When is a kid too old for trick or treat?
In one Canadian town, at 16. And that’s official.
Initially, that age was 14. But pushback from some residents in Bathurst, New Brunswick, convinced town leaders to lift the cap by two years.
The age cap includes an 8 p.m. curfew because residents complained of Halloween mischief like throwing apples and stealing candies, CBC reported.
The bylaw change, which was amended this week, comes with a $200 fine for teens who break curfew or wander the streets in “facial disguise” — from creepy clown masks to a witch’s veil. Police say they’ll use common sense in enforcing the law.
But why have any age limit?
Halloween is the rare night you may spot families enjoying the fresh air together without their heads bowed in holy reverence toward their smartphones.
In an age when kids are introduced to porn at an earlier age and obsessed with their number of social-media followers, if they are willing to play pretend for a night for candy, let ’em. Let them be kids a little longer.
When the little ones show up at my door in their princess or superhero costumes — or better, homemade costumes — my ovaries ache. Now that my kids are in middle school and junior high, I send them on with other relatives so I can work the door to see the costumes because I get such a rush.
But I love seeing the older kids, too, especially the neighborhood kids I haven’t seen for so long. “Look at you!” Eyeball roll. “You’ve gotten so big!”
Maybe we’ve been blessed in my neighborhood not to have “the mischief,” except for some late-night doorbell rings. But those older kids who are out trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 could be up to a lot more dangerous mischief — drinking, drugging or something darker.
If you find it distasteful when older kids come to your door, here’s a thought: Don’t do Halloween.
But if you turn on your porch light, announcing you’re open for Halloween business, you’ve made a choice. Are you going to choose who deserves candy based on age?
Go ahead — but you run a big risk of being WRONG! Some kids are just taller and more mature than others. And who can tell with costumes? Plus, word will get out. Fast. And my guess is, that’s when your home is at greater risk for some “mischief.”
You’ve made a choice. Don’t take a kid’s choice away to enjoy Halloween.
We “ooh” and “ahhh” at the little kids, for sure. But we need to share a few intelligent words with the older kids as we dump candy in their buckets.
They are still kids, after all. On this one day of the year, it’s a way for us to remind them they are part of the neighborhood, part of this big planet of ours, and they’re valued, too.