Should teens trick or treat?

How old is too old to trick or trick? Is it 12, 13, or 21?

Did you know that some cities across the country have adopted age limits for trick or treating – usually around 12 years old.  They’re actually giving out fines if they catch teens doing it.
Check out this quote from the Mayor of Belleville, Ill.: “When I was a kid my father said to me, You’re too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You’re done,” Mark Eckert said. “When that doesn’t happen, then that’s reason for the city governments to intervene.”
Time for the government to intervene? Is this guy insane? The mayor claims some people are scared to open their doors to teens in freaky costumes and that little kids are scared of teens they run into on the streets. I get that. But really, is a ban necessary?
Kids grow up too fast, these days. Why not let them continue the tradition? It’s such a bummer when you get to old to trick or treat, or when you still want to but your friends think they’re too old. As a parent, I’m okay with my kids trick or treating until whatever age they still want to do it. (It’s better than them out drinking or vandalising or getting into trouble.
Of course, there’s also the battle of what age is okay to trick or treat without embarrassing parents tagging along. I still wish my 14-year-old would let me tag along.
Meanwhile, I’m planning to encourage my kids to trick or treat this year and the next, and the next. I mourn the day when I no longer have trick or treat bags around to raid when they head off to school. (Mmm, can’t wait for the Junior Mints!)
What do you think about teens trick or treating? Should there be an age limit? Will you encourage or discourage your teens to go door-to-door? Do you remember how old you were when you stopped trick or treating?
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1 Comment

  1. paula August 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I think the time to stop is when kids go out only for the candy, not for the fun. you can tell because they are rude and don’t even say trick-or-treat, but rather, make comments about how good/bad your candy is. And, as far as I am concerned, if the kids are old enough to go out on their own, they are too old to trick or treat. I would not let a 13 year old go out with friends without one parent tagging along, even if it is a few feet away and pretending not to be there.


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