Trick-or-Treating Teens

We all enjoy holidays more when we just sit back and don't sweat the small stuff.
10/30/2014 02:33pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Halloween is upon us and one of the common complaints you hear about this holiday is that some trick-or-treaters are too old to be knocking on doors looking for goodies.

To this, I say: Get over it.

I have to admit, I have a long history of being afraid of teenagers. They have opinions, sometimes dress funny, have colored hair and their hormones make them seem like strange and mysterious creatures. But now, I am the mother of a couple of these creatures and guess what -- they're not that scary after all.

Here's the thing with tweens and teens going out for Halloween:

  • We adults spend so much time complaining about how quickly kids grow up, and then when they try to have fun trick-or-treating, we berate them for it.

  • Hormones do crazy things. You can have a 12-year-old at your door that looks like a Man-Boy because he's tall and needs a shave. But really, it's hard to tell how old these kids are. Before we get all judgmental, we need to remember that tweens and teens come in all shapes and sizes.
  • And speaking about being judgmental, there are many bigger kids in the special needs community who love Halloween. You don't know much about the kids who come to your door, so don't assume they're being greedy. They may be kids with special needs enjoying the fun.
  • Is it really that painful to hand over a fun-sized chocolate bar? Is it really worth all the stress and negativity for the price of a lollipop? Just smile and hand over the candy.
  • Every kid out there trick-or-treating has their own parents. Let their parents worry about whether their kids are too old to participate. You don't have to make it your business.
  • We all enjoy holidays more when we just sit back and don't sweat the small stuff. If a would-be trick-or-treater pulls up in his car and has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, I think it's fair to turn out the porch lights and call it night. Short of that, if you're going to participate, do it graciously. You may learn that teenagers are not as scary as their costumes after all.


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