You dirty rat, you killed my childhood

September 21st, 2014 · 92 comments

Sue in Northbrook, Illinois says that some 10 months after tricking her 6-year-old daughter with Jimmy Kimmel’s “I told my kids I ate all their Halloween candy” challenge, little Mia remembered the prank and, with a renewed sense of outrage, stormed off to express her anger in note form.

Mia’s mom notes that she’s normally referred to as “Mommy” by her daughter (and by her friends as “Sue”), so she knew she was in trouble when she saw this missive addressed to “Susan.”

Cupcakes are sweet like Mia. The ground is dirty like Susan. Why did you play the jolk [sic]

related: The Parent Tax

FILED UNDER: candy · Chicago · Halloween · kids · Mother-daughter notes

92 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Chinchillazilla

    Hell hath no fury like a child pretend-candyrobbed.

    Sep 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   zenvelo

    Her women folk

    are yucky like yolk

    Sep 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   havingfitz

    That child has excellent penmanship. I’m almost 40 and even when I print mine still looks like hieroglyphics. Her cupcake looks like it was dropped and sat on, but kudos on the handwriting, kiddo.

    Sep 22, 2014 at 3:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Joanne

      Quite advanced spelling for her age, too, or perhaps she asked someone else for help?

      Sep 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   deprogrammed

      The deformed cupcake represents her crushed hopes and dreams, and her disappointment in Susan. Baby girl has me howling.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Polyergeist

    I’d like to think that little Mia did not truly forget about the jolk for 10 months but rather she carefully calculated how long it would take for the guilt to fester and eat away at her mother before the time was right to deliver the final blow.

    Sep 22, 2014 at 4:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Polyergeist

      And apparently I’m going by “Polyergeist” now.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 4:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   The Elf

      The jolk’s on you, Polyergeist.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 10:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Lita bang

      Aaaah, so your ghost sheet is made of polyester is it?

      Sep 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   FeRD bang

      You’re quite the polyglot, wot wot?

      Sep 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   kaetra

    Mia is adorable. Serves her mom right, that was a dirty trick indeed!

    Sep 22, 2014 at 9:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Jami

    Any parent should be ashamed for playing a cruel joke on that or the “give them gifts they don’t want” one. Neither joke is funny. It makes kids cry. Shame of Jimmy for coming up with it. I hope he has nightmares of a thousand kids ripping his guts out while saying “It’s only a joke, don’t cry Jimmy, it’s only a joke.”

    Sep 22, 2014 at 10:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Polyergeist

      Oh come on Jamie, aren’t you being a bit dramatic? It’s not a big deal. It’s just Halloween candy and some of the kids’ reactions are adorable. If anything it’s a good way to for them to learn that something as trivial as candy is not worth flipping the hell out over.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 11:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   buni

      Even if Jami is being dramatic, I agree that such trauma is the stuff that bad childhood memories are made of.
      There are plenty of childhood memories I wish I could rid myself of (most of them involving little league softball) because they still cause me discomfort when I recall them. Having my trust betrayed by one of my parents playing a cruel (by a child’s perspective) joke would rank right up there with the rest.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   kermit

      Oh come on.

      How is lying about the presence of candy any worse than any other lies parents tell their children?

      Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. are much more deceitful and manipulative lies that can go on for years, and which are deemed socially acceptable to propagate.

      Yet lying about the candy collected from strangers is “wrong” and ever so horrible? Gimme a break. Last time I checked, parents still instructed their children that taking candy from strangers was not a good idea.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   TKD

      Jami, you need a reality check my friend.
      If you believe that the word cruel applies to a child being told a bag of candy, which contains more calories than some children get in a month, was eaten, then you need a cruelty calibration. Perhaps you could share tonight’s nightmares of the children beaten by drunken parents, exploited sexually for someone else’s gain, or are just plain starving for lack of sufficient food.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   buni

      The difference is that when a child finally realizes, or discovers that Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. don’t exist, they are usually old enough and emotionally mature enough to handle the truth without experiencing trauma. Few six-year-olds possess that maturity.
      Coming to the conclusion that Santa wasn’t real did not scar me for life. Having my mother sign me up for yet another year of softball hell after I asked her not to, did.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   kermit

      Sorry, Buni but the two aren’t even comparable. Parents pushing their kids to become sports stars is really not the same thing as lying about a candy or Santa.

