How Moms vs. Dads Think About Halloween Differently

Turns out it’s a bit scary how much mothers and fathers differ when it comes to Halloween tricks, treats, and totally crazy costumes. 

While men (82 percent) and women (84 percent) are nearly equally concerned about children’s safety — which is the most-cited Oct. 31 issue for parents, in front of allergies (20 percent) and “wild parties” (17 percent) — dads are more permissive about the whole holiday, finds Yahoo in a new survey of more than 1,000 adults. 

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Take the frightening fare: Pop is the parent more likely to say his kid is going to a scary movie (47 percent vs. 35 percent of moms) or haunted house (36 percent vs. 22 percent). Mothers, meanwhile, are more likely to report that their children are focusing on getting dressed up in costumes (86 percent vs. 76 percent of dads) and helping with the decorations (72 percent vs. 54 percent). 

Then there’s the goodies. Fathers, the study found, are more likely to let their kids eat treats that are either homemade or not pre-packaged (37 percent vs. 22 percent of moms) — as well as binge on sweets (20 percent of dads say go for it, vs. 11 percent of moms). It’s mothers who tend to make kids spread out their candy consumption (83 percent of moms vs. 71 percent of dads) — if they don’t gobble it up first, that is. Moms are 11 percent more likely than dads to eat their kids’ candy when the kids are asleep. (Most popular pick? The peanut butter cup, getting 21 percent of the vote, compared to the least-loved sweet, licorice, in either red or black). 

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And when it comes to trick-or-treating, it’s dads who ditch the rules most often. Fathers are less likely to impose strict guidelines on kids going door-to-door unsupervised (57 percent say they’re cool with a 12- to 15-year-old doing so). Moms, meanwhile, insist kids stay in touch at least via cell (77 percent compared to 68 percent of fathers who suggest the same), avoid particular areas (65 percent vs. 47 percent), and ban booze (77 percent vs. 68 percent). 

As far as dressing up, both parents are excited, the researchers found, but guys are the group planning on spending the most on their own costumes this year. Thirty-eight percent of males say they’re going to spend over $50 — while just 24 percent of women say the same. Parents draw the line, though, at shelling out serious money for kids’ costumes. Most moms and dads (55 percent) say that they intend to spend in the $21 to $50 range, max. And the majority of moms and dads remember who the holiday is for, thankfully: Only 24 percent of parents plan on spending the same amount on their own outfits as their kids’. 

(Top photo: Alamy)

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