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Halloween Controversy: What say the Hive?


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We live in a very Halloween-friendly neighborhood and get about 300 trick or treaters each year. I don't at all mind giving candy to teenagers (in costume) as long as they remember it is still primarily a holiday for littler kids. That means waiting patiently while little ones climb porch steps and not running around in huge gangs barreling kids down in the dark.

 

My pet peeve is parents who drive slowly up and down the streets while their kids run house to house. I don't mind if a family from a rural area wants to drive here to trick or treat, but for goodness sake, just park and walk around. When there are a bunch of excited kids running around in the dark, the last thing we need is a bunch of extra cars sporadically stopping and going on the streets. Lot of them even let their kids jump in if there are a few houses in a row with their lights off and they drive the kids further up the street. That is not the spirit of trick or treating!!

 

Wendy

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My mom is really into Halloween. She dresses up herself and goes all out with house decorations. Since she lives right near a high school she gets a lot of teen trick-or-treaters. She LOVES it. As long as they are in costume she is happy to give them candy. One year she got a whole group of teens dressed as characters from the Matrix. She still raves about it.

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Um ... wow.

 

Every other year my kids get to choose an elaborate costume that Dad makes for them. One year my dd was a hydra, complete with six home-created wire-and-tubing heads. This year my son was Bumblebee, complete with movable door "wings" and reflective headlights.

 

On the off year, the other kid knows that their costume will be fairly unelaborate, and they are ok with that. One year, when my husband created some giant, elaborate costume for my son, my dd fell in love with an "Indian" dress at the thrift store. She wanted to use her own money to buy it, and she went as Kaya, the American Girl.

 

Makes me really sad, and a bit peevish, that you would punish my daughter for having a store-bought costume when it was very meaningful to her and she was VERY proud of the fact that she bought it herself. Or that the year my son went as store-bought Captain Rex, and was thrilled with it because he was in a Star Wars phase, that his sister would get more candy because Dad spent weeks creating her hydra costume.

 

What about the family whose member is facing a serious illness and they didn't have the time/emotional energy to create a costume? Or the family who is down on their luck this year and received the older cousins' old (store-bought) costumes and were very grateful for them? Or the kid who just begged his parents for the store-bought costume because THAT ONE was perfect (in his mind)?

 

Tara

How is it punishment if I'm giving them candy? You may have missed my previous post where I said that we get 500+ trick or treaters in my neighborhood. I literally could not afford to give a handful to each child. As it is, we spend about $100 on candy. If I want to give a bonus to the extra creative kids, I think that's my prerogative. You're reading WAY too much into that, even my own kids have done about 90% store bought costumes.

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No. My 16 and 14 year olds can dress up if they want and escort our 7 year old and her little friends trick or treating with Dad if they like, but candy is for the little ones. They can go to teen Halloween parties if they want and we'll contribute candy to that. We did at last weekend's Harry Potter Party. We made virgin butterbeer.

 

I took my 14 year old to the candy store yesterday so she could buy her own favorite candy since she's too told for trick or treating.

 

I give candy to anyone coming to our door trick or treating-including the Indian kids from the reservation just south of us who often don't even put on costumes. We haven't had kids who are obviously teens show up, but if they did, I wouldn't make an issue out of it by denying them candy.

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Although I think this is discriminatory against kids with working moms (esp. working single moms), :glare:, I wish everyone would give my store-bought-costumed kids less candy. We donate most of it anyway.

 

 

I guess I can see the point of this but there are some families that really do put more into Halloween. Being a single working mom would be hard but it's not like Halloween surprises anyone. We all pretty much know when October 31 is coming. If it's important to you, start planning in June or whatever.

 

I've seen awesome kids out and about and tossed them some of our candy for being so cool.

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I say let her go. If she wants to dress up, why not? My 14 year olds are going. Let her enjoy what she has left of her childhood.

