How Old Is to Old for Kids to Be Trick or Treating?
October 05, 2008
Elizabeth City, NC
I was just curious to know what other moms think about how old is to old for kids to trick or treat. I have 3 kids age 3, 7, and 10. I was wondering what other moms think is the right age for kids to stop trick or treating.
Thank you all for your input. I will leave it up to my children when they want to stop trick or treating. I still dress up with them each year to take them out trick or treating. I do it because they think it is cool that mom and dad dress up with them. Happy Halloween to you all!
I would be ok with it until age 12 as long as they are dressing up in costume. I get so annoyed with a bunch of teens who ring the doorbell expecting candy with nothing but a pillowcase. However if an older teen showed up in costume with a sibling I would be delighted to give them candy.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TEACHING THEM TO BE RESPECTFUL...
1) Don't ring or knock on houses without porch lights on
2) Don't run over little kids trying to make their way to the doors
3)Don't Trick-o-Treat past 9:00 p.m.
4)Don't scare younger kids
Honestly - I say high school (9th grade). Let them be kids as long as they can. After they start high school you can let them volunteer at the local haunted house if they really like Halloween! I got to do it and I ended up volunteering for 13 years until it closed. I can't thank my mom enough for that chance. My son will have that same chance.
I believe that they are too old to trick or treat when they decide they are to old. I went at the age of 15 with my two best friends and we had a blast. The only thing is we dressed up like pimps and thats when my mother said okay you all are too old. lol.......
Are you kidding me? I WISH I could still trick or treat!! As long as kids are respectful and actually dress up I think they should be able to trick or treat as long as they want to. What I noticed (and I was a die-hard trick-or-treater) was that my interest turned more to parties and dances when I hit 15 or so. Don't worry about it. Let them stretch that childhood out for as long as possible.
I think that it shouldn't be about the age as much as the involvement with the holiday. If a person enjoys the holiday and gets dressed up (not talking walking around with no costume and a pillow case) I am not really concerned with how old they are. We have given candy to older teens who obviously enjoyed halloween very much and displayed the spirit of halloween with their store bought or homemade costumes.
I am not sure of the exact age that kids should stop trick-or-treating. Mine stopped around the age of 12. We still get kids coming to our door who are obvously in their teens and we still give them treats. I believe that there is a little "kid" in all of us so if the worse things these trick or treating teens do is dress up and ask for candy - so what! These teens are good kids and never cause any trouble in our neighborhood. A lot of people think teens should not trick or treat but we believe that they will stop in time. The thing that bothers me THE MOST is when BOTH parents come trick or treating with a tiny baby in a stroller. It is obvious that the baby can't eat the treats. And if both parents are out trick or treating with a baby - then NO ONE is at home at their house to give out treats.
I would say 12 is about right. It seems a little weird for a teenager to trick-or-treat. However, we always reward the ones that put in the effort to come up with a good costume no matter how old they are, especially if they are escorting younger siblings. This seems pretty fair all the way around. If an older child doesn't want to trick-or-treat, then think about graduating him/her to handing out the candy at home while you go out with the smaller ones. Maybe get him/her involved in setting up a fun and spooky front walk for the trick-or-treaters to pass through on their way to the door.
I wasn't allowed to trick or treat due to religious reasons. But when I turned about 15 some of my friends and I thought it would be fun to dress up and go. We did and we had a ball!!! I think it is ok as long as they still enjoy it. If you feel they are getting too old, try doing something else. Alot of Rec Centers and Shopping Malls have activities that would still be age appropriate and fun.
So long as your kids are actually dressed up and enjoying the fun of the event (not just the free stuff aspect)my husband and I both think that 14 is perfectly reasonable. If at that point your oldest is still into it and responsible enought to supervise the other two I would still let him or her trick or treat. We don't mind giving candy to the older brother or sister who is helping in the fun of thier siblings as long as they dress up.
