How Old is Too Old to Trick-or-Treat?

Growing up my mom implemented the rule that once you were 12 years old you were done trick-or-treating. I remember when I turned 12 I was not too happy with this. Most of my friends still trick-or-treated a couple more years (some even quite a few years) and I just didn’t think it was fair.

Now that I have kids of my own, I realize how wise my mom was- with many things- and this Halloween rule is not exception. I grow increasingly annoyed at the teenage trick-or-treaters every year. Every year they come around with their pillowcases full of candy, wearing bloody, disgusting costumes or really nasty, revealing costumes that I would rather not see! (I’m sorry, but just because it is Halloween doesn’t mean it is ok to dress as a hooker!) What happened to the normal looking witch, why are all the witches wearing mini skirts and tube tops now?

I digress…

The other annoyance I have are those parents who trick-or-treat for their newborns! The kid is 2 weeks old, this candy is for you and that is pathetic. I love Halloween and I have enjoyed dressing my kids up since Ethan’s first Halloween when he was 9 months old. Costumes are fun, I LOVE seeing babies in costumes, but sweet-toothed parents ruin it for me.

My friend’s mom said she kept 2 bowls near her door on Halloween- 1 for the kids and one for the teenagers. The kid’s bowl was full of candy, the teenager’s bowl was full of ketchup packets (they sounded like a bowl of candy and no one knew til they got home that someone gave them ketchup packets instead of candy!) If I had more nerve, I’d wrap ketchup packets in one of these printables to explain that they got the ketchup not because I was cheap but because they look so silly:

I made these using Printable Designs from Sprik Space– clever, right? But I won’t be giving these out simply because I’d be afraid those kids would come back and set my house on fire! But the idea is tempting…

So I want to know from all of you what you think- how old is too old to trick-or treat? Leave me a comment, but please keep it friendly! I know this may strike up some difference in opinions, and that is ok, but let’s play nicely! :)trick or treat

Wife, mom of 5, and creator of Somewhat Simple, Stephanie has a passion to create and inspire. She is an Orange County transplant who is now enjoying life in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys traveling, shopping, organizing, cooking and creating simple projects for her home and family.
WHAT?! This is life-changing, people! ;) - 5 hours ago

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    • Jeanette Sanchez says

      I had a carload of teenagers come to my house and my first thought was they are too old to trick or treating. My second thought was i would much rather them be out having good clean fun than out drinking or doing drugs. I was very happy to give them some treats. They were very respectful.

  1. says

    I don’t have a problem with older trick-or-treaters, as long as they are respectable, especially when the young ones are close. We live in a neighborhood of 65 houses and half the kids are teens 12+. The majority of whom still got out every Halloween. I have not run into any issues with them.

  2. says

    Nope. There’s a limit. Just like you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) send a teenager to sit on Santa’s lap every year, trick or treating is for small kids. And it’s not all good, clean fun when teenagers are involved. I love the ketchup idea!

  3. says

    Well … I sure do disagree about the babies trick or treating I have a 1 yr old however I only go around with her because my 8 yr old does not want to leave her “out” of the fun, and even though I only give my older one 1 piece of candy for a few days then trash the rest, I still allow my kids to enjoy themselves for a night.

  4. Jon says

    If you make the effort to have a costume, or to dress up in the spirit of Halloween, you deserve a candy. No matter how old you are. Don’t be mad teenagers like to have fun and enjoy a good time on Halloween, just because your mother thought it was immature once you are older than 12, doesn’t mean she’s right.

    • vikki says

      I agree if the kids dress up, then ok. But in our neighborhood I start getting the teenagers at about 8 and none of them even dress up. Even more insulting is they don’t even have a bag, just stick out their hand. So in this case the ketchup would be a great invitation to smear it on my car!! I tried to get my kids to stop at 12 but they still wanted to go out so I let them as long as they were respectful. I too was not allowed after age 12.

  5. says

    I don’t really care as much about the age of the trick-or-treater as I care about the costume (or lack thereof). Every year I get a fair amount of kids who don’t make any effort at all to dress up. I’d honestly prefer a skimpy witch costume (not on my own kid, of course) to a kid who come to my door in jeans and a t-shirt and just holds out a bag without even saying trick-or-treat!!

