Opinion: How old is too old to go trick-or-treating?

Let's face it- if you can drive a car, you're probably too old to go trick-or-treating. How have so many teenagers missed the memo?

Children dressing up as their favorite Disney character or superhero is almost too adorable to bear, but gallivanting around as vicious murderers or in barely-there costumes with mouse ears begging for candy? It's just odd.

Since when have kids past the age of 12 thought it was acceptable to walk beside 3 and 4-year-olds, asking neighbors "trick-or-treat?"

It's comparable to a 16-year-old still believing in Santa.

Don't get me wrong, if an adult or older teenager is dressed in costume and chaperoning a young trick-or-treater, that's a different case entirely. Making Halloween as festive as possible for kids is most of the fun.

But here are a few questions to ask yourself about your trick-or-treater: Are they old enough that they are opposing adult supervision during Halloween night? Are they truly still in the spirit of the holiday or are they just collecting free candy for the year? Would you consider them old enough to intimidate neighbors if they dressed in a scary costume?

If you answered yes to any of these questions... maybe consider an option for Halloween night other than taking to the streets in search of sweets.

But many are strongly divided on this view, and WCPO had more than 200 Facebookers voice their opinions.

From our WCPO Facebook page, Diane Strunk-Nimmo writes: "I don't think there should be a age limit for when kids should have to stop trick or treating as long as they are respectful of others, in costume and aren't acting up in front of the younger kids. See so many teens, not in costume, running around cursing and cutting lil ones off and/or knocking them down."

Erica Schulz Hansen writes: "I think any school age kid through high school is acceptable. Kids grow up so fast these days- if they are being respectful of the spirit of Halloween and not causing trouble and go out dressed up, for goodness sake- let them trick-or-treat! Plus, you just never know when an older sibling or teenaged babysitter might be taking young ones out because the parents can't- heck yeah they deserve some candy too! I would much rather see teens out trick-or-treating than going out and finding and causing trouble. Let kids be kids as long as they want."

Though some seem to agree that teenagers should find something else to do Halloween night. Connie Hall writes: "I think when you start high school, it's time to buy your own candy..."

Tricia Shawn Gibbons writes: "I think through eighth grade is fine. This said, it would be nice if more communities would sponsor a dance for their teens. I think dressing up is more of a draw than the candy for that age group. Don't complain about teens if your community isn't providing any alternatives. As to the costumes themselves, if your costume is of the "sexy kitty", "sexy Bo Peep", "sexy nurse" variety - you're too old for trick or treat."

Jennifer Nunn Thompson writes: "If your age has the word teen in it, your (sic) too old."

What do you think? Should there be an age limit on trick-or-treaters? Will you refuse teens begging for treats? Or is it all in the festive nature of the night? Tell us in the comment box below.


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