NEW YORK – Patti Woods-LaVoie loves Halloween and all things candy, but she has a hard and fast rule when it comes to teens and trick-or-treating.
Show up at her door in Trumbull, Conn., with a costume – and she means something more than a baseball hat and jersey – and her candy is your candy.
Ring her bell in street clothes and youll get teabags, ramen noodles, shampoo samples or some other discard from her pantry.
When it comes to big kids with pillow cases begging for candy on Halloween, there seem to be three camps.
The sure, why nots say they overbuy and are happy to let teens scarf up the leftovers so they dont eat it all themselves. The nos find it overly cynical when older kids arent in costumes that took some planning. And the middle-grounders believe teens arent in it just for the loot and still truly enjoy the ritual of dressing up and going door-to-door.
So how old is too old for trick or treating?
Im cutting mine off at 14, but if teens show up at my door and are polite, Ill give them candy, said Betsy Tant in Knoxville, Tenn., mom to a 13-year-old daughter and two younger kids.
Other candy givers who are also parents said it feels more like extortion than good fun when the older teens show up.
I also think its about adults not trusting older kids, Tant said. With teens, Halloween can be more about tricks. Teens tend to be more impulsive and less concerned with consequences.