Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween Pranks are Not Funny. And No, I Do Not Need to Lighten Up.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween prank videos are not funny.  They are just mean.  I know that’s an unpopular opinion, and I know that many of you will tell me to lighten up or that it’s just a joke.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, all you have to do is google it and watch for a few seconds to know what I’m talking about.

Kids freaking out and crying and screaming is not my jam.  When it’s manufactured by the parents for entertainment, HELL NAH.  Kids need to learn to handle disappointment in a healthy way because hey, life is full of disappointment.  But I also don’t need to throw any extra their way just to get my rocks off.

I’ve become a big ol’ sap since these babies came into my life.  I admit it.  Maybe it’s because these videos are broadcast to the world that it bothers me so much. Maybe it’s just because I don’t really enjoy seeing kids cry.  I just don’t.  I don’t like anything that encourages meanness.  I’m no pollyanna, but I’m not going to pretend like this is ok either.  At least not for my family and friends.

Kids trust their parents.  Little kids especially.  A prank like this is heartbreaking.  It’s heartbreaking to watch a video, let alone think about doing to my kids.  Why is it entertainment?  Why is it okay to laugh at these kids whose very sacred bond of trust is broken?

Here’s what I loved about our Halloween.  My kids woke up that day saying IT’S HALLOWEEN IT’S HALLOWEEN WE PUT ON OUR COSTUMES NOW?  WE GO TRICK OR TREATING NOW?


We went to a local Women’s Club as they put on a Fairy Tale Trail with a lot of toys and decorations and people dressed as fairy tale characters and it BLEW THEIR MINDS.

Later in the day Grandparents and an Aunt and our Nanny came over for trick or treating.  At almost three these kiddos are RIPE for Halloween.  It was the cutest freaking thing you’ve ever seen in your life.  At each house they climbed the stairs (we had practiced what to do and say), rang the doorbell, said trick or treat and mostly remembered to say thank you.  Then they would turn around with a look of wonder on their little faces and exclaim WE GOT CANDY!!!  Every.  Single.  House.  Miracle of miracles.

We almost passed a house that looked as if no one was home, but my sister in law said, “there she is in the window” and an elderly woman came to the door not speaking any english really, but giving us handfuls of candy and laughing at the kids.  We are going to have to go back and visit with her.

We got home and they got to pick one piece of candy.  My girl knew she wanted what was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  My boy was shaking a little box of Lemon Heads and said, ME WANT DESE RAISINS.  They don’t know from candy.  One piece and done.  They haven’t asked about it since.

They woke up the next morning asking CAN WE DO HALLOWEEN AGAIN?  Because it was so much fun.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  I haven’t smiled that much in a long time.  I will remember this Halloween forever.

Maybe it’s because I’m naive or too trusting or just kind of not into meanness as a rule.  But I hate pranks.  They’re usually dumb.  A lot of times people get hurt.  And when it happens to children, PERPETRATED by adults?  I don’t know man.  I’m not into it.  Clearly a lot of people are.  And hey, USA USA USA.  We all have the freedom to watch and like what we like, HOORAY.  I know I cannot control anybody else, but I wanted to offer another opinion.

Just think for a second about the other side of telling someone to “lighten up” or that it’s “only a joke”.  Nobody likes that.  That’s a great excuse for mean behavior and when these kids get a little older, we call that bullying.  I want to model kindness. And if that makes me unpopular, so be it.  I’ll still be kind to you.

I hear people talking about how mean kids are and that kindness is a lost way of living.  Well what do you expect when you model meanness to your kids?  They see that you think it’s funny and then they go on to pass it on.  You know what else gets passed on that you model for your kids? KINDNESS.  Trust.  Real, genuine laughter and funny business.

I am trying my best to raise kind, thoughtful, compassionate kids here.  It’s treacherous business in our climate today but there is so much good out there.  That’s where I gravitate and when I don’t see it immediately in front of me, I look harder or I try to create it myself.  It’s not always the easy way, but it’s the right way for us.

Let’s try harder to be funny.  Funny doesn’t have to be mean.  There are plenty of ways out there to be kind and funny without making your kids or even ANYBODY cry.

Love and kindness equals power.   Let’s harness that and pass that on instead of cruelty for the sake of a “joke” or “entertainment”.  What if we decided what was funny and what wasn’t instead of a tv show?  That’s what I’m choosing.  Let’s encourage love and kindness over meanness.  Our kids are depending on us. It’s our choice and our responsibility.

My little mama just sent this email as I was writing this post:

Honey–I keep thinking about Bubby telling you to take a break and drink you coffee. I think it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve heard. It tells me that he has a real sensitivity for what others are feeling (especially you), and empathy for others. I’m sure he’s repeating what he’s heard from you, but even so. It’s a quality that’s going to serve him well for the rest of his life. I think Bebe, too–when she told him to drink his water when he was coughing.
I’ve told more people that they’re really an old married couple dressed as toddlers…  🙂

Kindness.  To each other and to the world at large.  Let’s spread it around. I know you want the best for your kids too.  I know it.

I don’t think my kids are assholes.  I don’t want my kids to think I am one either.  I don’t want them to think it’s okay to laugh at others when they are in distress.  Whether that distress is real or manufactured, it doesn’t matter.  I want to pass on kindness in every way I can.  That’s how I contribute to society and the greater good.

See also:

Where do mean girls come from?

I almost punched a little girl at the library

Is kindness a weakness

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