      And by the way, most (?) kids stop believing in Santa, etc. by the time they hit grade 2, which means they’re 7. And having to figure out that your parents lied to you for no particularly good reason should be scarring. Curiously, they’re not scarred for life over it.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.7   Raichu

      It never occurred to me that the Santa, etc. stories were meant to be anything other than fun, even when I discovered the truth. However, the candy prank was obviously meant to be funny because it upsets your children, and it is betraying their trust in a much more real, direct way. To adults they may seem comparable, but the way children experience them is drastically different.

      I didn’t much like Jami’s comment because the last line was waaay over-the-top, but the rest of it? Hell yes, right on. The prank was awful.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.8   Ace of Space

      Are you kidding? Pranking my kids is one of my favorite passtimes! Just yesterday I yelled for my daughter. “Hey ________, Come here right now!” She comes running down the stairs with this “uh-oh, what did I do this time?” look on her face. I politely said “telephone” and handed her the phone. She shot me a dirty look, but it was soooo worth it. She’s 13, and she can handle it, so flame away.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.9   kermit

      How is Santa not a betrayal of trust? You’re telling the kid that if he is good he gets presents and if he is bad he doesn’t get anything. It’s a scheme to get kids to behave themselves, and teaching them that they should be good to get a material reward, instead of being good for its own sake.

      I don’t see how the candy thing is a betrayal of trust. If anything, it conveys the entitlement to some candy they did nothing to earn.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.10   poopypants

      I think it depends on how you use Santa. In my family it was always a good-natured thing. He wasn’t really ever used as a threat for good behavior.

      The candy prank, on the other hand, is a mean-spirited way to get a laugh at a child’s expense. How traumatic it is depends on the individual child, but being a dick to a child so you can laugh when they’re sad their candy is gone isn’t funny. Nor is it appropriate.

      I would also argue that children did earn the candy. Yea, they dressed up and had fun trick-or-treating, but often kids will walk around for several hours. Sure, people don’t just always pass out candy, and sure Halloween walking might not be productive to society in an economic sense, but those kids still did something for which there was a pre-determined reward. Kind of like a job and your wages.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.11   Poltergeist

      You guys are no fun. The kid will quickly get over it and will probably laugh at it in hindsight when they get older. Some of the kids even laughed afterwards in the videos. To call this “cruel” or “mean-spirited” is so overly-dramatic. It’s not like they told them Grandma died as a prank. It’s freaking CANDY.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.12   ummm

      Honestly, I agree with you. When I was 5, my dad told me he was drinking root-beer and let me take a big swig. It was real beer. I was scared of any dark colored liquid for about three years, and I still remember his joke today, and I’m a full grown adult. It was a huge betrayal that clearly stuck with me. I still don’t like dark lagers either, because that’s what was in his glass. Childhood pranks can have a pretty dramatic effect on kids. My brother got jump scared when he was younger and he’s still freaked about corners.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 12:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.13   ummm

      Honestly, I agree with you. When I was 5, my dad told me he was drinking root-beer and let me take a big swig. It was real beer. I was scared of any dark colored liquid for about three years, and I still remember his joke today, and I’m a full grown adult. It was a huge betrayal that clearly stuck with me. I still don’t like dark lagers either, because that’s what was in his glass. Childhood pranks can have a pretty dramatic effect on kids. My brother got jump scared when he was younger and he’s still freaked about corners.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 12:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.14   Kasaba

      Line up all ya kids so momma can give you a big spoonful of ‘let it go’. I might flick it in your eyes though, so watch out!

      Mia wins points for the line: “The ground is dirty like Susan”. Not Susan is as dirty as the ground, nope, the ground is dirty like Susan. It reminds me of the style used in my first reading books at school. “My name is Sis. I am Daan. We climb a tree. There is uncle Mike. He might be Santa. etc.”

