Trick or treat?

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ineedahobby | 14:13 Tue 11th Oct 2005 | Parenting
16 Answers
Can I have your views please on trick or treating.  All the kids in my neighbourhood seem to do it, but I wont let my two children.  My kids are quite young and would not cause a menace but I just have an issue with them knocking on strangers doors.  I always decorate the house for Halloween and let them dress up but they think I'm being nasty not letting them do what all the other kids do.  Am I being unreasonable?


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well if you want them to join in why dont you go along with them
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because its not just the chaperone issue, I just dont like the idea of bothering  people and demanding treats.

you could always speak to your imediate neighbours first and see if they would mind you could always provide them with the treats to give to your children

I used to keep my little boy in on Halloween for the same reasons. I've taken him the past couple of years though and he loves it. People just don't answer the door or some even put a note up if they don't want to be disturbed.

If you really don't want to though and have access to a car, how about driving to a few friends houses and getting him to knock on their doors? You could warn them in advance and might even get a cup of tea! x

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Thanks, its good advice knocking only on friends/neighbours doors if they are prior warned.  I'll put some feelers out.

If you are an American, then this is a far more common practice than it is in the UK. UK people have not grown up with this custom, and a lot of people don;t embrace it - they feel uncomfortable with the idea,.

I personally think it's demanding money with menaces, so I don't open the door - i really don't think the harm;ess friendly neighbourhood cosiness of the American version has translated at all well to kids in this country.

My girls used to love it when they were younger. It was a new estate and there were quite a few children living there so it was not really a problem. They went out straight after tea for about 1hr and only to the people who lived close by. Nowadays I suppose the best thing is to go with them or better still have a few friends in and have a Holloween tea party.
for halloween i used to do a big party for my boys and their friends and we played games like turn the daddies into mummies and scarey faces with face paints but this year now they're a bit old and its not cool anymore ,they want to go trick or treating but i'm not happy about it so with about six of my friends we're sending our kids round to just each other houses, therefore you also know where the sweets come from!
I go along with andy hughes on this one, and just a little bit of information, Halloween isn't an American thing, sure, its been Americanised, but it originally came from Ireland, and whole villages were terrorised at this time of year.
It's originally a Scottish tradition (maybe Irish origin, I don't know). We called it "guising" and there was no "trick" element. There was a "treat" as you'd get a sweetie or a penny for performing a wee song or something. We still dressed in ghostie outfits, but it was a very good natured thing, though you did get the occassional "bnnger off ye wee ******!!". Kids got to know neighbours, and it was one of the absolute highlights of the year. It was one of the threads that the calander hung on as a child. Xmas, Hogmany, holidays, birthday, Halloween, bonfire night, Xmas again. Unfortunately, times change and that picture doesn't exist any more. I'll take mine 'round a few pre-arranged neighbours, that's it....Hogmany's gone the same way :(

Like Chillum I too am Scottish and went guising with my friends when we were young about 40 years ago ~ so hardly a new idea copied from the Americans not in Scotland at any rate! Definately more commercialised now though!

So Iike some other posters have said if your kids want to participate in the fun, then dress them up and go visit some family and friends.

Although it's an American and seemingly Scottish custom, I'm not in favour.  Neighboughhood Watch organisations try to encourage people, especially the elderly and those living alone, not to open their doors to unexpected visitors after dark.  Youngsters dressed up in masks  etc can have an very alarming effect on such individuals.   Also, I feel it's moral blackmail  to expect your neighbours, who you might not know well anyway, to hand over goodies of some kind.  Last year we had about 20 callers during the course of the evening and it drove us crazy. 

I don't let my son go either, to me it's just gloryfied begging

So long as they get sweets its ok but i disagree with them expecting money, it is just begging.  We get lots of kids coming round with hoodies pulled over their faces singing a halloween song and expecting us to pay them!  I give those who have made an effort to dress up sweets not money.


I think smaller ones should have an adult with them, who stays out of sight in the background, older ones should be allowed to go to houses that they know on their own.

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Thank you all for your comments and opinions.  x
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To conclude, I wouldnt dream of giving out money to Trick or treaters.  A couple of years ago I had the same Hoody teenagers thing and we only had sweets on offer, they took the sweets, but next morning I was somewhat mortified when I saw that the little gits had still spray painted my front door!!!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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