trick-or-treating etiquette

Good manners are always in fashion. This Halloween, when you are going over the safety plan with your kids, why not throw in some tips for how to be polite as well.

  • Choosing an appropriate costume: Think about your child’s age and your neighborhood when picking a costume. Would a costume with a machine gun be too scary, or is the skirt too short, or the costume inappropriate for younger girls? These days we must also consider cultural appropriation when choosing costumes.
  • Remind them that not everyone participates in Halloween, and that does not make them “mean.” Perhaps they don’t participate for religious reasons, or they might be elderly and not able to come to the door. If you don’t see decorations and lights on, just keep on going to the next house. This is not an opportunity to make mischief and egg people’s homes or other “tricks.”
  • If your area is not kid-friendly, it would be wise to join a friend or family member in their neighborhood rather than impose on your neighbors.
  • It’s impolite to crash neighborhoods where you don’t know anyone, especially if you have a carload of kids that you plan to dump off.
  • Remind your brood not to be greedy; one or two pieces from each house (or whatever you are offered from the homeowner) is plenty. Never grab a handful from someone offering you a bowl to choose from, and definitely don’t take advantage if someone has left a bowl unattended.
  • This one seems basic, but little kids especially need to be reminded to take the candy even if they don’t like it (or politely say no thank you). Sometimes they can’t help themselves, and you hear an “ewe” or “gross.” Also, if you are handed a treat asking “do you have something else” is ungrateful.
  • Always saying thank you is the most important etiquette tip for trick-or-treating or almost any situation!

Have a safe, happy, and polite Halloween!