      Sep 23, 2014 at 7:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.15   Ace of Space

      To further beat this dead horse, a major point is that the parents did not actually eat the candy. They just said they did. After the initial reaction, said kid gets said candy.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 9:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.16   dd

      If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust?

      Sep 23, 2014 at 11:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.17   Lil'

      Santa’s not real????

      Sep 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.18   FeRD bang

      Uhhh-oh. Why are we looking at Lil’ like she’s in a wheelchair?

      (See YouTube video ID EauL1-QBeYw …or search for “Very Mary-Kate: Santa”.)

      Sep 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.19   FeRD bang

      ^ She’s… or he’s. I meant to not gender-bias that, then I forgot, and it seems edit will be broked forever. :’(

      Sep 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.20   TKD

      The EDIT button was ever real?!?!?!?!?!

      Sep 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.21   D.

      Wow, TKD, I’m sure all those kids just LOVE you using their trauma to excuse shitty parental behavior. I know what would have helped ME as a child is being told my CSA would provide an excuse for other people to use it as a silencing tool against others, while clearly not giving a rat’s ass about either of us. I’m sure it would have helped immensely!

      It’s bizarre that kids are being called entitled for expecting something they were told they would get. Yeah, it’s just candy, but the entire point of the prank is laughing at their pain. Whether we think that pain should exist or not is irrelevant. It IS cruel and mean spirited.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 5:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.22   kermit

      No, the entire point of the prank is to illustrate that disappointment happens and that your expectations are not always met and that life is not fair.

      You don’t get the candy you thought you were promised – the horror! If this is truly scarring you for life, you have no chance of making it out of elementary school, let alone deal with the rest of your life.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 6:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.23   hbc

      When life gets to the point that kids don’t get to face real disappointment just going about their lives, then we can worry about pranking it into them. Hey, I know, I’ll teach my kid that life’s not fair by actually eating her candy! It’s not possibly a lesson she can learn by, say, a friend backing out on a promise or a teammate getting more playing time because he’s the son of the coach or any of the thousands of other things that have/will happen to her that don’t require me actively being a dick.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 7:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.24   TKD

      Synonyms for cruel: pitiless, ruthless, savage, brutal

      Yep, 30 seconds of being told your parent ate your Halloween candy fits.

      Insulate your child from all harm and possible pain, no matter how minor. Teach them to expect everything they are told will come to pass and be in their favor. Excuse over reaction and poor behavior because it is the rest of the world being cruel to them. Those are proper parental actions.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 7:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.25   TKD

      Oh pooh! I forgot to use the sarcasm font on that previous comment. But the EDIT button won’t work. This is such a CRUEL situation. The pain is so TRAUMATIC. Perhaps I should over react?

      Is there a lawyer here who can represent me in a lawsuit against PAN? I surely deserve compensation for the pain! Look, it even drove me to use foul language and emoticons :-(

      Sep 24, 2014 at 7:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.26   Snicklefritz

      How is this any worse than your father telling you he get’s 1st pick of all the candy you collected, because he, and I quote here ” schlepped you to all those damned houses all night”. Then he proceeded to remove all of the peanut butter cups, almond Joys and other tasty chocolate bars, leaving me with the 2nd rate candy.
      He even worked out the same deal when my son was old enough to go Trick or Treating. Secretly, I don’t think he minded “schlepping” us around the neighborhood.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 9:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.27   Poltergeist

      My mom once told me that we were eating hamburgers for dinner, but instead she gave me a veggie burger just to see how I would react. I thought it tasted disgusting and made a grossed-out face, and my mom laughed. When I found out it was filled with *GASP* vegetables, I “hated” my mom for all of 30 minutes. Then I got over it. I quickly understood that it was just a silly joke, and when she tells the story now, I laugh along with her. I still trusted her and loved her because she is a caring, supportive, accepting mom.