    For those kids I’m really tempted use your awesome idea of ketchup packets with a little printable saying “Since you didn’t make an effort to dress in a costume, I’m not making an effort to give you candy!”

  6. says

    We are struggling with what age is right around here too. My son is 11, and he is apparently too cool to dress up this year. That leaves us in a bit of a bind, as we participate in an annual Halloween party with trick or treating afterward. I know he’ll want the candy, but doesn’t want to don the costume…

    On another note, I heard on XM Radio’s Kids place Live the other day that a guy put ice cubes in the older or the annoying prankster kids’ bags. He kept the bowl up high so they couldn’t see what he was dropping in. Sounded like pieces of candy! Wonder how wet their bags were? :)

    • says

      Ive heard of the ice cube thing too, and I dont want to ruin the holiday (or the candy) but I just think there has to be an age where you can find something else to do than trick or treat. And my son didnt want to dress up last year and he was only 7- right before our party I talked him into at least wearing his baseball uniform and he could be a baseball player. that worked!

    • says

      I believe Halloween is like everything else in life…if you’re not going to participate, you shouldn’t reap the reward. :) 11 is a tough age. They don’t want to be grouped in with the little kids anymore and they’re not quite teens but want to appear cool to the older kids. I think Steph’s idea is a great one and if that doesn’t work maybe point out an older kid that he looks up to who participates and maybe he’ll feel better about it. If you dress up and get into it, eventually he may catch the enthusiasm. If not at this age, then when he has kids of his own! :)

  7. says

    Sadly, every year when we give out our full size candy bars, we get MOTHERS who not only take one for their 6 month old in the stroller AND for themselves. Really? You’re going to let your 6 month old eat that Snickers you just put in the bag? Tacky!

  8. Sherron says

    I don’t mind the age of the trick-or-treaters as much as I mind the time that they come. Teenagers seem to come late at night and even though I have turned off al of the outdoor lights, they still ring the doorbell at 8 or 9 pm after my kids are in bed. Super annoying. This year I am unplugging the doorbell when I am done answering the door.

  9. Talia says

    I think it’s interesting that you targeted teenagers are dressing as hookers and grotesque when I cringed walking through the toddler section of the costumes and seeing that most of those costumes looked like they were for the Junior Hooker and Future Murderer Pageants as well. If how people dress up is an issue for wanting to give candy to certain people, then there will be many in your acceptable age range that shouldn’t be getting candy as well. Also, I think it says a lot about someone to be so ungracious to teenagers as to give them ketchup. We cry and moan that we should hold onto their childhood for as long as possible, but then we treat them like dirt because we expect them to give up their childish ways when they hit their 12th birthday. I honestly don’t think that by giving the teenagers crap like that is setting a good example of polite and friendly. It’s only reinforcing the prevailing attitude in our country that teenagers are scum and providing an extra element of alienation.

    • Annie says

      my guess is all these kids whine about not being treated like an adult..until it comes to this. There are better and more appropriate ways…good scary movies..parties…dressing up and handing out candy. There is a limit for everything.including childhood. at 12 one is growing up and needs to learn other things. If a teen comes to my door I’ll hand out candy..but I think they should be doing something more aimed for their age group!

      • Talia says

        Funny how we’re willing to force our kids to grow up on something that is childish like trick-or-treating, but when it comes to school and homework, parents think it’s important to enforce childhood and let them be kids. Maybe we should reconsider our priorities and allow them to be kids on something they want to be kids on and force them to be adults in something that actually matters like their school work.

        • says

          Yes, some parents like to pick and choose where they want to “force maturity” and that isn’t right. I dont think that I’m not forcing my kid to grow up by saying they cant trick or treat- I’m just “forcing” them the choose something else more “age appropriate”- like have a party, watch a clean scary movie etc.

      • Sparkina says

        “at 12 one is growing up and needs to learn other things.”

        And who crowned you empress? :-)

  10. Tara says

    I 100% agree with you!! 12 for my kids will be the last year for them! there is just no need for it after that!! I hate when teenagers come to my door in jeans and a t-shirt and a mask!! not necessary!! And half the problem is, is that sometimes tricks come more with the teenagers being out!!

