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Lifestyle

Should teens miss a trick? Debate reignited over how old is too old for hitting the streets for treats

Should teens go trick-or-treating? Should you give them candy? A debate is reignited

A Facebook post about Halloween has gone viral because there is still no common ground on this seasonal debate: Should teenagers go trick-or-treating?

It’s a bedeviling topic. Last year the “Today” show conducted a nonscientific poll asking, “How old is too old to trick-or-treat?”

While parents couldn’t agree on a specific cut-off age, they did specify a range. Seventy-three percent of more than 2,000 respondents said kids should stop trick-or-treating between the ages of 12 and 17.

No, no, no, argues the Facebook post that went up Monday on the Budget 101 Facebook page.

It argues that everyone, regardless of age, should get candy on Halloween.

“For those passing out candy this year, can you please take into consideration giving candy to teenagers and not shaming them for trick or treating by saying ‘aren’t you too old to be doing this?’” says the post that by Tuesday had been shared nearly 4,000 times and elicited close to 500 comments.

“Just take a second to think … would you rather them be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child’s life in danger? Or would you rather them be knocking on your door getting candy?

“Just think about that before you turn down candy to one of them. I’d rather see my teen doing this rather than something dangerous. Just because they’re 16 doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a little safe, legal fun.

“Also, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs. You may see a teenager, but they may still relate as a younger child!”

Though the majority of those who commented seemed to agree with the everyone-gets-candy stance, those who didn’t like to see teenagers trick-or-treating were adamant about it.

Leave the treats to the tots, they argued.

“Wth? If you are 16 years old (trick) or treating, that is a problem. How about get a damn job and buy your own candy,” wrote commenter Diane Thorne.

A few people said they won’t even open the door to anyone over a certain height on Halloween.

“In the world today, anyone is foolish to open their door to anyone masked over 4’ tall and not walking with Daddy,” wrote Lou Latta. “Have a party for your teens, but keep them off the streets and away from strangers’ homes.”

Some people drew the line at whether the teens bothered to wear a costume.

“Well … to say wouldn’t it be better to have teens treat/treating rather than out drinking is silly as if drinking is the only alternative to TT … really?” wrote Karin Edwards.

“Perhaps stay home and hand out candy to little ones? Go to an adult supervised party? Candy is expensive and I’d rather give what I have to little ones than a teen a foot taller than me not dressed up who gets (surly) because the candy isn’t to their liking.”

Clearly, a few bad apples have ruined it for all teens in some neighborhoods.

“Unfortunately these teens go to houses very late, and have no respect when families are not responsive. They often drive poorly (scavenging) every neighborhood endangering the lives of little children,” griped Facebook user Christy Madewell Tull.

“They show up in large groups and intimidate may single and elderly persons. If teens were respectful it wouldn’t be an issue. But in my 47 years I’ve never had a teen (15+) show up polite and respectful. I refuse to open my door.”

Those types of comments, however, were outweighed by the majority, which suggested that people are willing to give free candy to whoever darkens their stoop on Oct. 31, be they 6 or 16.

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©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

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