      I’m really surprised at the number of wet blankets commenting here spouting psychobabble about how cruel this is and how “real” the child’s pain is. Teach your lids to have a damn sense of humor.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.28   Poltergeist


      Edit button, Y U NO WORK?

      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.29   TKD

      Poltergeist, I am shocked by your insensitivity toward your lids. You are probably one of those people who have a whole drawer full of lids that you constantly neglect. You probably only pull them out when you have extra food to store. Can’t you feel their pain? You cruel, savage monster you! IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIDS!

      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.30   Ace of Space

      Regarding Dad’s first pick of the candy, Um… That’s EXACTLY what I do. Yes, I schlepped you around the neighborhood, I paid for your costumes, you must pay a tax. Now hand over those M&Ms.

      Funny thing is, my kids agreed with me, and thanked me for taking them trick-or-treating. Maybe that is because I taught them appreciation and respect. And they are not self entitled twits.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.31   kermit

      But Ace, are you sure your lids are self-entitled twits?

      Sep 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.32   Tesselara

      I laughed my ASS off at that prank. I DIED. (I work with a lot of kids –and I LOVE kids–they’re pretty awesome, mostly, but the sense of entitlement, and “I should never ever ever be disappointed” was pervasive and irritating). My favorite mantra: “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset” If not having candy makes them freak out like that, then something is VERY wrong. And these kids weren’t egged onto crying. The parents just said, “I ate all of your candy” and then there were serious major tears. There was a 9 year old in there that really surprised me at his extreme and instant freak-out. My favorite parts of the videos were the kids who showed some serious awesomeness, and calmly said, “Bad mommy–you know you shouldn’t have done that-I worked hard for that candy.” Check out “reasons my son is crying” for some excellent illustrations on how easily children cry over really anything. Candy entitlement. Ridiculous. If the worst thing that happens to you in life is that you don’t get candy, then you have been a VERY VERY lucky child. If the worst thing that happens to you is that your parents tease you a very little, then maybe you should count how lucky you are. I think it’s really important for kids to 1) learn how to read expressions–that’s one valuable side effect of being teased by my dad and 2) learn how to take mild disappointments with grace.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 6:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.33   The Elf

      My favorite was the little girl who, through tears, told her mom that it was okay and that she forgives her.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 8:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.34   kermit

      Tess, stories like this only reinforce my idea that all children in middle and high income communities (no matter what type of school they go to) should do at least a summer’s worth of mandatory community service before they’re allowed to graduate high school.

      Then let’s hear them throw a hissy fit over the “trauma” of having somebody else eat their loot.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 8:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.35   Ace of Space

      Yes, my lids are self entitled twits. That is why the bowls leave them.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 9:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.36   Tesselara

      Word. UP. I don’t hold for being mean to kids. BUT, just because a kid is crying doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has been mean to them. Kids can cry because they are sad (which is the crying we need to pay attention to), but they’ll also cry because they are mad, or because they have been thwarted, or because crying works. Teasing (with clear limits, and with the parent relenting at the end), is a great way to teach kids how to “roll” with other life lessons. I know I was better able to handle “mean teasing” in school after learning some scripts and skills from my dad’s much more gentle teasing. (Not to say my dad wasn’t a big fat jerk in other areas, but the teasing gave me a huge toolkit for handling life with a lot more grace than I would have otherwise had.)

      Sep 25, 2014 at 11:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.37   Fritz-the-Cat

      I laughed about that prank. It was fun to watch it. Then, I thought about the fact that not only did the parents prank their kids, something that could be seen as cruel in itself. Or not – it’s not my issue.

      But those parents didn’t do it because they wanted to teach the kid a lesson. Or because they wanted to joke with the kid. Or because they thought it an important improvement on their kid’s ability to read expressions.

      No, they did it solely for the purpose of having Kimmel pick up their video and show it on TV. For everyone to see. For every one of these kids to see their crying years, and years later.

      They did it for those 14 seconds of fame, and for that, they made their children cry in front of a camera – and sent it to a TV-station to be shown for many people – and worse, to be dumped on the internet.