 

:iagree: I have always ToTed, even as a teen. My kids still do. I love seeing older kids out there. I don't get the big deal against it. Taking candy away from little kids? They don't friggin NEED candy anyway. I don't want people giving us tons of candy. We spent two brutal weeks slaving over our Weeping Angel costumes. I never did it to get more candy. Only because we love Halloween and my kids requested something you can't buy off a shelf. :lol:

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Then don't. Give all the kids the same (smaller) amount. Don't be the mean lady who plays favorites.

 

Tara

 

Wow. You are very easily offended. I gotta think that you just don't understand the dynamic in a neighborhood like ours. I promise, you are the only person in the world who thinks I'm a mean lady (at least for this reason). Happy Halloween!

Edited by Shannon831
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There are far worse things teens could be doing! As long as they're dressed up, I will happily give them candy. I went as a teen and it was always such a fun night with my friends. I can't imagine being irritated. As for the "begging" for candy? I don't get this mindset. No one is begging....turn off your lights if you can't be bothered shelling out a few bucks for candy. It's all good fun...I don't get the negativity (unless it's fir religious reasons, I can respect that).

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There are far worse things teens could be doing! As long as they're dressed up, I will happily give them candy. I went as a teen and it was always such a fun night with my friends. I can't imagine being irritated. As for the "begging" for candy? I don't get this mindset. No one is begging....turn off your lights if you can't be bothered shelling out a few bucks for candy. It's all good fun...I don't get the negativity (unless it's fir religious reasons, I can respect that).

 

:iagree: Seriously, if you get that worked up on the loss of some tootsie rolls, maybe refrain from handing out candy? Tere are so many other things in life to worry about than giving a 14 year old a sucker. :confused:

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I'd let her go. I went all through high school. I even went the year I was 18, though I was forced to go on that one, I didn't want to. They (aunts) dressed me up as a hobo with a smiley clown face since I wouldn't smile on my own. They made my 19 yo cousin dress up and go that year, too. (They weren't being mean, they were trying to help. My grandma passed that morning and we were all moping around. But grandma loved seeing the kids all dressed up for halloween so they thought it would be good for us to dress up and go have fun for a little while doing something grandma would have wanted us to do.) But no one else knew we were made to go and nobody gave us a hard time at all.

 

My friend and I also went when we were 20/21. We dressed up and went t-o-ting for canned goods for the homeless shelter. That was a lot of fun and we completely filled my trunk with donated food! A few houses insisted on giving us candy, too.

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Take this as someone who doesn't celebrate Halloween:

 

No way! It's too old and people resent giving out candy to older kids. I've heard them talk about it. Have you asked her why it's so important to her?

 

My guess is, besides missing out on the fun and the sugar, the teen would feel excluded from a fun family tradition. You wouldn't like it if someone told you that you were too old for Thanksgiving dinner! Or that Christmas presents stop at 25!

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Here's another idea. She can go, but instead of taking candy, she should be giving something to the people handing out the candy.

 

I think it's great if she wants to join in the festivities and make it more fun for others.

 

If she just wants candy, no.

 

IMO she should be taking her little sisters around. She can charge them each a candy bar in the end. ;)

 

She wants to dress up, and she wants the candy.

 

I think I've decided to let her dress up (which I said she could do all along) and go around with the littles, but she isn't actually trick or treating. I'm just not comfortable with it. I don't think it's age appropriate. I think. I don't know. I may still change my mind. :D

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You are very easily offended.

 

I'm not offended. I'm just honestly very surprised that someone would give some kids less candy than others. Or that they would admit to it. Halloween is a holiday about making kids happy, and even if they never know they got less candy because their costume wasn't good enough, the attitude behind doing this caught me off guard.

 

Some kids won't notice, but some probably will.

 

Tara

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Well this has changed my perspective. Imagine that, a forum thread changing someone's perspective! :D:D But seriously, it would irk me to see teens out trick or treating. You all have helped me see the other side of it. :001_smile: Like many of you said, I do think it's important they put some effort into it and be very respectful.

