Who knew that teens trick-or-treating were a subject worthy of heated debate? Turns out that it’s not only a hot topic; one New Brunswick town has banned teens from trick-or-treating altogether. In a CBC article about the bylaw, one resident went so far as to say, “The age limit, I think it should go not more than 10 years old. The kids above 10 to 14, they’re almost adults. They’re teenagers and they do a lot of harm”.
Wait, what? That’s a pretty big accusation. I feel it’s a misguided law, and it’s unfair for so many reasons.
I live in a town where random (minor) vandalism and petty theft is a pretty common thing. It’s frustrating, and it’s a topic often thrown around on the local moms’ Facebook page. Fingers are pointed at “bored teens” who are going through unlocked cars because, hey, they’ve got nothing better to do. Nothing like, say, having a great time getting dressed up with friends and going trick-or-treating on Halloween? When we talk about Halloween, the very same people complaining about the teens are the ones upset those same kids may knock on their door for candy.
I invite each and every one of you who complains about teens trick-or-treating to untwist your undies and embrace the fun of Halloween. We spend so much time cursing the speed at which kids grow up, and in the same breath, condemn the teens who have a little bit of childhood left in them. They could be drinking, doing drugs, causing mischief, but no. Here they are, dressed up and asking for candy. If teens want to get dressed up in a costume and knock on my door, I’ll hand them candy. I’ll praise those big kids for their costumes and fun-loving spirit, and I’ll invite them back anytime.
Besides, how can you tell if that’s a tall ten-year-old or a short sixteen-year-old at the door? I mean, my friend’s tween already towers over her, but most people wouldn’t turn a ten-year-old away, would they? How can you really tell the age of someone dressed up, and why does it really matter, anyhow? Would you really turn away a child having fun?
And come on, how many adults out there still love to dress up? We have tons of fun at parties, too, but expect teens to somehow forgo the fun, and be more mature than us? It’s such a silly thing to get worked up about. Heck, I’d love to go trick-or-treating around my neighbourhood. I’ve seen the awesome candy my neighbours hand out; I want candy, too!
If someone goes to a little effort to dress up, I feel like the least I can do is smile and hand out whatever snack-sized candies I haven’t managed to scarf down before Halloween night. Which reminds me. . . I better go stock up. Again.