids' crafts (they even have videos to watch if you prefer visuals on making kids' crafts).
And if you swing over to HGTV.ca and search amongst the ghoulish Halloween tips - you'll find an article I wrote on 8 Haunted House Ideas - which are super-kid friendly and re-purposes stuff you have around the house into hauntingly good Halloween kids-crafts.
I was recently asked if I had seen the video of the 2-year-old Chinese girl being run over by two different vehicles while passerby's walked past doing nothing., "Yes, I've heard of it" I responded., "What happened to the little girl?!" my daughter asked. Even if you don't watch viral videos...they come into the home...and what's a parent to do?
Now first - I haven't watched that video. I won't watch that video. The link above is to the Yahoo news page noting that the girl died from the hit and run. I direct you to the reporting of her death - despite the fact that Yahoo decided to run the video on the same page. I ask you not to click it. Let's not spread voyeurism.
Secondly, my daughter - as mentioned above - overheard about the video and the 2-year-old. And what did she say next? "Gaddafi dies - that's ok - but why should a 2-year-old die?" Bad on me. I was watching CNN last night as Anderson Cooper was reporting of Muammar Gaddafi's death (and repeatedly looped the video of his beat and then dead body). Apparently, my 15 minutes of nightly news watching - spreads voyeurism in my own home.
How do you protect your kids from "if it bleeds it leads" viral videos when they become part of news (or pop culture).
I was mortified, at a play date, when my daughters started YouTube-ing killer Koolaid videos (the kool aid guy goes on a rampage murdering anyone who doesn't drink Koolaid). The play date friend got scared. I got angry. "How do you know about killer Koolaid?!" I asked. "Kids on the school bus told me..." was the answer., Argh...even the school bus spreads morbid video these days.
Morbid viral videos should not get your precious viewing time.
Want a viral video to watch? Want to be part of something that is spreading like wildfire? Watch this viral video. With your kids. And then spread it on your Facebook status.
You have the power to chose which viral videos you watch (and which ones your kids overhear you talking about). Chose wisely. I, myself, will not be watching CNN while the kids are in the room any more. Sorry Anderson but it's a parenting choice.
Caroline is the in-house "Activity Mummy" to 3 busy kids (aged big kid to baby). Field trip volunteer, play date host, cooking with kids supervisor, arts & crafts creator and owner of the funnest yard on the block - Caroline is always coming up with something for kids to do (with or without parental involvement). Just in the Nick of Time.
A popular freelance writer, Caroline's parenting and lifetstyle features can be read in-print and on-line (just google her).
Follow Caroline on Twitter: @parentclub (Confession: She tweets during field trips...doesn't everyone?)