Judi on teal pumpkins — ‘Your kid’s problem isn’t mine’

Teal pumpkins NJ kids food allergies
Teal pumpkins in NJ: keeping kids safe! (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)

It’s going to sound really mean, but the teal pumpkin thing really makes me mad.

For those of you who are unaware, displaying a teal pumpkin in front of your home on Halloween is a signal to people that your home-namely the treats you offer on Halloween-caters to kids with food allergies. But what did we do before the teal pumpkin idea?

Well, we figured it out.

You scoped out the food selection before your kids did, or maybe you even, God forbid, told your kids that they couldn’t trick-or-treat this year and gave them an opportunity to do some other fun Halloween activity.

When I read the comments on scratchorsniff.com on the Halloween teal pumpkin households, I wanted to sympathize. I really did. But instead I found myself agreeing with the nasty people who say, “Whose problem is your kid’s allergy? Mine or yours?”

I really didn’t want to sound this nasty, but it just seems indicative of an even bigger problem. To me, the direction the world is moving in now is difficult for MANY people so as to make it easier for a FEW people. By that I mean, in order to make things easier for the minority, the majority has to shuffle, switch, redesign, finagle and otherwise go out of their way to be accommodating.

I think it sends a really bad message to kids to imply that everyone should have to accommodate them for their problems rather than the other way around. And I also think it makes people stronger when they have an issue like this and have to figure out a way around it.

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Having an allergy, a problem, even a long-term disability has been known to boost the resilience and strength of people to the point where they become stronger than the “non-afflicted.” I know that I’d feel horrible if a zillion families had to go out of their way to accommodate my one little kid and his one big problem.

And lest you think my children do not suffer from serious shortcomings/disabilities/inherent challenges, nothing could be further from the truth. But I’ve always taught my kids to use their shortcomings to their advantage – as an opportunity to learn to grow and to strategize through difficulty. That’s the way you make tough kids, instead of snowflakes.

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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