It’s absolutely adorable when a 2-year-old dressed as a pumpkin knocks on your door on Halloween night and says “trick or treat.” It’s not quite as adorable when a pack of teenagers knock on your door in regular clothes, maybe wearing masks, and say “trick or treat.” Some people will flat out let the teenagers know it.
It’s the time of year when kids are deciding which costumes to wear for trick-or-treating on Halloween. But while teens and tweens may be deciding between dressing as zombies or sexy witches, some people are asking how old do kids have to be before they’re considered “too old” to trick-or-treat?
Should high schoolers trick or treat?
This year my son is 16 and he thinks he may be too old. He tells me, “I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do.” I told him he can pass out candy with me, but he says he probably is going to walk around the neighborhood for a little while with friends, just socializing. I informed him that if he is going to knock on doors, he has to wear of costume. “Just being a cool teenager and asking for candy isn’t going to cut it,” I informed him.
With my older kids, I remember the first year they felt too old to trick or treat. They sat outside with me passing out candy with a wistful look on their faces, happy to be maturing, yet kind of sad that the exhilaration of running door to door with friends in their costumes was behind them.
When a group of teenagers come to my house on Halloween night, I happily give them candy. I think as long as teens are dressed in costumes and respectful, they should go for it and enjoy the fun night. But I know other people aren’t as friendly when teenagers come around trick or treating. Last year, my son was 15 and he went out trick or treating with friends. He said some homeowners were downright nasty to them and flat out told them they were too old and that the candy was for the younger kids.
This year, the Canadian city of New Brunswick banned kids older than 16 from trick or treating. Anyone over 16 caught knocking on doors looking for candy, or wearing a “facial disguise” after curfew, could be forced to shell out for a $200 fine, the Today Show reported. That’s pretty drastic, don’t you think?
The Today Show did a segment on the topic and a poll asking: How old is too old for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween? One responder said: “By 16, you’re old enough to work, so get a job and buy your own candy.” That’s a harsh take isn’t it? While parents in the poll couldn’t agree on a specific cut-off age, they did specify a range. Seventy-three percent of more than 2,000 respondents said kids should stop trick-or-treating between the ages of 12 and 17.
Personally, I don’t think there should be a cut off age. I completely agree with the perspective of one Facebook mom:
“Just take a second to think … would you rather them (teenagers) be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child’s life in danger? Or would you rather them be knocking on your door getting candy? Just think about that before you turn down candy to one of them. I’d rather see my teen doing this rather than something dangerous. Just because they’re 16 doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a little safe, legal fun.”
I am just as happy to give a teen a candy bar as I am a 3-year-old on Halloween night. Most likely, he or she will enjoy it more. There will be no teen shaming at my house!
What are your thoughts: Should teenagers trick or treat? If so, how old is too old?