    • says

      I hear you- and I dont mean to stereotype because not all teenagers are out causing problems, especially those who are out with their younger siblings, but for some reason there seems to be unnecessary problems when kids are out late with their peers completely unsupervised.

  11. Lindsey says

    I have to say I agree with you about this. I think 12 is the cut off. That doesn’t mean halloween is over or you have to sit home and do nothing, but dressing up to give out candy or letting your older kids have a little halloween party is something more age appropriate. I like the idea of the printables. I think it is more friendly than some things you could do.

    • says

      thanks Lindsey! And no, Halloween is not over just because the trick or treating is over. Have a party for the teenagers, get creative! One family we were friends with had an awesome Halloween party every year- it became a tradition and it was way better than walking the streets!

  12. says

    maybe it depends on the experiences you’ve had with halloween-growing up and now, we’ve never had any big problems with any kids-as long as they have a costume, i have no problem with trick or treating. i know with my 14 year old too, there’s so much pressure to grow up all the time, why rush it, if she wants to trick or treat and wear a costume, that’s fine with me. she goes around with my husband and i and the rest of our kids and we have fun. even if she wanted to go with some friends, as long as they were dressed up, i’d keep my eye on them, know where they were and let them have fun. i’d rather she be trick or treating than doing some other things.

  13. says

    Trick or treating should have no age limit! However there should be a costume requirement and saying “trick or treat” should be required too. What I can’t stand is when the big kids/teenagers come up to the door with absolutely no costume AT ALL. And they don’t say trick or treat. Hate that! We always ask them, what do you say in order to get them to say it.

    I trick or treated until high school in fun appropriate costumes. I do agree with your comments about the revealing costumes. I think this needs to be taken up with the costume manufacturers. Have you ever tried to find a lady’s costume in the store? Good luck!

  14. says

    I totally agree with you! My mom had the 12 year old rule too. When you got older you did “older kid” things like Halloween parties with friends or as I learned to love good scary movies – mom and I would make a night out of that. And I learned to enjoy giving out candy to the lil ones. It should be a part of growing up. I have no problem with newborns tagging along with siblings, but I agree with you again. That candy is for the parents – not the kids. Good lord can’t a little kid have something that’s specifically theirs? Wouldn’t I look silly at 32 going door to door with a pillowcase? Maybe we should just to see the expressions we’d get. 😉

    • says

      Ha ha! Your comment is exactly how I feel! Going with younger siblings is totally different! And seriously, I want to be the “cool mom” who has a freakin’ awesome party for all the teens every Halloween! I will make Halloween so stinkin’ fun the 8 year olds will be counting down the years til they are old enough to come!

  15. says

    I think the rule of 12 is a great one. And I REALLY hate when people take their babies trick or treating…I felt awkward taking an 18 month old with a large group of friends. Everybody knows the parent is going to eat that candy. Maybe instead of ketchup packets (which is an awesome idea, btw) you could have a bowl of the yuck-o candy nobody likes to give the parents of babies and the teens…OR save all the yuck-o candy that is left over after Halloween to recycle for those people the next year.

    We are going to our church’s trunk or treat and I know I am going to get annoyed at the teenagers who make the rounds of the cars two or three times…I will NOT give them the candy more then once…and that first time will be begrudgingly. 😉

  16. Kathleen says

    When I was 13 I didn’t go Trick-or-Treating because I thought I was too old and I missed it, so I went the following year (and every year when I was in high school). My friends and I wanted to dress up, but didn’t want to go to Halloween parties where girls were expected to dress as Play Boy Bunnies or lingerie models, and beer was the “treat”. We always dressed appropriately, were respectful, and had a great time. As for the candy, we usually ended up giving most of it away to our church to use in Christmas stockings for the less fortunate. Kids are constantly being pressured into acting older than they are, in some of the worst ways, why not let them be childish for a little longer?

    As for the baby trick-or-treating, I took my sons to our closest neighbors, just so they could see how cute they looked in costumes, and not one of them would let us go without taking candy. And, yes, we ate it! What’s the big deal? It’s fun and they’re saving you the trouble of eating all the leftovers!