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This is a great opportunity to let the child decide when they want to stop. I have seen teens enjoying this custom, but my son decided at around 10 that it was something he was not interested in doing. Since you have younger children, maybe the older one can still have fun helping the younger ones.
But 10 is not too old to trick or treat. Let them be a kid as long as they want to, children are pushed to grow up too fast in this day and age.
I think they should be able to make that decision. Unless there is an underlying problem...like they need to have trick-or-treating taken away from them as a punishment for something, or you are trying to keep them from a certain group of friends on that day, etc. otherwise, they will outgrow it on their own timetable.
As far as people getting upset over teenagers coming to their door for candy....I feel sorry for them because they obviously dont remember being a kid! :) They can choose not to participate in passing out candy if they have a bad attitude about who they give it to.
as far as i'm concerned, as long as they're having fun and take the trouble to put on a costume, its fine by me! i roll my eyes at kids of any age if they don't bother to dress up, but i LOVE to have groups of teenagers come by if they're in the halloween spirit!
let 'em enjoy it until they want to quit.
It is certainly not time to stop at your kids' ages!! <smile>
But we have noticed in our suburban Maryland area that many more parties are being held for tweens to congregate rather than t-or-t right after school. girls vs boys do things differently, too. Some people also feel that once kids reach highschool they should absolutely not trick or treat, but even at those ages, we have had some of the cutest and funniest HS kids come by as groups; they are usually asking for donations to wonderful charities instead of looking for candy for themselves (though we give both). A great hybrid plan! Teens of highschool ages usually either end the night at a party or in the case of our two boys in recent past years, they go out for awhile to friends' houses, collect some donations, and end up back at our house watching movies and just hanging out the rest of the evening. I HONESTLY THINK THEY GET A BiGGER KICK OUT OF THE FESTIVITIES AT THESE AGES (14-17)AND BEING WHOLLY IN CONTROL OF MAKING THEIR COSTUMES being out alone, than any of the earlier years!
You don't state where you live, and I would have to say from talking to other parents over the years, that it is more what a neighborhood feels is appropriate and has become used to. Ours also holds a parade and a Halloween dress-up festival on the preceeding Sunday at a school in the middle of our area, early for little ones and a later time with music and pizza etc for older kids, so we are used to just about anything on the real night of Halloween!
I think any age is fine as long as it is done tastefully and respectfully. A friend and I went trick or treating all the way through high school. BUT - we always had great costumes and were always respectful to the homes we visited. I think you 10 year old should absoutley be able to go with the younger siblings!
A very good question. I too am dealing with the 'Am I too old?" question this year. As a SAHM/running a business from home, I can remember my last T/T when I was in the 7th grade. However, back then 7th grade was still elementary school!
My oldest is 11, and now in Middle School... she and her friends have 'discussed this' among themselves, and decided that this will be their last year for such 'frolic'. You see, they still want to go, but it is also somewhat 'childish' to them. By making the choice to just do one more year, they are letting go, but having one last HOORAH! I think it's a good age to stop, and I was glad to see them take the initiative to make this decision without my having to take a stand. It also gave her some ownership of the decision and another maturing moment. Good luck, and when it's the last year for yours... let them go out in style...make it a big deal and max that costume!! HA! ;-)
If your ten year old wants to go with the other siblings or with friends, it should be okay. We are in too much of a hurry for our kids to not be kids. Let them do the things kids do as long as they can b/c it will be changing soon enough.
If the ten year old wants to go out with friends they must be supervised by and adult and not left on their own.
In our community, most kids stop trick or treating sometime in middle school. My older son stopped when he entered middle school in 6th grade. He stayed at home and gave out candy (in costume), while I took his younger brother out trick or treating. My younger son trick or treated last year (in 7th grade) at 12 and may still opt to go out this year at age 13. He goes with a group of his friends and their parents. Others in our community hold parties for the teens.
Last year I saw kids in their late teens out trick or treating, I think that's a little too old. But at least they're not getting into any trouble. Don't worry about it, your kids still have years of candy collecting ahead of them.
