Teens should not be judged for trick-or-treating

By Lily Angel

Photo courtesy of Nick Fewings, via Unsplash

Often, adults criticize teens for Trick-or-Treating whether with a sneer as they open the door or in conversation when they see teens in costume. 

But, why should teens be criticized for trick-or-treating? 

In fact, trick-or-treating is a fun activity that keeps teens out of trouble, one of the last vestiges of childhood before teens gain more responsibilities in the adult world. 

There are some teens who go to parties where there is underage drinking or other activities not suitable for our age. Those teens who are trick-or-treating, however, are wandering the streets alongside other families with parents and small children. This is a much safer option. 

Trick-or-treating is a time where teens can dress up to see their friends and classmates in costume. This often brings teens together, because it allows teens to bond over similar interests. If you have a classmate that you never knew who dressed up as one of the characters from your favorite show, you now know something about your classmate that you didn’t know before. These instances allows teens to expand their social circle, making new friends. And if they get some candy along the way, what’s the harm?

In other states of the U.S. there are laws that ban teens from trick-or-treating, claiming that teens are too old and have already had their fun. This is an unfair system that forces teens into adulthood much faster. 

As well, many adults often turn teens away or give them less candy. As a 11 year old before I was a teen I faced this type of judgment because I was a 5’5 girl dressed in an old fashion Harley Quinn costume, that my mother spent days driving around to find, given my particular taste. When I went house to house I was given weird looks from adults as I approached their door and often given one candy bar while my twin sister 5’1 was given two. This made me worry about if I was too tall as well as if the looks would worsen when I became a teen.

So the next year I did not go trick-or-treating because of the judgment I received. I stayed home and gave candy. However as I was giving candy I saw teens 15 and older trick-or-treating. This action brought a smile to my face. As the teens approached me with bright smiles and wide eyes in their costumes, I handed them the same amount of candy as I did the children.

The teens who came up to me restored my Halloween trick-or-treating spirit. I saw that I wasn’t too old to trick-or-treat, and I went trick-or-treating the next year. 

As I was trick-or-treating, I went house to house, still a little nervous about the responses of the adults at the doors. As I was trick-or-treating I looked around and saw teens my age and I felt relieved. 

When the pandemic hit people missed Halloween which meant many teens and kids whose last year before they turned a teen did not go trick-or-treating. Adults need to remember that teens missed not just a year of Halloween, but a year of school and friends. If trick-or-treating is a way for them to hold onto their childhood for one more year, we should give them our full support.