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Guy Called Out By Religious Parents For Letting His Kid Dress Up For Halloween

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Children all over spend months looking forward to Halloween. It’s a wonderful night full of free candy, the biggest game of playing pretend ever, and staying out after dark.

So it’s not surprising that a parent might hesitate to deny that experience to their kids.

A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated one parent’s experience with that very issue.

The Original Poster (OP), known as Complex_Fennel8098 on the site, noted in the post’s title that there were a few other key characters in the story to come. 

“AITA for telling my parents that my kids are dressing up on Halloween?”

OP led with some background. 

“I (45-year-old male) have 2 kids (14-year-old male, 15-year-old female) with my wife (46-year-old female).”

“Growing up, I never had the chance to dress up for Halloween. My parents are very religious and thought it would poison my mind.”

So OP was excited to change the trend. 

“Halloween is coming up and my kids are quite excited about it.”

“They picked out decorations to put up outside and inside.”

Then word got out. 

“My parents came over for dinner and my kids talked about Halloween and going out to get candy. My mother looked concerned and told the kids that nobody in this family celebrates Halloween.”

“I looked at my parents and told them that my kids will be going out with their friends and enjoying themselves.”

OP was left enduring the fallout.

“My parents left shortly afterwards and aren’t speaking to me.”

“AITA for telling my parents that my kids are dressing up on Halloween?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors assured OP he wasn’t an a**hole for letting his kids have some fun on the holiday. 

“Totally NTA. Your parents were just smacked in the face with the reality that in your house, it’s your rules.”

“They were obviously uncomfortable having their assumed authority challenged so adroitly, but that’s their problem.”

“Let them pout as long as they want to. Hopefully it will be a good long time.” — Johoski

“NTA You are in your 40s. Your kids are in Their teens. Your parents do not have the right to force their religion on you and wife and kids.”

“Is this the first time your kids are celebrating or have they tried to do this every year?” — Ok-Homework-582

“I think – I hope – you know you’re NTA. I’m sorry your parents are so judgmental and literally holier-than-thou, but how great is it that you were brought up in that kind of cold environment and are now raising your kids to have fun, be creative, enjoy life? That’s fantastic!”

“Continue to give them the freedom and excitement you were forced to miss out on, and enjoy it with them – it can be a very healing experience. Your folks failed and continue to do so – you get an A++ 🌟🌟🌟🌟” — hellocloudshellosky

“NTA. Your parents do not have the right to dictate anything about your family. If they don’t like Halloween they’re not obligated to celebrate or dress up, beyond that they need to mind their own.” — miasabine

A couple people made careful note of a key distinction.

“They raised you the way they wanted to. And now you’re raising your kids the way you want to.”

“If they don’t want to talk to you now that you’re clearly a devil-worshipping heathen, that’s their business. I was raised in a similar way. Closest we got was the church’s fall festival and my mom made me and my brother dress up as Mary and Joseph (and yes, I know that’s very weird).”

“Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s a family event and my husband and I have as much fun dressing up as the kids do (if not more!). NTA” — Tralfamadorians_go

“Your parents had the right to decide what you could do whilst under their care and house, but they have no say what so ever about how you raise your children.”

“If they dont want to talk to you then so be it – they are losing out on time with their grandchildren. See how they like that.” — Careless_Mango

“NTA. Your family, your rules. They don’t have to like it, but they don’t get to have a say in it. If they want to sulk and be angry, that’s their choice. I wouldn’t try and persuade them.”

“I’d decline to discuss it at all with them, other than to say, I respect that you have your own point of view on this, but I’m raising my kids according to my own beliefs.” — FOCOMojo

Others had similar personal experiences to share.

“My parents joined a pentecostal church when I was around 9, and prior to that, they were huuuuge Halloween people. My dad would take me trick or treating until I had a trash bag full of candy, and Halloween was my favorite part of the year.”

“Then the pentecostal church laid on the guilt about how Halloween is evil, and I had it yanked away from me entirely. The ‘harvest party’ the church offered was pitiful and you could only dress as a Bible character.”

“I reached 14, stood up to my parents and fought for my Halloween back. Missing out on those prime tween Halloweens is a bitter memory.”

“NTA. Your parents made their decision, but you are grown and make the decisions for your household. Good on you, Dad, for supporting your kids’ interests.” — catskillsnoodleman

“NTA I grew up the same way. This is a horrible thing to do to children, honestly. I’m extremely resentful that I had to go to church every Halloween while my friends had a great time.”

“It is a beautiful holiday/season that is unjustly demonized by psychotic zealots.”

“I made sure that for my children, Halloween rivals Christmas and we decorate and celebrate every year. I dress up, my husband dresses up, hell, our dogs dress up.”

“I never got to trick or treat, pick apples or go pick out a pumpkin, and when I tell my kids this they’re flabbergasted. 3 years ago I dressed up as charlie brown in his holy ghost costume and our beagle was the snoopy (WW I flying ace).”

“I’m very short and I decided, the hell with it and I trick or treated with my kids for my own candy. I was so tired of saying that I never got to. You let your kids celebrate and be normal and don’t let your mother ruin any more childhoods.” — Image_Inevitable

And with that support, OP can strut from house to house beside his children with his head held high. 

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.