Halloween with teens is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the holiday gives adolescents a chance to revel in the traditions of childhood. On the other, it can be a reminder of the middle ground that teens occupy between childhood and adulthood. And that middle ground can feel awkward.
Why I personally hate halloween
For me, as an adult, Halloween is my least favorite holiday. I’ve always been a little wary of the dark–theives and bad guys and all. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being spooked–probably because I spook easily. I don’t like the taste of chocolate, and have never been a big candy eater. Finally, I’d much prefer to get together with friends without the added burden of having to come up with a costume.
Why I loved Halloween as an Early Teen
This wasn’t always the case, however. When I was in my early years of adolescence, I was all in on Halloween–the creativity behind making my own costumes, the freedom to roam my neighborhood streets without anyone’s parents in tow.
One of my favorite costumes of all time (remember, I’m a child of the 80’s) was when I donned a large box painted to look like a perfume bottle, and went trick or treating with my best friend, Susan, who dressed as an Avon lady (think door to door cosmetic sales), wearing fake nails, stirrup pants (remember those), high heels, and way too much blue eyeshadow. Instead of “trick or treat”, Susan and I said “Avon calling” whenever a neighbor opened their door to distribute candy.
Funny, right? And clever.
We were probably in seventh grade at the time. And some of our friends were already aging out of trick or treating. We were in that awkward phase of growing up where you have one foot in childhood and another stepping towards adolescence and you’re never quite sure how to find your balance.
Parenting Your Child in the Messy Middle
That age is HARD and it’s MESSY—for kids and parents alike.
If you have teens who are planning to trick or treat this year, I hope you’ll endorse their adventures. Let’s get behind kids who aren’t in a rush to grow up too fast.
And if you have teens who will be laying low, helping you hand out candy, watching a movie with some friends, or just getting their homework done this evening, I hope you’ll endorse those adventures too.
And if your kids celebrated this past weekend, as my own did, I hope they were safe and in the company of supportive peers. Yes, it’s cool to stay kid-like, but growing up is also pretty cool too, and it’s important to follow your kid’s lead.
In my household this Halloween, my husband and I will be handing out candy from the front porch of our rental house. (Yes, we moved into a long-term rental last week! Big exhale. We’ll be here for about a year while our real home is rebuilt. You can read more about the tree-zaster that demolished our home in last month’s blog.)
I will enjoy all the costumed visitors, the cute little ones and especially the teenage ones. I always give extra candy to clever and over-the-top teenage costumes. AND, I will be glad when stores and households put away their scary decorations that I still have a hard time walking past even as a grown adult. No thank you to eery skeletons and bloody ghouls. Bring on the turkeys and cornucopia.