Halloween is approaching again – one of my most and least favorite holidays. But before we go further, let me make one thing clear: no matter what your teenager says he or she did on Halloween, they’re lying.
Sometimes I would see a parent of one of these kids in the next few days and say, “So what did Joey do for Halloween?” And Dad would say, “Oh, he just went over to a friend’s house and they watched TV.” Of course, that was back in the days when you could actually call over to someone’s house and check on them. Not that anyone ever did, of course, because as Dad quickly added, he trusted the kid implicitly.
Trust your kid implicitly the other 364 days a year. Sometimes I’d mention that actually, the police had rounded up Joey and a bunch of other kids for vandalizing my neighborhood. Invariably – and we really are talking 100% of the time – I’d get a call back in a day or two that Dad had talked to Joey and Joey admitted that yes, he was there but he “wasn’t doing anything, just watching.” And Dad wanted to assure me that he trusts Joey’s version of this implicitly.
No point in telling Dad that Joey, the lying little weasel, was actually one of the ringleaders of this operation. (As you can tell, I get testy when people vandalize my property.) But more to the point, it always stunned me that (a) I heard this excuse so often and (b) that parents would actually accept it.
I made so many mistakes with my children that they keep lists both alphabetically and chronologically. But the felony murder rule always applied: you were there, you were guilty. I would have laughed in their little faces if they’d ever tried to pull that excuse on me.
So folks, it’s Halloween time again. I hope your teen has fun. But whatever he or she says she did, don’t believe a word of it.