    • Elisha says

      Thank you for sharing Kathleen! I wasn’t as selfless as you but I had a simular experience. Luckily I lived in a small close knit community that for the most part didn’t do the above to teens. My wife and I also took out our 1 year old simply to show her off. We got candy and we ate it but the point was being able to have an appropriate venue to show off our daughter.

  17. says

    My mom told us that eventually we’d be too embarassed to trick or treat, and we were. I’ve often thought our rule would be that unless you’re supervising a younger sibling at a trunk or treat, it ends when you’re out of Jr. High, and I’ll buy you a bag of assorted candy if you help siblings or pass out candy.

  18. Amy K says

    We implemented the Middle School rule when my oldest was younger. We’re just mean that way! 😉 Now my middle child is really disappointed because she has now reached this milestone; however, has come to accept it, and asked her little brother if he’ll share his 3 Musketeers with her.

  19. Kris C says

    I think teenagers trick-or-treating is ridiculous! The parents on here that are saying to let them have fun and do it as long as they want are the parents that coddle their kids to the point that its disgusting! We wonder why children/teenagers are so lazy and irresponsible now a days? Take a look at their parents. If you want to have Halloween fun at that age have a get together with your friends or hand out candy to the little kids that are trick-or-treating. Stop babying these teen or they will grow up to be the kids that always live at home and have no job! And I love the ketchup idea :)

    • Elisha says

      So, someone trick or treating as a teenager means that the youth is coddled and they will grow up to be lazy and living at home? That’s either pretty funny or incredibly simplistic (not a good thing in this case). Since I did the above till 15, that must apply to me right? Try to think before allowing foolishness from coming out of your brain.

    • says

      You can’t group all teens and parents into one catagory like that. That is what is wrong with this country. Let’s punish all because a few are out of hand. As a mother of three very successful teens (4-H, FFA, Junior Honors Society, top 10% of their classes, volunteer, participate in athletics, barrel race, etc. etc.) I have to say if my “coddling them” is what made them this way, well I will continue to baby them by letting them dress up and get candy on Halloween. Who knew that was babying them :P. – Another point, we live in a small farming town, so not every teen is a lazy never do well, these kids work all the time. So like I said you can’t lump them all together.

  20. Elisha says

    Having trick or treated till I was roughly 15, I find these ideas quite irritating. I dressed up and so did my friends. We went around at the set times for our city. We didn’t shove or do anything to hinder younger children from getting candy. So, if you would have put ketchup or an ice cube in my bag… well I would have had all my friends stop at your house for more ketchup packets because we were going to teach you a lesson. If you wanted to be a jerk, which is exactly what that is being, then you paid the price. So, if your friends mom thinks she is slick then she will have another thing coming because soon or later someone like me will teach her that being a jerk doesn’t pay. Btw, tell her that she should invest in heavy duty gloves and some really strong cleaner… feces is a real duzzie to get off of windows, cars, siding, roofs, etc. when it dries.
    PS – as a teenager, I did check my bags because I ate the candy as I went… once again, someday she, or anyone else, who thinks this is a great idea will learn better.
    PSS – normally once we did this to someone, we stopped by every year after to leave them with a trick from us for their crappy treat.

    • Kris C says

      I guess my question is… You had nothing better to do at 15 then to go trick-or-treating? I’m pretty sure at 15 I was handing out candy to young children and going to haunted houses specifically for teenagers. Not really sure why anyone at that age would want to go door to door with a bag to beg for candy. I had a job and bought my own at that age…

    • says

      Sadly, the teenagers that trick or treat in my neighborhood are not as polite as you and your friends were. They do push ahead and I’ve even seen them scaring the little ones on purpose, to which I don’t give them candy. Growing up, there were a bunch of teens that would literally threaten the little kids with a hammer and steal their candy.

      If teenagers come to the door and are polite, I don’t mind. But unfortunately, at least where I live and manners are supposedly important, the teens are lacking. Strangely, it’s only the boys who seem to trick or treat. There aren’t any girls that look above 10 that come around.

    • says

      I probably wouldn’t have a problem with your group if you were really acting and dressing appropriately- unfortunately it sounds like your group is the minority and the annoying teens ruin it. If I grew up in a small town where there was nothing else to do, maybe I would feel differently, but there was plenty for me to do when I was 12 and older that was way better than trick or treating.

