If your conscience won't allow you to steal their candy, here's a reasonable alternative.

Let's be honest -- you've probably stolen (some of) your kid's Halloween candy before. You're not alone; a recent study found that 86% of parents steal candy their kids trick-or-treated for. Of those who steal their kid's dastardly-earned sweets ("Trick or treat, trick or treat, give me something good to eat! If you don't, I don't care -- I'll pull down your underwear!" Am I the only one who walked around the neighborhood screaming that awful little poem?) parents admitted to eating nearly a quarter of it.

Now, maybe you're one of those who doesn't succumb to the tricks, treats and otherwise ghoulish behavior encouraged by All Saints Eve and can't bring yourself to take candy from your baby. Feel free to instead try my own parents' tried and true tactic -- exacting a trick or treating tax.

Seriously, for as long as we were too young to trick or treat by ourselves (come to think of it...that was every year), at least one of my parents would accompany my younger sisters and me and demand a "trick or treating tax" when we got home -- a payment in return for their parenting services. As a kid, I hated it. Then again, I'm an adult now and still hate taxes, so, maybe some things never change.

Anyways, feel free to give this one a try this year (by the way, demanding a "tax" on your kids also works for doing their laundry, making their meals, driving them around and just about any other responsibility they still need your help for. Use that knowledge as you will).

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