Try 16 - kidding. They self-select out. My kids are 16 and 24. When they hit about age 12 they would go with friends. And then sporadically if a group of friends decided at, say, age 14 they wanted to go then they did it. It was a safety in numbers thing of putting on a stupid costume and obviously being too old to trick or treat. The adults answering the door weren't sure if they were about to have a home invasion or what so they willingly gave up the goods.
I remember stopping at age 12. Thereafter, I would attend the Halloween dance at my middle school, though they do not seem to have many such events these days, which is a shame. By high school age, my friends and I would dress up for the day to go to school, and on Halloween night, we would generally just hang out together at someone's house to watch a movie and eat some treats.
As an adult, I find that many of the teens who come by our house are showing up in their high school athletic uniforms and calling them "costumes". Personally, I find this approach uninspired and lazy. I think that my biggest beef is with their entitled attitudes, though. Like the other moms who mentioned teens, I am totally fine with giving them candy if they are supervising younger siblings and are polite.
I can't say. Speaking from personal experience, I trick-or-treated until I was 17 (thanks to having a younger sister). I've had students at 12, 13, 14 years old trick-or-treating. I gues it's up to the child. Sometimes we can't wait for our children to get older, but as adults, we want to be young again. Let the child decide. :) Hope it helps.
Norfolk's law states 12 or younger. My, now 12 year old, step son last year said he really did not want to go because he felt silly and said he looks to old to be trick or treating. If your child is still looking forward to it at 10 then let him/her go while he/she still can. Kids grow up too fast so enjoy what little time we seem to have. Have fun trick or treating.
Hi T. ~
What a great question! I have a 16 yr. old who STILL wants to go out to trick or treat.(So far she hasn't bugged me about it this year). I didn't let her go last year, instead had her help pass out the candy. She enjoyed that. But the year before she went with a group of friends (with parental supervision). My son was the same way - wanted to go out all the way into his teens. He and his friends would spend a long time getting their costumes together. Same with my daughter - really into the costume thing! They ARE still kids and LOVE that candy! I do think that whatever age kids go out, there absolutely needs to be supervision! It keeps them safe and keeps them from being tempted to TRICK instead of treat. If they wear really great costumes, the people do enjoy seeing that. But if they are just throwing any old thing on and simply going for the STUFF, then maybe it's time to put a stop to it. Use your own best judgement.
If they are wearing a costume then they aren't too old LOl!!! I hate when I get those kids that just come to the door with a pillow case and the clothes they wore to school that day. I'd love to not give them any candy but unfortunetly I'd be afraid they'd come back and wreck our yard or something. I'd say 13.
I still went trick or treating with friends when we were in high school. I think I was 17 (I was driving, so at least 16). If there aren't any local laws, I'd pretty much leave it to them. As they get older they'll probably want to do halloween parties instead.
Your 3 year old probably won't trick or treat at least my didn't when he was that age, he stayed home and helped Daddy hand out candy but was still dressed in a costume. Your ten and seven year olds are fine trick or treating, I have seen kids older then that in my own neighborhood. I stopped trick or treating at 16 when a man told me "wow ghosts are getting taller this year", of course I was almost 6 feet by then. Let them go they will have fun and let the ten year old decide when he is too old it will happen trust me.
My mom always approached it as when we become teenagers, we're starting to become adults, and trick-or-treating is for children so my brothers and I all had the last year when we were 12. I plan on approaching it the same way with my kids.
We let my stepdaughter trick or treat til she was 13, but that was the last year. I personally don't mind teenagers as long as they bother dressing up and are polite, but I know a lot of people get offended at older kids. It depends on your neighborhood.
I don't think there is a specific age when its too old. I just think that as long as they can still have fun and not scare or tease the younger kids its fine. I just hate when you have older kids with no costumes and just a pillow case going around and being obnoxious and then they come to your door many multiple times. As long as they are well behaved and tasteful I have no problem with college students coming to my door if they want.