Should Teens Be Allowed To Trick-Or-Treat? I Say Yes.

I recently read an article (or two) stating that some towns have banned teens from trick-or-treating to the point that it is punishable by fines or even jail time if they do.

I have so many issues with this. As a Halloween lover myself, I think kids (teens included) should be able to trick-or-treat as long as they want to.

Let Them Have Their Candy

Childhood only lasts so long, and kids eventually give up trick-or-treating on their own when they are ready. Plus, having teens trick-or-treat is better than having them at crazy Halloween parties. Also let’s not forget about our special needs teens. Some of them look forward to this night all year long.

My Final Trick-or-Treat

I very clearly remember my final trick-or-treat. I was a 14-year-old freshman in high school. Yes, you read that correctly, a freshman in high school. All day at school I had been asking my friends what they were going to do that night, secretly hoping someone would want to go. Most said they were doing nothing, and a few were going to some kind of party (not the “safe” kind). At 14, I really wasn’t into a party type of scene. Also, Halloween is my favorite holiday and I couldn’t imaging doing absolutely nothing to mark the occasion.

I invited a girl-friend who lived up the street over to hang out and maybe watch scary movies. Once she was over at my house however, we started to see the neighborhood kids walking around with their costumes and bags. We became sad knowing that we weren’t going to join them.

No one had told us the unwritten rule that 8th grade would be our last trick-or-treat. Then we thought “why not?” There was no official rule. The only thing holding us back was the feeling from society that we shouldn’t. We decided right then that we wanted one last trick-or-treat.

We quickly raided my closet for last minute costumes. Then we called up two of our guy friends who lived down the street to escort us since neither of our moms wanted us going completely alone (#girlproblems…but that’s another topic). Then we grabbed some pillowcases,  and were on our way. We were pleasantly surprised to see our guy friends had even gone out of their way to get dressed in costumes too.

So how was it? Well, we had a blast. To this day it is still one of my favorite Halloween memories because I got to end a very important part of my childhood on my terms.

All of the adults at houses we went to were friendly and quite frankly happy to see us. They had seen us grow up in the neighborhood and were a little sad to know that it was our last trick-or-treat. They let us go out with a bang and some extra candy. Admittedly, there were moments I felt a little old, I was, after all, already 5’7” tall, but I’m glad I went.

After all was said and done, we dumped our candy out in piles on my living room floor and did the classic bartering for our favorite candy. All of us laughing and glad we went, but acknowledging that it was our last.

The following year on Halloween, I didn’t even have the desire to trick-or-treat. I knew my time had gone, and I was perfectly fine with it. I started a new tradition of having a scary movie marathon with friends at my house.

Paying It Forward

Now when I see a teen trick-or-treat, I smile, compliment them on their costume and give them their candy knowing it could be their last time. I figure it’s my responsibility as the adult in the situation to allow them to have this little bit of their childhood that is left to have. All kids, regardless of their age, deserve a fun, safe, judgment free trick-or-treat experience.

Happy Halloween and a safe trick-or-treat to all!

Veronica DeSantos Ryan
Hi Austin mamas! I am Veronica DeSantos Ryan, a mama from Round Rock. My husband and I moved to the area in 2014 and love every minute of it. Our baby Oliver (May 2016) is the light of our life and we are enjoying every minute with him. After spending seven years teaching, I decided that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and teacher of life to my little boy. As a family we love running with Ollie in his jogger stroller, having picnics outside, playing with our two dogs and exploring all the the Austin area has to offer! I am also a performing princess for Lexi's Little Princesses Princess company, a teaching artist at The Georgetown Palace Theatre, and a member of the singing group The Vintage Dreams. I am an avid reader, piano player, singer, and occasional actress in community theater, and have recently been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More.


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