Updated: Oct 31
A parent of two under-fives remarked to me that she didn’t think teenagers should be out trick-or-treating on Halloween, and when I asked her why, she said she just found it weird that teenagers would still want to head out dressed up on the hunt for sweets. Perhaps an easy assumption to make, but I did have to politely disagree with her.
You see, the teen years, as we know, span from the age of thirteen through to nineteen – the year after they are thought to be legally adults, and while I am sure many older teens won’t be out trick-or-treating unless they have younger family members or family friends, there will be hoards of younger teens, dressed up to the nines in their ‘spooktacular’ outfits, enjoying knocking on doors and filling their buckets with sweets, and why not?
Teens get a bad rep, they always have done, but while there are some who create mischief and mayhem, have no manners etc, etc, there are plenty of others who are the complete opposite. Sadly though, society can show bias towards them and make sweeping generalisations, which can put many teens off joining in a harmless October tradition.
Of course, if a child’s intention is to go out and cause havoc, then (and the same applies to younger children), they should stay home, but dressing up on Halloween and going trick-or-treating is more than just about how many sweets your child can collect, it is about having fun with their friends and family, being creative and still being able to be a child with no pressures.
There seems to be a real push to get children to grow up too fast these days and there is a lot of expectation for them to be mature before they are developmentally ready, but keeping some nostalgia from their younger years can help kids hold onto their childhood memories a bit longer, which can feel like a warm familiar hug, at a time when they are in the throws of working out who they are and, actually, that is all part of being a person who is maturing.
Teens shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed or embarrassed if they want to trick-or-treat, especially if they are not hurting anybody, and it should not be seen as something that only younger children do – it’s not an unwillingness to grow up, rather a chance to still be a child. Instead, they should be encouraged, not discouraged, from joining in the fun for as long as possible and ultimately, it should be up to them when they choose to stop.
What do you think? Will you be encouraging your teen to trick-or-treat?
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