Teenager trick or treaters hate to have their parents tagging along and will ask every year to be allowed to go out with a group of their friends but letting teenagers go out alone for Halloween is no easy choice. It is a status symbol among kids their age and they long for the day they are allowed to. For them, it is a ritual, a rite of passage. For parents, it is a three hour stretch of endless worrying. In today’s world of crime and indifference, sending your defenseless child out into the world unprotected can cause waves of guilt and the urge to lock them in their rooms until they turn 30. However, you cannot stop them from growing up and with technology, Halloween for teenagers can be made easier for those reluctant to let the bird out of the nest.
Teenager trick or treaters want to be the most popular, the most daring, the most valued, and Halloween provides an opportunity to express parts of them that may impress their friends and gain them the status they long for. Costumes chosen by teenagers, especially girls, are often very revealing. Don’t allow it. For a sexual deviant, a young girl dressed like a grown woman is a dream come true and might make your child a target for violence.
Make sure the costume is something that can be easily picked out of a crowd and always choose flame retardant materials, as many displays use fire and heat effects.
When it comes to Halloween for teenagers, a cell phone is a must. Even for those who might avoid calling home in front of their friends, a cell phone is perfect. Texting allows them to stay in contact with you and yet not advertise to their friends that you make them check in. It protects you both.
Set a check in period and do not hesitate to contact them if they are even a minute late. It will make them check in on time for the rest of the night, especially if you threaten to call them instead of texting. Letting teenagers go out alone for Halloween takes trust on both sides.
Third. Curfew and route.
Set a curfew and a route for teenage trick or treaters that they must stick to and make sure they think you plan to check up on them if you suspect they are not where they should be. Using a map is a good idea too. Put a copy in their candy bag.
(Some parents worry that checking up on their child will destroy trust but hunches can be powerful. If you think there is trouble, go drive the route and check on them. If you stay back, they will not even know you are there.)
Have those awkward conversations again. Make sure they know not to go inside anyone’s house, to be careful crossing the street, etc… In times of excitement, teenagers often forget things. It never hurts to remind them. Trust should also be mentioned, along with possible punishments and rewards, if you think there might be any deviating from the rules.
Fifth. Carpooling and driving.
Halloween for teenagers is a scary time for parents, especially if there is a new driver in the home. The idea of letting your child loose behind the wheel of a car or even riding with another teenage driver is terrifying. It comes down to trust. If you are not sure, then say no. It is their future. Do not take the chance.
These suggestions will make letting teenagers go out alone for Halloween easier on everyone but as a parent, trusting your instincts is better. If you do not think they should, then they shouldn’t.