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I'm totally fine with teen trick or treaters as long as they're dressed up. We had a group of boys come by last year in street clothes and when I asked them where there costumes were, they told me they were the Backstreet Boys. I told them they had to perform if they wanted candy, and they did. It was so much fun! I absolutely love it when teens dress up. I see it as them getting to hold onto their childhood for just one more year. Also, we're on a VERY halloween friendly street. We probably get between 500 and 700 people every year (maybe more). The more the merrier!

 

Really?!?!? That would be GREAT! We get so few that I'm not even giving out candy this year. I have a great subdivision for it, but no one ever comes down my street for some reason. It's sad.

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If she wants to go I would let her. She is dressing up and hanging out with her family on Halloween! I have never even given it a second thought when a teenager has come to my door on Halloween. Have fun :001_smile:

 

I've actually never given it a second thought when teens have come to my door, either, as long as they've been dressed up. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this with my own teen, but I am. And this really isn't a big deal one way or another, so I should probably go back to my LAST position, which was...she's 16, she should decide on her own.

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Really?!?!? That would be GREAT! We get so few that I'm not even giving out candy this year. I have a great subdivision for it, but no one ever comes down my street for some reason. It's sad.

 

We get only about a dozen groups coming to the house. Last year we put out 3 jack-o-lanterns, turned on lights. Set up a table at the end of the driveway and chairs. We put Halloween costumes on large teddies and had them sitting on the chairs.

 

This year my dh wanted to do more, to hopefully get more visitors. But I said "no". I didn't want to bother.

 

Our house is just in a bad location. We are in many ways at a dead end. Many other houses nearby don't put out anything, or not enough to draw attention from the intersection that turns onto our street.

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Why? Not being snarky - I'm genuinely curious why it is inappropriate for teens to trick or treat. I'm talking about teens who dress up in a real costume that they put some effort into, not people who just walk around in regular clothes trying to mooch candy.

I'm not who you were referring to, but as someone who isn't a fan of teens trick or treating, I guess I just think it's odd. It's not the norm from what I've seen, growing up or since I've lived here. I feel like teenagers have their own things they can do that they would like more, like halloween parties and stuff. (Not the crazy kind - just saying.) Like I said before, our youth group is having a halloween party tonight, and they'll have a bonfire and do marshmallows/smores, hot dogs, have music, candy, and some sort of games, usually. DH will be at that as one of the leaders while I'm at the trunk or treat with the kids.

Another thing would be for teens to help with halloween events for kids, they can still dress up and stuff (which they could at the parties, too), but in a more age appropriate way than going around asking for candy. :)

That's just the norm for me - teenagers have the stuff they do on halloween, and IME, trick or treating isn't one of them.

 

I'm not offended. I'm just honestly very surprised that someone would give some kids less candy than others. Or that they would admit to it. Halloween is a holiday about making kids happy, and even if they never know they got less candy because their costume wasn't good enough, the attitude behind doing this caught me off guard.

 

Some kids won't notice, but some probably will.

 

Tara

:iagree: with this and Tara's other posts on the subject.

Because, honestly, my kids have ALWAYS begged to be something from the store. This is the first year that I've had one want to be something different! :lol: But it's still a character, not a general thing. So I'll have two in store bought costumes and one in a pieced together one.

Idk, if that's the norm where you are then whatever... i just know that Astro would notice if Link got more candy than him, and would have no idea it's because he chose to be a store bought power ranger instead of an obscure japanese anime character. :)

She wants to dress up, and she wants the candy.

 

I think I've decided to let her dress up (which I said she could do all along) and go around with the littles, but she isn't actually trick or treating. I'm just not comfortable with it. I don't think it's age appropriate. I think. I don't know. I may still change my mind. :D

I agree with you. The dressing up is still fun even as an adult - I'm dressing up to hand out candy. :) I think her dressing up and going along is a great idea.

