Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick-or-Treating: Is It Safe for Kids in Your Neighborhood?

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Continuing Post-Halloween observations, there are a few people who admitted that no one came to trick-or-treat to their house, even though they had lots of candy prepared for the occasion. It turns out that nowadays children prefer to go to local businesses in their area rather than to private houses or apartment buildings. And if you think about it, you can't blame them for such a change of habits.

First of all, when you live in a big city like New York, you realize that you don't really know who your neighbors are. You might see them and recognize their faces, but that's probably about it. There might even be a few to whom you say hello occasionally, and even fewer with whom you are actually acquainted. Therefore, if you don't know who lives next door, you are unlikely to send your child there to get a treat on Halloween.

Secondly, let us suppose that you do know your neighbors. Still, there are some neighborhoods in New York that are not as safe as others. There are lots of people wandering in the streets of even the safest areas. There have been recent stories about a Jewish child who was abducted and murdered just a few blocks from his house, and sexual assaults on women in Park Slope, so even when an adult enters his or her own apartment building, it is helpful to watch your back all the times, as you never know who is watching or following you.

Of course, it is different in every area, but you would never want to take chances when it comes to your child, and you can never be too careful.

And it is sad that due to the fact that with the development of the Internet people socialize face-to-face less and less frequently. We order food online, we watch movies at home through Netflix and we hardly ever notice what's going on outside of our window. Now you can't even let your children to get candy from people who live right next to you. Is it mostly because you're concerned with their safety or maybe because the Internet teaches us to trust businesses more than our unknown neighbors because you have read about a supermarket next block and you have never spoken to Mrs. What's-Her-Name upstairs?

It might be a little bit of both, even if you don't realize it. The times are changing, and who knows if, as time goes by, in a few years someone will knock at your door on Halloween evening dressed up as a cute little bee or a superman and say cheerfully, "Trick or treat?"

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