      • Elisha says

        Then that needs to be represented in your blog post. The way it stands and how some on here are acting, you are living by a hard and fast rule. That’s fine if you want to impose it on your kids, it’s your right. It’s not okay to impose it on others.

        • Mara says

          Actually Elisha, your group of friends and you don’t sound like you were very nice or appropriate. To take such revenge upon someone because they didn’t give you a piece of candy it quite INappropriate, and childish. You would be the exact kids that I would wish would just grow up! I though it was stupid that kids would pull pranks like that when I was a teenager and I still think it is supid and childish.
          You say that you would teach a lesson about being “a jerk” by being a jerk right back, how does that make you better?
          I on the other hand think that all the ideas here are fine, whether you get a full size candy bar or an ice cube, be gratefull – someone is giving you something for FREE! and you did say trick or treat, not just treat.

  21. Nina says

    I don’t think there is as much of a “magical age” as there is a mentality and spirit. If a 19 year old comes to my door and is respectful, has a good costume and has manners – I’ll probably give him/her extra candy. When people come to my door, I always ask who they are dressed up as, and the teenagers who don’t have costumes don’t get candy from me. I just say, sorry no costume no candy. It usually gets a laugh from the other kids in the group and I hear comments like “see I told you that’s not a costume”.

  22. Danielle says

    If they’re wearing a costume, they get candy (or juice boxes, because that’s what we hand out!:). I’m just throwing this out there, but when deciding whether or not to give a “teenager” candy, make sure that they really are teenagers! I have a VERY tall 11-year-old who had her feelings hurt last year (at the ripe ol’ age of 10!) by a grumpy lady asking “don’t you think you’re a little OLD for trick or treating, DEAR?” Poor kid! :(

    • says

      Oh my gosh I know! What is up with adults and their comments sometimes? Don’t people know how to hold their tongues anymore? You don’t know the situation people keep it shut! When my brother and I were kids he was overweight and while trick or treating once one old lady told him “you don’t need a candy little boy you need an apple”. His feelings were hurt for sure. I think it’s best to just zip it most of the time. What good does it do to hurt one’s feelings?

  23. says

    I guess my big question is, whatever happened to planning activities for the teens on Halloween? We used to have a big dance every year where we got to dress up, dance with the cute boys, eat junk all night, then get a goodie bag when we left. It may not have been on Halloween night but the weekend before. Then it was fun to stay home and see all the little kids, dress up and hand out candy, and inevitably, there was a ton of candy from my brother’s spoils that my mom would give me. Not to mention the stuff you lift from your own bowl. :) I was much more interested in the dance and being with my friends than the door to door thing. I wonder if more teens are trick or treating because they don’t have any other activities planned for them.

    • says

      I already have a vision of the awesome parties I am going to throw on Halloween for my kids and their friends who are too old to trick or treat. I think they do still need a good, safe place with supervision, so Im going to plan it and it will be a fabulous tradition that all the little kids will be envious they cant come to!

  24. says

    I only buy enough candy to last about an hour or so, which means the little kids. by the time the big kids roll around there’s nothing left for them. The thing I dislike about the big kids going around is that ( a ) most of them are old enough to get part time jobs and buy their own candy. and ( b ) most of them don’t even wear a costume. For me, I stopped trick or treating when i was about 12 or so. But I did take my younger cousins and brother out for a few years 15, 16, yrs old. Some people offered me candy and i was like I’m not trick or treating, just walking with them (it was usually on my paper route and I would hand them the paper while my cousin/brothers did the trick or treat thing) but I got some candy put in my paper bag ha!

    This year, I have a 14 year old student staying with me, She wants to go trick or treating. I said no you’re too old. She said I don’t care I will go anyway. But her parents and the school both have set the rule that no she can’t. So I will do my best to keep her from sneaking out to trick or treat!

  25. Kathleen says

    As a librarian specializing in youth services, I find this whole conversation very reflective of most adult attitudes toward teens in general. I’ll spare you all the scientific and biological details of the adolescent brain and development, and why childish behavior is completely appropriate for their age. Childish behavior, like caring who gets candy you are willingly giving away or giving out ketchup packets (are you going to steal those from a local fast food restaurant or buy them at the restaurant supply store?), is, however, inappropriate for adults.

