The great Halloween debate

How old is too old to do the trick-or-treat thing?  What costumes are appropriate?  Is it a ritual you should let your kids participate in?  Is it safe to let the kids get candy door-to-door?  When are they old enough to go out on their own that night?  Should you pass out candy too?  Gah!  Every year, those questions come up!

I didn’t have much trouble answering them when all of the kids were young.  I came from a small town (2 blocks big) and all of the kids would line up at the church with their parents.  Then, the kids would go house-to-house as one big group.  We knew all of the people.  The parents were there with their kids.  It was safe and no one really cared about the age of the kids. And the candy – the candy was prime time candy!  Some houses gave away full size candy bars!  My grandpa used to pass out quarters to the kids.  It was actually really cool and my kids always say they miss it.  We would also have time to run into the bigger town and still hit up some houses after the small town was done.

Then, when the night was over, my rule was that all the candy was combined into one big bowl for everyone to share.  This eliminated the pushing and shoving or the arguing over things because they were all working to get the biggest bowl of candy instead of who could get the biggest bag for themselves.

Now, we are in the city.  My kids (and I say that only because I birthed them, not because they are little! hahaha) are 24, 20, 18 and 11.  The 24 year old is out on his own and old enough to have his own party for Halloween.  The 20 year old uses the excuse that he has to take the youngest trick-or-treating so that he can still be a kid and gather candy of his own.  My 18 year old – well, she goes back and forth on whether or not she wants to do anything.  Then there is the youngest…

Little Ms. Kylie has been hitting me up for a new costume.  Sure.  Every kid wants a new costume each year, but ummm…the costumes she has shown me – way over the top!  I have always had a guideline that the costumes could not be gruesome or be anything like witches or devils, etc.  I guess I forgot to explain that sexy is out of the question as well!  Sheesh!  Should that really have to be an issue when you have an 11 year old?

Well, this year, she also wants to go out on her own with her friends.  Call me over-protective, but 11 seems too young to do that.  Is it a recipe for disaster?  I guess I am not the fun mom, now.   So what are the rules for trick or treating?  Age? Location? Costumes? Alone or chaperoned?  Any thoughts here?

Then the final – to pass out candy or not pass out candy.  Last year, I passed out mardi gras beads to the kids.  They all seemed to love it and I thought I was doing my share to at least give back since my daughter was collecting from the neighbors, but not contribute to the sugar rushes all the parents would then have to deal with.  And now a days, making something home made doesn’t seem like an option because it would be the first thing parents would pitch feeling it wasn’t safe.  So what are the rules for passing out candy?  And what is safe to pass out besides the cheap bags of candy you can grab from the grocery store?

Of course, you could skip it altogether – since, you know, some people think it shouldn’t be done because of religious beliefs.  Personally, I feel like it all depends on how you educate your kids about the holiday whether or not it breaks religious beliefs.  But, that is another story!

So, this weekend will be costume shopping and final decisions for Monday.  Then, the battle of “you have had enough sugar for one day” begins! Woot!

3 thoughts on “The great Halloween debate

  1. Great questions! If we I (which it isn’t – yet), I would be going right along with the kids, or following at a safe, sneaky distance in my car. I don’t know when old is old enough, but I don’t want to take the chance. In terms of costumes, the more creative the better, and it better cover all parts and then some. We get lots of older kids, but if they aren’t wearing a costume, then they do tricks. I get lots of singing teapots that way. Another great idea from our dentist: a candy buy back. They pay $1/pound and everything they collect is being sent to servicemen and women overseas.

  2. My kids are still little – 4 and 8 – so I’m loving going door to door and don’t think I see a day where I won’t be with them given where we live. We have a tradition where we leave 1/2 our candy out on the front step (and not just the crap stuff, but some of the good stuff too)… the Good Fairy Witch takes it and gives you a toy. That keeps the sugar rush to a minimum. My oldest caught on last year, but isn’t telling, thankfully.

  3. Hmmm, I don’t feel there is an age limit on trick or treating- provided you aren’t too cool to wear a costume and you are willing to say “Trick or Treat”- I ‘ll give candy to everyone. My 11 and 10 year olds go with their friends alone-but our neighborhood has conveniently connected streets. My 7 and 5 y/o will be going wtih me and the little ones (3,1) but will likely always be 2-3 houses ahead because my 3 y/o’s legs just can’t keep up 🙂 Costume appropriateness was a big issue with my 11 y/o this year too.. I also wonder, why this is an issue at 11! Long story short- my daughter wanted to be Little REd Riding Hood (awesome I thought), however, we could not find anything even remotely affordable in that arena. What alternative she did find was Snooki, yes the skanky meatball from the Jersey Shore. I did let her get it, however, we added full length ballet tights under the dress, a jacket and my daughter has to make due without the cleavege and derrier that Snooki flaunts:) I did let her get dramatic fake lashes to make up for it though. A lot of her classmates, though are definetly too risky- super short skirts, fishnets, thick mascara.

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