 

Sigh... still all the picking on parents who dress their babies up! Well, I'll say that I'll be VERY HAPPY to see my 20 month old nephew dressed up as a monster tonight! And that everyone loved seeing 6 month old Pink as Cinderella. Sheesh, people... :glare:

 

Will there be a thread of halloween costume pics later or tomorrow? I'm so excited.... :D

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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There are far worse things teens could be doing! As long as they're dressed up, I will happily give them candy. I went as a teen and it was always such a fun night with my friends. I can't imagine being irritated. As for the "begging" for candy? I don't get this mindset. No one is begging....turn off your lights if you can't be bothered shelling out a few bucks for candy. It's all good fun...I don't get the negativity (unless it's fir religious reasons, I can respect that).

 

I have no negativity. People are reading too much into the "begging for candy".

I always participate and give it out, and have a good time doing it (except for this year, per my previous post). It sort of appears as "begging for candy" at 16 to me, but....whatever. Lighten up a little!

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I'm not offended. I'm just honestly very surprised that someone would give some kids less candy than others. Or that they would admit to it. Halloween is a holiday about making kids happy, and even if they never know they got less candy because their costume wasn't good enough, the attitude behind doing this caught me off guard.

 

Some kids won't notice, but some probably will.

 

Tara

 

I didn't read it as "your costume isn't good enough, so you don't get as much". I read it as "oh WOW, I'm so delighted by what you did that I'm going give you more!". We've done that before. And if it's someone in a family group, everyone in the group gets more.

 

Sort of like the standing ovation at the end of a spectacular performance. Should those happen at ALL performances? I will always politely applaud anyone who gets up and performs, and I will think of something positive to say to each and every performer; but I'll participate in the general crowd enthusiasm or else I will privately say "WOW! You knocked my socks off!" to someone who does an amazing job. And the amazingness can be due to my knowledge of what they overcame, or it can just be that they're always amazing, or whatever -- it's my choice.

 

Now I'm hoping that a group of teens show up at our door tonight dressed as characters from the movie 2081. I'm going to load them up!

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Wow! I can't believe there are this many responses to my little question!

 

One thing I didn't mention.....she has Asperger's, and has no friends to attend parties and things with. On the one hand, that makes me want to let her go more, since she deserves to have fun, too. On the other, I'm trying to teach her what's age appropriate and what isn't. I think if she were going with a group of girls I wouldn't be giving it a second thought. That would be fine.

 

I don't know. I can't believe I'm (sort of) stressing over something so trivial.

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I think the argument that 'she is too close to being an adult to be able to use her own judgment' -- seems a bit illogical. It sounds like, "You are becoming more mature, but that makes me trust you less and grant you less freedom of decisions." (*Editing... this might not apply in an aspergers or other special needs scenario. Those kids need to be trained in adult conduct at some point, even if it doesn't come naturally to them, so increased age = increased own-choices might not apply.)

 

Personally, I think teenaagers trick-or-treating is a great way for them to occupy themselves, and it builds community in the local neighbourhood. This is especially true if they come as with their family. They also have a much larger capacity for candy and late evenings than little ones!

 

Now, it may be a little bit of 'working the system' (All I need is some face paint and a bed sheet to get $40 retal worth of sweets! What a deal!) But, to me, it's important in the teen years to be permitted to *try* working the systems around us. It's not exactly mature thinking, but it's an age-appropreate level of exploration of how much they can get away with by relying on social conventions designed to benefit children. By passing through these experiences, we get to mature thinking. I don't want to prevent that sort of thing. The world is a good teacher.

 

Usually the world (your neighbours) will teach that a teen in a family who dotes on cute little sibblings and still adores a good fun costume is 'in the spirit' of Haloween and entiled to full payment. On the other hand, the world does tend to teach profiteering low-effort bedsheet teens the opposite lesson. Both lessons are well worth learning... neither lesson is exactly worth using parental authority to prevent.

