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Too old to ask for candy?

Jenny Fu, Staff Writer

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Hallow’s Eve recently passed, and many are still enjoying remaining candy from the hoard. Kids were running out around their neighborhoods, going up to their neighbors’ houses asking for candy. It’s a fun time of year for many–both kids and adults, whether that fun be going to parties, dressing, going on dates, or trick or treating. During October, we all debate over the perfect costume–zombie or vampire? to be something malicious-looking  or to follow a cutesy theme with friends? But at this time of the year also comes another question, Am I going trick or treating? While as kids this was a no-brainer, many teens and tweens might now feel less certain about it.

Many say teens are “too old” to go trick or treating and will purposely give less candy to those they deem “of age” or “old enough.” Some neighbors might look at trick-or-treating teens as if they have two heads. And some parents and kids might argue over whether or not trick-or-treating has been outgrown.

One town in Canada has drawn a line in the name of this question, banning anyone over the age of sixteen from participating in this event. For those who break this law,there is a $200 dollar fine waiting for them at the end the line. According to an article done by TIME magazine, most teenagers stop dressing up and trick-or-treating somewhere between the ages of 12 and 16.

According to a survey done by TODAY.com, 2,000 readers responded, and 73%  percent agree that somewhere between the ages of 12 and 17, kids should stop this childhood tradition. Though, one of the interviewees, Wendy Copley, a mom-of-two from California, says that her child in seventh grade will be trick or treating this year. She looked forward to him doing it. “As a candy-hander-outter, I have no problem with teens coming to my door,” said Copley. “I say let them have fun as long as they can. And really, what would people prefer teenagers do on Halloween? Trick-or-treating seems like a really great option when you consider what else some kids get up to.”

Another mother agrees with the statement made above. Tiffany Thomason, a mom from Alabama, says that we should “Let the teens trick or treat…There are so many other things they could be doing, like drugs, drinking, or blowing up pumpkins in your front yard. Let them enjoy their youth — there is way too little of it when you become an adult.”

No matter the age, one has the right to enjoy themselves. We live in world where people are constantly lamenting the fact that kids grow up too fast–acting like adults long before adulthood. Why not let them be a kid for a little longer? Just to be a child a little longer, without having to worry about what the world thinks of you and to escape the reality of growing up.

For most homeowners, they’re fine giving candy to teens, especially if they play along and have a costume. “The kids that put in an effort get the good bucket — the best candy — even if they are older, but worked hard on their costume, that is OK with us,” says Phil Tompkins, a landowner in Pennsylvania, who hands out candy every year in his neighborhood.

Some residents, though, are not big fans of roving packs of teenagers running up and down the street.  People might be worried about vandalism or argue that teens who trick or treat may intimidate younger kids. Teenagers may tend toward scarier costumes that make small children comfortable.

But on the other hand, older teens can teach the little kids, saying please and thank you when taking candy, and embodying a friendly spirit of Halloween. When teens go with little kids, they learn to take care of them and make they don’t get lost. It’s a positive experience for both sides.

Mrs. Streitman, Social Studies teacher of team Ignite, went trick or treating with her two children this year. She says that she stopped when she was 15, in her high school sophomore year. She says that she only  stopped because her friends starting having Halloween parties rather than going trick-or-treating. She think should probably stop at 18. She added, “You have the rest of your life to be an adult, so do the things that you wouldn’t be able to do as adults, and embrace that time.”

Mrs. Shaffer, Language Arts teacher, also on team Ignite, also says that kids should stop trick or treating at the age of 18. Mrs. Shaffer says that she stopped this event this late because it was just fun. “When you’re a little kid,” she explains, “it’s fun for you, but when you’re older, it takes you back to your younger years.” Passing out candy creates a feeling of nostalgia.

40% of adults say they still dress up for Halloween; almost 70% feel that Halloween is a holiday for both children and grown-ups. So, most agree–teens should feel free to keep asking for candy on Halloween well into high school. You’re never “too old” to enjoy Hallows Eve. (But we can’t promise that if you’re a 50-year-old man or woman showing up at a random person’s house, dressed in costume, and asking for sweets that the neighbor’s won’t judge.)

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Too old to ask for candy?