    Why don’t you take this as an opportunity to get to know the teens in your neighborhood/community? How often do teens take the time to talk you? You can ask them their name; who their parents are; where they live. Then they don’t become nameless teens, but real people. Be an adult, and demonstrate how to behave. Be an example.

    One of the reasons I didn’t hand out candy as a teen (see my above post) is because my mom did. She loved talking to all the kids, parents, everyone who came to our door. In the early 90s, during an economic downturn, while talking to some kids she didn’t recognize, she learned that their parents were having trouble getting food on the table. She ended up giving them a bunch of canned food at the end of the night. From then on, she always made sure our pantry was fully stocked out Halloween night, just in case. My point is that you don’t know what goes on in other peoples homes, and that by judging people, you lose out on an opportunity to get to know people and possibly help them out. Just because it’s Halloween night, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice kindness first.

    • says

      Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady! Most of the teens that trick or treat here are on my doorstep and off before the can even say “trick or treat”- they don’t care to stick around and chat. I do plan to have Halloween parties at my house when my kids are older to give all the teens a fun, safe place to hang out. And this way I can supervise and get to know my kid’s peers and their families just a bit better.

  26. Paula says

    I’ve met 12 year olds that I would trust to watch my children and I’ve met 12 year olds that I’m sure still play with toys in the bathtub. Not all children mature at the same rate. I will hand out candy to whom ever comes at an appropriate time. I’ve had lots of older kids (yes, they are still kids) come to my door in great costumes! And if they don’t have a costume and they still want candy…they have to sing. I’m a little teapot is my fave. You wouldn’t believe how much they get into it! My kids will get to trick or treat until the don’t want to anymore. I would be really sad for them to get something other than a “treat” in their bag. I would highly suggest if you don’t want to hand out treats to older kids maybe put a cute sign on your door to get your point across…then they won’t feel rejected when you tell them you think they are too old. (Keep in mind some kids are big for their age. I have an almost 9 year old that is as tall as an average 11 year old)
    PS…I don’t think letting kids be kids is coddling them. 12 years old is HARDLY close to adulthood…they probably haven’t even hit puberty yet. I personally don’t want to look back and wish my kids weren’t grown. I want to look back at cherished memories of their childhood and proud of the person they’ve grown up to be.

  27. says

    I think that trick-or-treating should have an age limit. I grew up with one. I can’t remember any teenager ever trick-or-treating when I was a kid. The ones that did, seemed to be troublemakers. I think that still stands true today. Teenagers are very greedy!! I’ve never had a little kid ask for more candy, but teenagers do. Teens also don’t sit on Santa’s lap or go visit the Easter Bunny. There’s a reason….once you become a teen, you’ve outgrown it and no longer “believe”. There’s no needs for teens to be on streets during Halloween!! I say an age limit of 12 is more than fair.

    • Maddy says

      I think you’re being very unfair to say that teenagers are greedy. I’m 17 and I’m planning on trick or treating this year, but it’s because it’s the last year before I go off to college and I want to hang on to my childhood just a bit longer. I love going to different people’s houses and seeing their decorations, so you could say I still ‘believe’. Lots of my friends want beer parties and slutty costumes, but a good number of us want to get dressed up (loofahs this year) and have a nice, fun night. It’s not like the houses we go to ever run out of candy, and we’ve never stayed out past 8:30 because we know that’s a bedtime for most young kids. You can’t just say that all teenagers are the same.

  28. says

    You’ve probably heard more than you want on this subject but I just wanted to say that I think teenagers should be able to trick or treat as long as they are wearing a real costume. We get some kids who aren’t, and those kids get smarties or dumdums at my house.

    I agree with the librarian above that adults generally have bad attitudes toward teenagers. Teenagers are people too. And everyone needs candy on Halloween. Adults can buy their own or steal from their kids! lol Teenagers can get jobs and buy themselves candy, but its not the same as trick or treating. I would rather my teens went out trick or treating than to some of the parties I am sure go on that they could be going to.

  29. Christina says

    As a parent of kids ranging from 4 to 15, I’m pretty appalled that anybody would single out my teenage son as too old for anything. Teenagers are still kids. Halloween is a fun holiday for kids and teenagers are still kids. At my house, my kids get to eat a handful of their own candy and the rest is donated. They don’t trick or treat for the candy. They do it for the fun of dressing up and the festivities in our neighborhood.

