When we send our little ghosts out trick-or-treating Sunday, is it a candy free-for-all? Or are there rules to follow?
We asked some moms who read momaha.com, the World-Herald's social networking site for moms, for advice on the etiquette of Halloween.
How old is too old for trick-or-treating?
BrycesMomma: If you do not find dressing up “fun,” you are too old.
craignsara: I am from a small town and we trick-or-treated until we were seniors. But we did have costumes and some pretty cool ones at that!
JB79: When I complain about older trick-or-treaters, my husband reminds me that they could be out doing much worse things on Halloween night than ringing people's doorbells and asking for candy.
Lisa Andrews: I like this post since my two boys just turned 12 and are quickly approaching the age where they are getting at the “older” end of dressing up in costumes. I don't know the cutoff, but one of my boys says he doesn't want to go ... we'll see. I'm anticipating a last-minute change of heart. I give everybody candy. I give more to the little ones since they can't go to very many houses, and yes ... the big kids get the “crappy candy.” Too funny!
MomPoppins: I don't have much of a problem with older trick-or-treaters. Heck, my roommate in college and I trick-or-treated at our favorite professors' houses (in costume, of course!).
How many pieces of candy can a kid take if the bowl is left unattended outside?
BrycesMomma: We have a few neighbors that put the candy at the door with a note “One piece please.” I would say to take one piece; there will be enough candy collected through the night.
craignsara: If there's a bowl unattended, I still tell my daughter to take just one. I have hammered it into her head to take just one and when someone tells her she can have two, I have to convince her it's OK!
Should parents trick-or-treat with babies who aren't old enough to eat candy? Isn't it obvious that mom or dad are getting the candy just for themselves?
BrycesMomma: I think it is fun for kids who are younger to get the experience and see the other kids even if they are not old enough to eat the candy. My son has more fun seeing what everyone else is dressed as. The candy comes second on his list.
craignsara: I do still give candy out to “baby” trick-or-treaters. Why should they miss out on their first Halloween because they aren't old enough to eat the candy? I think parents do it more for the experience than the candy. I buy special “Safety Pops” just for the babies. Even if they can't eat the candy, they might get a kick out of a sucker if their parents let them. We have a lot of babies in our neighborhood.
What time does trick-or-treating begin? How long can kids stay out?
MomPoppins: I always try to make the kids wait until 6:30 or 7 to go out (thinking about letting people eat supper), but it never works. As soon as we get the first “ding dong” around 5 or so, my kids are clamoring to go. I figure we'll go a little earlier this year, maybe 6 or so and wrap up around 7:30 so they can get ready for school. We are doing some things on Saturday, so I think they will already have had more than enough treats at that point.
Share your trick-or-treating experiences in the forum at momaha.com. Find it at forums.momaha.com.