‘Mum, can I go trick or treating with my friends this year?’ It’s the end of another era.
*Let’s just take a minute’s silence to remember the cute pumpkin costumes and having to take them home early because they’re too jacked up on Haribo or actually really quite scared and overwhelmed*
Okay, back in the room. So what are the rules when kids want to trick or treat alone?
Everyone has their own idea about what age is okay to trick or treat alone, but a good rule of thumb is that if they make their own way to school without you, then they’re probably old enough.
For tweens, Halloween is all about fun and excitement with friends. They’ll be dressed as a Fortnite character or Donald Trump this year, and high on sugar and freedom. But before they leave the house, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules.
1. How many is too many?
Massive groups of marauding tweens and teens can be quite intimidating for both householders dishing out candy and for smaller kids going door-to-door. Encourage your kids to head out in a smaller group.
Make sure you know where they’re going, and that they have their phones on them with the ringer on. Don’t be *that* parent, always calling and texting. Be a sneakier parent and keep track of their every move by using the Find My Friends app. Top serial killer points there.
3. What’s their patch?
Equally, THEY should know where they’re going! Talk your kids through a suggested route or handful of streets that are likely to be friendly to trick-or-treaters. Neighbours and local friends are always a good bet.
4. Know the pumpkin rule
Halloween is well and truly a Brit tradition now and the pumpkin rule states that you can knock on the door of a house with a lit pumpkin outside. Steer clear of dark houses and those with unlit pumpkins – you’ll p*** people off otherwise, and waste precious hoarding time.
5. Don’t be greedy
Without you there to hiss ‘just take one!’ from the front garden, your kid may get greedy. Remind them that the fun part is going from house to house so it makes sense to have one from each. Otherwise, they could just stay home with a sack of sugar and be done with it.
6. Even zombies have manners
As above. Remind them to say thank you, even when offered a snack bag of carrot sticks or some other such nonsense.
Set a time by which you expect them to be home. Both to keep them safe and to stop you from freaking out.
And because you’re feeling quite peckish and could use a few of those sweets please.