      So yes. This joke as it was executed IS a break of trust. Not the joke by itself – but the fact that those parents made their children cry for everyone to see, for other people to laugh about. For strangers to see their children cry and be miserable and LAUGH about it.

      That is cruel.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #6.38   Raichu

      Dang. The degree to which people insist on treating four-year-olds like adults is mind-blowing. Four-year-olds do not and never will have the same understanding of “life isn’t fair!” and all that other bullshit.

      And, as someone else pointed out, life tends to take many opportunities on its own to point out that it isn’t fair. Why also teach them that they can’t really trust the one set of people they’re supposed to be able to trust the most? Why also demonstrate to them “life’s not fair, so it’s ok to use that as an excuse to be an asshole to other people”? That’s just so shitty. Teach your kids that you at least know how to behave and treat others with fairness. They can accept that life isn’t fair while still doing their best to live with integrity.

      Oct 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Whut?

    Honestly, even though it’s misspelled, I’m oddly proud of the kid for spelling joke ‘jolk’, because not many children (or adults for that matter) even really know about that phonetic, let alone can use in a situation where it fits by sounding it out. Some accents do pronounce it with the same L sound (or lack of) like in yolk, mine included.

    Sep 22, 2014 at 11:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   FeRD bang

      Technically, if you’re pronouncing ‘yolk’ without the ‘l’, sound, then spelling ‘joke’ as ‘jolk’ isn’t phonetic at all… it’s just misspelling ‘joke’.

      But, really, I just wanted to say how odd it is that you’re proud (even “oddly proud”) of some stranger’s kid for the way she misspells words. :-D

      Sep 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   buni

      Well, she must know how yolk is spelled, and since joke rhymes with yolk, they must be spelled the same. Just like bomb, comb and tomb all rhyme, right?

      Sep 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Lil'

      Sour, pour, tore…

      Sep 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   buni

      fore, four, for…

      Sep 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Lita bang

      To, too, two…

      Sep 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   FeRD bang

      @buni[7.2]: Arguably correct, but still not “phonetic”, which means to just spell a word the way it sounds. Using the spelling of other words as templates is, by the very definition, not “phonetic”. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 11:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   FeRD bang

      (Yes, I’m a horrible pedant and you should all kick sand on me at the beach.)

      Sep 24, 2014 at 11:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.8   buni

      FeRD, I’m sorry, you must have misunderstood my comment, or maybe I didn’t explain it well.

      I was merely offering another explanation for the misspelling of “joke”. I had no intention of making any allusions to phonetic spelling.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.9   Whut?

      You’re right, I did sort of use phonetic wrong. But she’s basing it off another word for how it /sounds/, which is sort of a phonetic type of way? IDK what I’m trying to say, I’m a little tired and waiting for a ride home from the office.

      But still, how many kids know about the L in yolk? The ‘oddly proud’ comment is because grammar has always sort of been my passion, it’s just cool to see someone so young applying knowledge from past experiences even if it isn’t correctly applied.

      Sep 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Ace of Space

    I think that cupcake is giving Susan the finger. Or maybe I should put my glasses on. Either way, I bet Lil Mia closely guards her candy this year. With armed militia.

    Sep 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Raichu

    Team kid. Sorry, note-writer, if you played that nasty prank on your kid, you deserve to be shamed. >:/

    Sep 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Roxy Random

      The kid IS the note writer. But I agree that the parent should be ashamed of herself.

      Sep 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Raichu

      You’re right. I should have said “sorry, submitter”.

      Oct 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Lita bang

    Team kid. Not a funny prank at all. (But then again, I do not have a very high tolerance for most pranks.)

    Sep 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Susan

    As another Susan, I’d have to say that if I did have a kid and if I had played that prank upon her, I’d have earned the well-wrought PA scorn.

    But, alas, I’m childless. So I get to pick my own nursing home out and not rely on the judgment of offspring that I’ve somehow robbed of childhood innocence.

    Sep 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   assiveProgressive

    So parents are playing mean tricks on their kids after they go trick or treating? Fine. Yet another reason for me to turn the lights off on trick or treat night and hide in the basement. And stay off my lawn!

