Trick-or-Treating at What Age?

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Randomness
October 28, 2011

On the way to drop the boys off at school yesterday, we were listening to a radio show and the topic was trick-or-treating.  I have fond memories of trick-or-treating as a little girl, probably up to my early teens.  Then after that, I was happy if we bought bags of candy as a family, sat down with a good movie, and enjoyed the sweet feast!

As a parent now handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, I love seeing the variety of costumes and the excitement on the little ones’ faces when I open the door and they say with a big smile, “Trick or treat.”  They love it when I talk about each of their costumes and I almost feel like it’s a boost of confidence at each doorstep for the kids, not necessarily being all about the candy.  I mean, who doesn’t love to hear that their haircut turned out cute or that their chocolate cream pie is the best in town.  What kid doesn’t love it when an adult knows what he drew in his picture or what costume she’s wearing?  It’s fun!

As I was listening to the program, a woman came on the show and said that she goes trick-or-treating with her teenage kids.  OK, so I think teenage  kids trick-or-treating is pushing it, but I’ll still give the candy to them.  However, to have a grown woman (or man) standing at my door with an open bag waiting for me to drop in handfuls of candy?  I would say – inappropriate?  How do you feel about that?  Now, this woman did say that she takes the candy to a home where she works with mentally handicapped kids, but I myself would feel so much better if I just bought or made them goodies.  Or possibly just take the candy that my kids wouldn’t eat and donate them to to somebody.

I laughed when he talked about the dad holding the 3 month old dressed in a pumpkin costume, saying trick-or-treat.  A 3 month old isn’t going to eat candy and if you’re giving a 3 month old chocolate……well, I love chocolate, but DON’T give a 3 month old chocolate!  I do think there is an exception to the dad (or mom) trick-or-treating with the 3 month old pumpkin if you are trick-or-treating with older siblings.  Then it just makes for good photo opportunities.

On the show, they started talking about how they have a big Halloween party in their neighborhood with Hay Rides.  Hay rides?  That sounds fun.  You’d think so, until you heard the punchline.  The hay ride takes place up and down the street and as it passes the island in the middle of the road, a group of adults jump out and scare the kids!  Ok….now, if they are teenagers, that’s one thing.  However, if we’re talking about little “goldfish” aged kids – WAY inappropriate!  Then again, I am about Halloween being fun, not freaking out little kids.

What are your thoughts?

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

7 Responses to “Trick-or-Treating at What Age?”

  1. If your child is too young to trick or treat – here is an original Halloween story for young children. It is set on the San Francisco coast and features the old Ocean Shore Railroad that used to run between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. It is called “The Haunted Bridge” and is about a young girl who sets out to solve the mystery of why a particular bridge is always shrouded in fog.

    The Haunted Bridge was produced by local artists, storytellers and filmmakers Adrienne Doherty and Adrian Smith

    The Haunted Bridge

    Enjoy, share and BOO!

  2. Personally, I think Halloween should be fun up until the age of at least 10 or 12, then you can start getting into the scary stuff like haunted houses or scary hay rides-Any younger then that and I think, like you, it just ruins it for the kids and Halloween doesn’t become fun for them anymore!

    As for trick or treating, I went all the way up until I was at least 14 or 15-I actually would have gone tonight (I’m 21, almost 22), but I didn’t have a costume that would have been appropriate. LOL I just love it that much!

  3. amie says:

    I think the teen years are pushing it for trick or treating. I think I only trick or treated until I was 10 or so. Parents going around with their kids with a bag of their own is just wrong. It should be for and about the kids, not the adults getting candy. I love the idea of the block party and hay rides and such, but i’m with you about the adults scaring the kids as they go by. That is so wrong. I recently realized that haunted houses are a lot of fun. We had one here this year for adults only, and boy was it funny. It wasn’t scary which is unusual.

  4. ellen says:

    Years ago we would trick or treat until we were 14 maybe 15, but that was a long time ago- there weren’t any other activities around.
    Nowdays so much is done at specific places here- at the malls usually or maybe down main street and they have severely limited it to an 8:30pm curfew. I think alot of it depends on your neighborhood.

  5. Lizzy says:

    In my opinion, I think that Halloween should be for ages 3-12. Baby’s don’t eat candy and teenagers are just too big.

  6. Lean S says:

    The late teen years, I think, would be pushing it. I understand it can be a fun activity to partake in with friends, and I don’t withhold candy from anyone, but as long as teens are out on the streets doing the same thing as younger kids, there’s bound to be some bullying and aggressive behavior taking place.

  7. Maria Malaveci says:

    I also agree with the others posts. Halloween trick or treating should be for up to the age of 12. Anything else should be for a Halloween Party.

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