Too Old for Trick or Treating?

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Too Old for Trick or Treating?
8
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 8:30am

I am a big proponent of the homemade Halloween costume. For years I’ve fashioned ordinary household items, with metric tons of duct tape and safety pins, into clever costume wear to wow the candy-wielding neighbors. Sure, sometimes the costumes were cumbersome and heavy and generally uncomfortable and unsafe, but it’s tradition! And if you don’t value tradition then you’ve got no business celebrating Halloween in the first place. Or that’s what I used to tell the kids, anyway.

Eventually, kids grow older, and say to me– “Dad, can we please just buy a costume on the Internet like everyone else?” And that milestone is what I use as a rough gauge of when they’re too old to go Trick or Treating. I’m not sure if it’s really an accurate way, but it’s my way. And it helps to quell my hurt feelings.

But all this begs the general question: How old is too old for Trick or Treating? And I think there are a number of things to consider:

3 Signs your kids are too old for trick or treating- http://www.today.com/moms/3-signs-your-kids-are-too-old-trick-or-treat-8C11372803

What's your take on trick or treating?  When are kids too old to participate?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sun, 10-27-2013 - 3:15pm

I have found that kids in communities themselve kind of set standards.  DD1s last year trick or treating was 5th grade because were we were iving at the time middle schoolers did not do it, it was for "the kids".  The middle schooler took over the job of passing out the candy.   DD3 trocked or treated throughout middle school becuase that was the norm here. 

We are not passing out this year but for the opposite reason from others,  too few of kids. With a combination of our neighborhood aging and more sponsored events so less kids out trick or treating we have less and less every year,  from around 60 when we first moved here until 10 last year.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 4:01pm

It does get annoying having to answer the door that many times! We had something similar when we lived in Salem, MA, so we just handed out candy until 8:30, when all the little kids had gone home, then turned out the lights and went out to dinner.

This neighborhood has a lot of kids, but nothing like what we had in Salem.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:19am

The ages from college to becoming a parent would be the "awkward years" for t-or-t but I don't think anyone is technically too old. IMO if you're willing to put effort into a costume then I'll give you candy. Of course, I expect a more creative or elaborate costume on a college student. Parents in costumes with kids in costumes, I'll give the parents candy--but often they're not collecting, they're just getting in the spirit. 

I let my kids go "collecting" while in HS as long as they had a good costume. I don't think they went all of the years.

The ones that bug me are the teens who are wearing their school clothes and a hockey mask, or sometimes no attempt at a costume. Then the ones that the parents just circle the block having the kids get candy from the same houses 2 or 3 times. But worst are the parents (usually not in a costume) holding an infant while trick or treating "for the little one". I feel like saying "if you're giving that candy to that baby I'm calling CPS right now".

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday but now its a chore, and we may not even give out candy this year. We now typically get 150-200 people here (there are only 6 kids living on my block) so somehow the word got out to come to this street, and its gotten out of hand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sat, 10-19-2013 - 12:00pm

The last year my D went was 9th grade. The last year my son went was 7th grade. I left it up to them. They're both nerdy kids who like wearing costumes--I think D wore a medieval dress her last year--so I didn't think it would be a problem. My daughter said only one house gave her and her friends a hard time, but it was in a good-natured way, as the woman told them they needed to perform before she'd give them candy. They sang "Danny Boy" and got a treat.

I honestly don't care how old the kids are who come to my door as long as they are polite. (In fact, it's a tradition at my D's college to trick or treat the faculty and college president.) It's nice if they wear a costume, although I do remember one kid bringing a pillowcase and dressed as a normal teenage boy telling me he was from another planet pretending to be an earth kid. And I've got a soft spot for the kids who trick or treat alone and just want the candy, because these are usually the outcasts or kids with Asperger's or autism.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 10-18-2013 - 9:57am

melissamc wrote:
<p>My thoughts are that if the child/teen is willing to put time and effort into a costume, than I'm willing to give them a piece of candy for it.  Especially if they are polite when they come to my door, and say thank you.  I'd rather have them trick-or-treating instead of up to some mischief.  Even if they are older, there are only so many years that you can have this type of fun so more power to them.  I think it bothers me more when I get parents carrying a baby that can't even eat candy, but they have a bag for their treats.  To me, that's just tacky because you know that the parents are the ones really trick-or-treating.  </p><p>As far as my kids go, one of my twins (12) didn't go last year, he's done with it, along with my oldest (15).  The other twin did go last year, which was fine.  It's nice that the other two are willing to stay home and hand out candy so I don't have to do that!</p>

That's how I feel, if they are willing and want to do the costume thing, why not?  My oldest went through 7th grade.  She would have went in 8th grade, but her BFF who she normally went with, her mother said she was too old to go at that point and couldn't go.

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Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 2:50pm

One of my middle schoolers will still be going this year.  We still get them in our neighborhood, and it doesn't bother me as long as they are polite and make the effort to wear a costume.   These are the kids that go to school with my own, and they are the kids of my neighborhood. 

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Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 2:48pm

My thoughts are that if the child/teen is willing to put time and effort into a costume, than I'm willing to give them a piece of candy for it.  Especially if they are polite when they come to my door, and say thank you.  I'd rather have them trick-or-treating instead of up to some mischief.  Even if they are older, there are only so many years that you can have this type of fun so more power to them.  I think it bothers me more when I get parents carrying a baby that can't even eat candy, but they have a bag for their treats.  To me, that's just tacky because you know that the parents are the ones really trick-or-treating. 

As far as my kids go, one of my twins (12) didn't go last year, he's done with it, along with my oldest (15).  The other twin did go last year, which was fine.  It's nice that the other two are willing to stay home and hand out candy so I don't have to do that!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2007
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 2:45pm
I'm currently trying to figure this very thing out. When I was a kid, we weren't allowed to go trick or treating after we left elementary school ( rules my parents set). My oldest is now in middle school but can't quite decide if he's too old to go or not. I'm thinking I'll be fine with it until he enters high school.

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