    Sep 23, 2014 at 12:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   JoDa

      I loved candy-distribution day as an adult until parents started demanding candy, as well. I got all dressed up, draped my entry way in torn-up cotton balls (spiderwebs, damnit!), and gave the kids a show while I distributed the *GOOD* candy. Then, maybe 10 years ago, a guy showed up with an infant, and after we cooed over the baby’s cute costume, he looked at our candy bowl and said “so what you got there?” Um, dude, your kid doesn’t have teeth…our snickers and kit-kats are not for babies. But he expected something for parading his 3-month-old around. In the subsequent couple of years I did the whole Halloween thing, I got more and more parents asking for candy for their infants or for themselves after I had given their old-enough-to-eat-candy kids the treats. I gave up about 5 years ago and now go get drunk with adults who expect to pay for their adult-themed treats.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 1:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   The Elf

      I’ll happily give candy to adults dressed up in costume, or to costumed babies in arms. You dress up and ring my bell, you get candy. What bothers me are older kids/teens who don’t bother with a costume. If you’re dressed in street clothes, you better have a good story!

      Alas, the downside of my quiet dead-end street in an odd corner of town is the total lack of trick-or-treaters. I miss that. In my townhome neighborhood, they’d be so thick I often wouldn’t close the door between swarms.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 7:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   JoDa

      And I think that might be the difference, Elf. If I did trick-or-treat, I’d have a million kids on my doorstep. I could easily go through 10 bags (the big bags) of candy just on the kids of age to beg for their own candy. When we were doing trick-or-treat and first became annoyed by the parents asking for something, our group house was shelling out over $50 to just buy enough to give to all the *kids* who came calling. That’s why we were annoyed by the parents asking for treats of their own or for their kids too young to eat them (that’s really the same thing…if your kid is too young to eat it, you’ll be eating it). When I was young enough that my parents had to accompany me on trick-or-treat, they snagged a few pieces out of my bag for themselves while they “inspected” it when we got home. Certainly not the whole thing, certainly not the best goodies, but that’s how they got their sugar fix after doing their escorting duties.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   phoenix

    The cruelty of a prank is not in the eyes of the pranker, it’s in the prankee.

    If you, as an adult, say candy is bad and a joke isn’t a big deal, that doesn’t matter. What matters is what it means to the kid. That’s what makes cruelty- it’s never cruel to the person DOING the act.

    If the point of a prank is to upset, to make cry, to take advantage of, and to laugh at the pain and discomfort on someone else’s face…that’s cruel. A kid doesn’t have perspective, and their pain is real.

    It’s amazing how many “funny” jokes relatives played on me as a five year old and brushed off because it was “little” things. Well, to a thirty year old it was obviously trivial, but to a five year old it hurt. And the fact it hurt was what made it funny to them.

    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:37 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   TKD

      Exactly, a little kid does not have perspective. The idea is to teach them a little about perspective in a manner that does not do true, serious harm. Learning where lies the fine line between “get over it” and “dig in your heels for a fight” , takes decades. No child ever benefited by being sheltered from the little things. It leads to teens and young adults who can’t tell the difference between “she talks mean behind my back” and “he was held down in the locker room and raped with a stick”. When we treat every infraction the same, then perspective is lost and the truly horrible starts to get overlooked.

      The fact that we get to laugh at the overreaction of someone else’s spawn is just a bonus. ;-)

      Sep 23, 2014 at 8:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   dd

      How the heck did you get from candy pranks to teaching you life lessons about being raped in the locker room? I don’t think one thing would ever lead to the other. Look, I think it’s pretty inevitable that at some point a kid will have something stolen from them, and you can ingrain the life lesson of “it’s ok, it’s just a material thing” then without having to personally play a mean prank on your kid to do it. There’s no need for the prank except to derive pleasure from someone else’s distress. I simply don’t find that funny. And I don’t even like kids!