Edited by bolt.
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I'd rather give candy to a dressed up teenager than to a dressed up infant in a stroller and I know the parents are going to eat it.

 

:iagree: I would much rather my 16 yo dress and spend the night the me, dressed up and T-T then what she could potentially be doing with other 16 yo on Halloween night.\

 

ETA: I don't think it's wrong to dress up a baby or toddler either, I also don't think it wrong if a 16 yo wants to do. I have had teens show up (not dressed up) and I don't think that is okay.

Edited by fourcatmom
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I'm responding before reading the other responses. I say absolutely not. Dressed up or not, trick-or-treating is not for teenagers, it is for young children - elementary age and younger. But not babies. I cringe when a mom shoves a bucket in my face pushing a dressed up baby in a stroller.

 

Now, after reading the responses, I will qualify my answer by saying that the experiences we've had with teen-agers coming to our door have been bad. They practically threaten us, are not polite at all and have caused us, when we do hand out candy, to turn off our light early, since the teens usually come a little later. I hate Halloween. Our neighborhood is the one everyone in our town comes to and it's a wreck after. Most of the cul-de-sacs are closed off and the residents just sit at tables at the entrance to the cul-de-sac and hand out candy due to trampling on flower beds, litter and all other kinds of carelessness happening. You know, if you're going to ring someone's doorbell and ask for candy, you should at least stay on their front walk and keep your litter with you. We leave on Halloween and go to a church Harvest Festival and come back when everyone's gone. I know, I sound like the Grinch of Halloween. Sorry!

Edited by KrissiK
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Wow! I can't believe there are this many responses to my little question!

 

One thing I didn't mention.....she has Asperger's, and has no friends to attend parties and things with. On the one hand, that makes me want to let her go more, since she deserves to have fun, too. On the other, I'm trying to teach her what's age appropriate and what isn't. I think if she were going with a group of girls I wouldn't be giving it a second thought. That would be fine.

 

I don't know. I can't believe I'm (sort of) stressing over something so trivial.

 

Asperger's does add another aspect to the decision. However, I don't think there is a "wrong" decision to be made here. Do what you feel comfortable with.

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I think that if she put time and thought into her costume, it's fine. I don't like teens who ToT with just a mask -- an obvious free-candy-grab. Or teens who dress so as something so gory that little ones are scared. But if she's a 16yo who still happens to enjoy dress-up festivities -- I say, let her go for it!

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If we did Halloween (I used to as a kid), I would say no.

 

I do think it is a little funny how sometimes kids will want to keep doing kid things, like this, but then want to be treated like an adult immediately after. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Well, transition to adulthood can be like that. Not usually smooth an linear;)

 

I say let her go.

 

Beck

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I'm not who you were referring to, but as someone who isn't a fan of teens trick or treating, I guess I just think it's odd. It's not the norm from what I've seen, growing up or since I've lived here. I feel like teenagers have their own things they can do that they would like more, like halloween parties and stuff. (Not the crazy kind - just saying.) Like I said before, our youth group is having a halloween party tonight, and they'll have a bonfire and do marshmallows/smores, hot dogs, have music, candy, and some sort of games, usually. DH will be at that as one of the leaders while I'm at the trunk or treat with the kids.

Another thing would be for teens to help with halloween events for kids, they can still dress up and stuff (which they could at the parties, too), but in a more age appropriate way than going around asking for candy. :)

That's just the norm for me - teenagers have the stuff they do on halloween, and IME, trick or treating isn't one of them.

 

 

:iagree: with this and Tara's other posts on the subject.

Because, honestly, my kids have ALWAYS begged to be something from the store. This is the first year that I've had one want to be something different! :lol: But it's still a character, not a general thing. So I'll have two in store bought costumes and one in a pieced together one.

