Halloween: Taking Off the Mask

Our angel, super hero (Captain America), and villain (Jason from “Halloween” the movie) loaded up in the van to trick-or-treat with our good friends. Just a year or so away from being too old to trick-or-treat, our 6th grader was beyond excited about cashing in on the goodies, particularly now that he no longer is encumbered by a nut allergy that made all the really good candy off-limits.

As Ian transitions into older activities for older kids, one of the unpleasant side-effects is his new awareness of what is and is not cool. Although this departure from childlike innocence was inevitable, I had hoped the ugly norms of the peer group would not surface so noticeably. We observed, and Ian even shares, of the uncharitable ways some of his peers act towards others. While not an instigator of the lack of charity, Ian’s hesitancy to stand up out of fear of rocking the boat with his friends and for vowing to stay away from more wholesome activities because they are not “cool” disappoint us.

With each move in the direction of conforming to peers rather than God, I see Ian take that mask and put it in front of his face. That is not who he is or who we raised him to be. And I just want to yell, “Take off the mask! Take off the mask!” The kids who ultimately are genuinely popular are the ones who are themselves and who treat others with charity.

I’m not the kind of mom to stand down and roll over when I see an unattractive influence of the culture or the peer group. My husband and I strategize the new approaches that the new situation not warrants.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Watch for the influence of the world on your kids and be proactive in pushing it back.