To the woman so angered by the fact that my son and his friends would trick or treat as teenagers that she yelled at them, and basically threw candy into their bags, I would like to say the following:
While arguably, 15 may be a little old for trick or treating, why so angry? My son helped decorate the front of our house over two days for the enjoyment of the neighborhood.
He and his friends were all in costume and were polite. Adults complain that teenagers are so caught up in electronics that they don’t interact with anyone anymore, and they worry about teen drug and alcohol use. Trick or treating, by definition, means you’re off the couch, interacting with people. And it also means you’re not at a party consuming drugs and alcohol.
When I shared this incident with adult friends, more than one said that the kids should have gone back and “egged” your house. Please note, adults came up with this idea, not the teens. Someone who treated them so disrespectfully might deserve that. But that would have reinforced your incorrect notion about them.
If your anger came from the fact you didn’t have enough candy (our neighborhood gets hundreds of trick-or-treaters), you could have said, “I’m sorry. I only have enough for little kids.”
But I think that anger comes from fear. A pack of 10 teenagers, including boys and girls, can certainly be up to no good, right?
I’ve seen adults respond negatively toward teens, just for being teens. It’s no wonder when they rebel or don’t turn to us. Sometimes, adults start it.
I work with teenagers, and also get to know my son’s friends. It’s amazing what happens when you just treat them with respect and kindness. They’ll talk to you, share with you, laugh with you. Imagine that!
They have only a sliver of their childhood left. A piece of candy shouldn’t have elicited such ire.
Boyes Hot Springs