Idk, if that's the norm where you are then whatever... i just know that Astro would notice if Link got more candy than him, and would have no idea it's because he chose to be a store bought power ranger instead of an obscure japanese anime character. :)

 

I agree with you. The dressing up is still fun even as an adult - I'm dressing up to hand out candy. :) I think her dressing up and going along is a great idea.

 

Sigh... still all the picking on parents who dress their babies up! Well, I'll say that I'll be VERY HAPPY to see my 20 month old nephew dressed up as a monster tonight! And that everyone loved seeing 6 month old Pink as Cinderella. Sheesh, people... :glare:

 

Will there be a thread of halloween costume pics later or tomorrow? I'm so excited.... :D

 

I've seen that sentiment any times in this thread - that Halloween is for little kids - but no explanation as to why. If it really is just because it is what people are used to, then I don't understand why some people are so up in arms about teens ToTing.

 

ETA - I'm dressing up the new little one as a spider and myself as his web, and we're going ToTing along with dh, ds, and a big group of friends.

Edited by Truscifi
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I have no negativity. People are reading too much into the "begging for candy".

I always participate and give it out, and have a good time doing it (except for this year, per my previous post). It sort of appears as "begging for candy" at 16 to me, but....whatever. Lighten up a little!

 

I didn't mean that to sound offensive! The irony is that my point was that people (not you, just in general) should lighten up:) I just think there are more things to worry about with a teen than whether or not they go trick or treating. Let her enjoy the night! You mentioned Aspergers....my 15 yo dd (high functioning Autism) will be trick or treating with us tonight. My dd has a hard time making friends and wasn't invited to any parties. So, going with the family is sort of how she HAS to celebrate. It would be sad to me if she went with the younger two and came back with nothing. I just don't think it's a battle worth fighting.

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Let her go. Halloween is for anyone who wants it to be for them. Grown ups dress up and go to parties.... Add in the Aspergers means she's likely more interested in what 11-12 year olds are doing, not 16 year olds (coming from a mom who has a child with Aspergers).

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My whole family is sick, but if we were well, my 17yo was just going to go to the Halloween at the park, but my 14yo was going to dress up as Bellatrix Lestrange and go Trick or Treating. I did have a rule about stopping when the teenage years hit, but in our neighborhood, teens often TorT. I don't care as long as they dress up. Dressing up is what it's all about for my 14yo and my 17yo.

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:001_huh: I never dressed up my babies. I think Halloween starts around here at 3.

 

I dressed DS up at age 1 for a party, but we didn't Trick or Treat. At age 2 and let him Trick or Treat on our cul de sac just as a way to interact with our mostly elderly neighbors. They loved it! I made sure he picked little Dum-Dum Pops that I was willing to let him suck for a minute or two before tossing.

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My dd11's bff has asperger's. She gets really into the dress up part of Halloween. She likes to dress up anyway. She is 14 this year. She was panicking b/c my youngest is sick and she thought dd wouldn't be able to come with her.

I think you should let her go. If it means a lot to her, let her go this year. After this year, if she really loves Halloween find church fall festivals that she can dress up and volunteer or go to trunk or treats where there are all ages.

I am watching as my dd's bff gets older but really isn't maturing at the same rate as her peers. I think it helps that my dd is younger and they are more on the same maturity level.

Have a safe, fun Halloween!

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I didn't mean that to sound offensive! The irony is that my point was that people (not you, just in general) should lighten up:) I just think there are more things to worry about with a teen than whether or not they go trick or treating. Let her enjoy the night! You mentioned Aspergers....my 15 yo dd (high functioning Autism) will be trick or treating with us tonight. My dd has a hard time making friends and wasn't invited to any parties. So, going with the family is sort of how she HAS to celebrate. It would be sad to me if she went with the younger two and came back with nothing. I just don't think it's a battle worth fighting.

 

Ahhh.....got it! Thanks for the perspective.

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