  30. says

    Wow. I’m kind of shocked that your mom was so mean. I love having teens come. They’re just as interesting and fun as younger ones just in a different way.

    I am so tired of leaving teens in a limbo–too old for the fun stuff and too young for the adult stuff. I don’t give a rat’s butt what they wear. I’d rather have them coming for candy instead of trashing stuff out of boredom.

    Frankly any adult who’s willing to dress up to entertain me is more than welcome to some candy, too.

  31. Lena K. says

    I wish I would have done this tonight! I’m okay with teenagers, but grown-a** moms in regular clothes who open up their purses for me to throw candy on their lipstick and keys – really? It might be a cultural thing in my area or something, but it irks me.

  32. says

    I am ok with teen trick-or-treating. Like everybody else said why not? If they are polite and not pushing at the little ones. As far as scary costumes go, well I am one to always have skin peeling, blood dripping, creepy stuff, every since I was little (odd child I know LOL), for the low cut ones, I don’t allow my teen/pre-teen daughters to dress that way but I am not everybody elses mother. I don’t agree with it, even for myself though.

    The mothers, if they were dressed I would say “And one for mom for putting out the effort”. It’s only candy, not bars of gold.

  33. Carrie says

    Very interesting perspective from so many. I’ve learned a few things just reading through the comments that I’ll consider down the road, but for me, I got to Trick-or-Treat through Elementary School. Most of my friends got to Trick-or-Treat throughout the Middle School years, but I understand why my parents didn’t want us out beyond 5th grade and I plan to enforce the same (and now see that I should be prepared with fun alternatives). I didn’t feel robbed of anything and I respected my parent’s guidance and rules.

  34. says

    Wow! Frankly, this idea makes me a little sad/disappointed. Handing out ketchup packets to teens (with or without a printable attached) would be mean-spirited and highly PASSIVE-AGRESSIVE.

    If I don’t have the guts to say it to a someone’s face, I wouldn’t act on it at all.

    This would set a really bad example of how to poorly treat others that don’t fit within your own perceptions/guidelines. Not very mature either!

  35. Naomi says

    I might have agreed with you at some point, but being the parent of a teenager changes my perspective. I certainly wouldn’t have gone to the lengths of giving them ketchup. I would’ve (maybe a little begrudgingly) given them candy, with the fear that I would have to tell some tiny Cinderella or Transformer that I didn’t have anymore candy because the big kids took it all (kidding). But now that I have a teenage daughter, I realize that the only other option for them, besides sitting at home, is going to another kid’s Halloween party. Halloween parties for teenagers are most likely not what you are envisioning. It’s usually a typical teenage party with possibly alcohol & drugs.

    I would love to throw a safe party for her and her friends, but two things stop me. Most importantly, I’m also the mother of three much younger girls who still trick-or-treat. But also, in this day & age, agreeing to a house full of teenagers is risky business. It’s too easy for your location to be facebooked and tweeted, and you can end up with an out of control party in no time. You are responsible for those children, even if they have brought their own alcohol in without your knowledge. I’m finding that I’m grateful that she and her friends have trick-or-treated instead of going to the parties I know they’ve been invited to. You have to look at the situation from every angle sometimes.

  36. Shandra says

    I think I went trick-or-treating ONCE with friends as a teenager. Other than that, I went with younger siblings and had a great time. But I think if people had been going by what I looked like, I would’ve started getting ketchup packets at age 9, and that’s not really fair. There are older kids who look young and younger kids who look old. We haven’t had this problem in our neighborhood, but I think as long as they’re dressed appropriately and being respectful, I’d be okay with it. The parents with the six week olds bug me more. And people who ignore the fact that the house light is OFF. If it’s off, we’re done giving out candy people! It probably means that my kids are asleep and you knocking on my door, or worse, ringing the doorbell, is waking them up! Argh!

  37. Sparkina says

    How old is too old for a young person to trick-or-treat? When they lose interest, that’s when they’re too old, and the age that happens varies with each individual. Many teens become conscious of their figures and appearance and want to be more responsible about what they eat and aren’t about the candy so much anymore, and their interest in make-believe and sweets has naturally given way to interest in socializing and being accepted in social company. But it should come naturally to the person and not be arbitrary or forced.