      Sep 23, 2014 at 11:38 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   TKD

      dd, the life lesson is that children learn the perspective to tell the difference between small owies and major damage causing incidents. Imagine a world in which every child were spared the pain of unpleasant situations until they were sent off to the work place.

      Boss: “I’m sorry, Tom, but you did not hit your goals again this year. We are going to have to let you go.”
      Tom: “You can’t do this to me. I dressed up everyday, I came to work, I deserve my job!” – dashes off looking for a weapon to use against the evil authority figure…

      The simple pranks that we play on our children do serve a purpose in helping them become well adjusted human beings. Whether you find them humorous is not relevant. As I said, it’s only a bonus if one does.

      Sep 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   hbc

      TKD, if you think your kid will manage to avoid unpleasant situations unless you are actively trying to induce them, I want to know where you live. Pleasantville, maybe? Because in the real world, your toddler friend will bite your arm for no other reason than him having a bad day, and the magician who was supposed to come can’t make it for reasons your young brain can’t fathom, and that other kid gets to bring in a lunch while your mean parents make you eat what daycare provides. I don’t really see the need to fake stressful situations, and I know my childhood had plenty without my parents having to generate them.

      Unless the plan is to teach them to trust no one. Then have at it.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 7:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.5   TKD

      Actually, I expect that my child will encounter unpleasant situations every day of her life. And she will have the social skills to consider not just her feelings but those of all other people involved. Then she can react in an appropriate, considerate and compassionate manner.

      Sep 24, 2014 at 11:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.6   JoDa

      Dear TKD…would you mind keeping the local police informed of where your kid is, so that when she breaks they know who to go collect?

      My parents were mean bastards. I mean, I was physically disciplined for getting a single bad grade. But they never thought hurtful pranks would teach me some kind of “lesson.” And I fail to see how leading a kid to believe that you stole their Halloween candy teaches them anything but to find better hiding places and trust no one…

      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.7   Tesselara

      Oh my god, it’s just candy! Pranks that end quickly with a parent relenting with a smile teaches kids how to evaluate facial expressions and create a good environment to practice the skills on dealing with life’s smaller hiccups. I learned A LOT about handling people with grace from my dad’s pranks. Yes, life is unfair, but if kids have no toolbox for handling that unfairness, then they suffer even more.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 7:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.8   TKD

      JoDa, first, a prank itself is not the “lesson”. It is the catalyst for conversation (please, don’t turn me in to the authorities for actually speaking WITH my child) about her feelings on the subject, how to manage said feelings, and how to appropriately respond in a myriad of situations that may only be remotely related to said “cruel, hurtful prank”. If one is not capable of holding a conversation WITH their child, rather than AT, then any interaction with the child is not recommended.

      Second, I am sorry that your parents set high standards for you and tried to teach you that there are consequences to not meeting those standards. But I am not certain how much sympathy to feel. From the comments in to this post, words are now all to be considered ambiguous. “Physically disciplined” could mean anything from you were beaten with the buckle end of a belt by a drunken parent, to you were forced to stand in the corner for ten minutes. I hope that it was closer to the later and that your parents took the time to explain why you were being punished.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 7:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.9   TKD

      I am not sure this mission to Earth is working out so well. Perhaps we should return to our home planet, “Children Learn From Their Parents”. And you are correct, we do need to find a better name for our planet.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 7:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.10   Tesselara

      I’d go with Clftp!

      Sep 25, 2014 at 11:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.11   JoDa

      TKD, it was physical of the old school, plus a heaping helping of shaming. There are several awards I earned that I’ve never actually seen because they weren’t “top” awards, and anything but first place/best marks had a home in only one place: the trash can (my mom was really surprised when she saw my varsity sports letter in my house because she threw it away since our team lost in the regional championships and, thus, she threw it away and never knew I rescued it from the trash and hid it all these years). I’m actually pretty type-A naturally, and never once missed honor roll in school. I was also a National Merit Scholar, scored astronomically on all standardized tests I’ve ever taken (from high school graduation exams all the way up to the GRE…I actually boast a few “perfect” scores on standardized tests), and was accomplished in everything from sports to music to other extracurriculars. So, yeah, I’m a little sensitive about people being mean to their children, because I can now see that I didn’t deserve the treatment I received (it wasn’t “high standards,” it was more like “impossible standards,” and the consequences of even the slightest imperfection were dire) and finally saw a couple years into college how much better I performed and *felt* when I was given positive reinforcement.