  38. Sparkina says

    My two cents worth.
    I think the one to decide when a person is too old to go trick-or-treating should be …THE PERSON. You’re too old to go trick-or-treating when you lose interest. There’s no set age group or age label. it’s when the person has lost interest.

  39. abc says

    What a spoil sport you are! Obviously your sense of fun died at age 12. If they’ve made the effort to dress up what’s the big deal? You don’t have to give them candy if you don’t want to, but whinging about it is just sad. Grow up and enjoy the holiday for what it is. (And this is coming from someone who never went trick or treating!)
    BTW I think you’ll find the “other” type of witches (ie not dressed in long black rags with warty noses) are coming from more modern shows such as charmed and sabrina.

  40. Alyssa says

    As an alternative to other activities, I think it’s okay that teens trick-or-treat. However, I think they should follow some rules. 1. Wear an appropriate costumes. With so many kids running around, seriously, try to be appropriate for them. 2. Wear a costume period! I seriously dislike it when teens show up at my front door not wearing a costume! Half of the fun of Halloween is wearing a costume! 3. Say “trick-or-treat”! It’s not that hard, and it’s the point! 4. Finally, say “Thank You.” I think if teens follow those rules they could easily trick-or-treat.

    At my house growing up, my mom enforced the rule that 8th Grade was the cutoff. I got to go as a 9th grader only because my sister is 10 years younger than I am. Our Middle School ends at 8th Grade, and the High School doesn’t allow dressing up at school, so 8th seemed like a good time to call it quits. I still dress up every year (and go to class that way) and you bet I’ll keep dressing up for years to come! Halloween is my favorite holiday.

    I LOVE the ketchup packet idea! If the teens get too bad, I’ll give it a shot!

  41. Luna says

    I know I’m really late with this, but this just popped up in my pinterest account and I thought it may be interesting to hear the opinion from an actual younger person. I’m 20 right now, turned so this month. I’m no mother either. But why not join the discussion.

    I do not agree on putting an age on when you should stop trick-or-treating. Not all kids grow up at the same speed.
    Psychically nor mentally. I for instance hit puberty on the age of 11. Bodily that is. I was mentally still a kid. I hated everything all complications that came with ‘being a woman’. I just wanted to still play around. I think I started maturing mentally at the age of 14 or so and I still turned out fine. Some boys and girls from my age group, took even another year (or two) or so to hit puberty mentally. Let me tell you, they turned out fine too!

    Therefore you should not stick to a certain age for different activities and their ‘maturity level’.
    At the age of 12 all the kids in my class were still playing ‘hide and seek’ and tag. Three years later, kids
    who were the same age as we were then we’re putting on make up and acting like they were sixteen year olds.

    There were more ‘mature’ options back then too, but I wouldn’t have liked them. I very much dislike scary movies and the so-called Halloween parties where pretty much excuses for youngsters to do stuff they normally shouldn’t.
    Why running your good experience of something?

    At fourteen I stopped going for my self, but started taking out kids who’s parents wouldn’t/couldn’t take them to go and i still you. It’s lot of fun to see them happy and excited.

    I think as long as teens are polite, dress up appropriately and just just have fun, there should be no problem with their age. I agree on the moms who go with only their babies to get their own candy though. I’ll agree on the fact that once you get your own baby, you’re too old to go trick or treating for yourself.

    Well, I hope this about sums it up and I hope you moms won’t be to harsh on the teens
    and definitely won’t be as harsh as to give them ketchup. That’s just mean and you might not only spoil some of their fun, but also make them insecure about their behavior. You want them to feel unhappy about things they love and have fun with, only because you make them think it will be inappropriate for their age? Safe the judging for the ones that are even too lazy to dress up.

    I think that’s it. I’m not that good at writing opinions. I tend to get incoherent and confusing.
    I hope you guys understand anyway. If some of the words I used don’t seem to fit in the sentence:
    I probably messed up. English is my third language, so it’s far from perfect. Just try and seek word that looks/
    sounds alike.

    Okay, enough of this!

    Have a nice day everyone!