      Disappointment is a natural part of life, but it shouldn’t have to come from your parents in calculated ways. You can set reasonable expectations for your children and give them rewards for meeting them and reasonable consequences for not without being unnecessarily cruel. When it comes to Halloween candy, as in this post, you can limit how much they collect, tell them they have to share what they get with someone (even you, or better yet if you let them go nuts, and your route promises a bounty, tell them they have to give half of it to an organization that prepares care packages for soldiers or a local food pantry that will accept it or to Ronald McDonald House (will accept in original packaging) or local children’s hospitals), or parcel out what they collect reasonably. They will get over these things (or even gleefully accept…kids are pretty good at being generous if generosity is modeled appropriately, and if you tell them before they go trick-or-treating that “anything more than X” or “half of what they collect” will be going to a deserving cause, they’ll probably excitedly tell everyone about it). Doing it like that teaches them restraint, generosity, and self-control without resorting to cruelty.

      Sep 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.12   Raichu

      You guys are showing an awfully concerning inability to get the point. The entire point is that it’s not “just candy” to a kid! Stop applying adult perspectives to small children.

      Oct 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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      Sep 24, 2014 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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      Sep 25, 2014 at 3:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Arhi Mith

    The first sentence is making me REALLY ANGRY here.

    “Sue in Northbrook, Illinois says that some 10 months after tricking her 6-year-old daughter with Jimmy Kimmel’s “I told my kids I ate all their Halloween candy” challenge, little Mia remembered the prank….”

    Who tricked her daughter? Susan. Who remembered the prank? Mia, the daughter. So, why oh why does it say that Mia remembered the prank after tricking her daughter? No, it does not make sense this way, does it?

    I hate when people confuse subjects and objects in a single sentence.

    Let’s learn the correct way, shall we?

    Susan say that after 10 months after tricking her daughter she was surprised to discover a note addressed to her written by the very same daughter.

    Oooh, I have vented. Not so angry now. Thanks for your kind attention (goes away, muttering).

    Sep 25, 2014 at 8:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Arhi Mith

      Yeah, yeah, there is a saying that you can’t critique others on the Internet without making some sort of stupid mistake of your own. It was a typo, ok? A typo-typo-typo (yells hysterically). Susan says. Just as Simple Simon does. And on that note I shall withdraw.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 8:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   FeRD bang

      You’re both crazy, and mostly-wrong. Your correction isn’t even an improvement.

      You do have a small point, in that the first sentence could be slightly better phrased as, “Sue in Northbrook, Illinois says that some 10 months after she tricked her 6-year-old daughter…” But that’s the only change that’s necessary, and honestly it’s quite sufficiently clear the way it’s written. If anyone’s confusing subjects here, it’s you.

      So, since we’re providing free advice here, I suggest you relax your reading-comprehension a little, and your sphincter a lot. You’ll live longer, and people will be sorrier to see you go.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 10:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Arhi Mith

      Both? There is only one of me. I think. And no, not slightly better, your version is way better than mine, but both our versions are correct. The original one is not.

      Sep 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   larsjaeger

    Thank you for such useful article – your newspaper is one of the best as well – this article helps everyone, the websites,

    Oct 11, 2014 at 1:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Littlest Hobo

    I know I’m really late to the party with this one, but when you have parents beating the shit out of you and lying about who is who in your family, lying about their ages and calling you every horrible name under the sun, telling you they wish you had been aborted, etc fucking etc, THEN you can snivel about a candy lie. Stop being so dumb about a stupid prank. Children expect their parents to love them, cherish them and NOT BEAT THEM, KICK THEM DOWN STAIRS and continually wish you weren’t born. Get over it. Please.

    Oct 18, 2014 at 7:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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