Is It Greed, Bad Manners or Something Else

I’m not sure how you supply Halloween candy to the adorable trick-or-treaters that knock on your door, but I hold the bowl out in front of the kids and let them choose the two pieces they really want.

It’s funny to watch the kids decide which ones to take. Some shout out their favorite and then pick it up, (I heard “oh pixie sticks” about twenty times on Halloween night), others swirl their finger over the candy before choosing and a few others quietly pick a piece from the bowl and move on.

While I know a lot of adults hand out candy, I really prefer to let the kids decide for themselves. For the most part this works perfectly.

Each time I open the door, I say “Happy Halloween” followed by “you can choose two pieces of candy from the bowl.” Sometimes I have to urge a child to take more than one, but most of the children politely pick two of their choosing.

Of course, for every ten well mannered children there is always one that disobeys my instructions. That child thrusts his hands into the bowl, pulls out a fist full of candy, quickly throws it into his bag and dashes away from my front door.

Now these aren’t little children. I am pretty certain that all of the kids that took those fist fulls of candy could understand what I said and just chose to ignore me.

At the end of the night one teenager stuck both hands into the bowl and pulled out so many pieces they were literally falling out of his hands and onto the ground.

I asked him please not to take so many, as we were running out of candy and I wanted to keep the light on for the small kids in the neighborhood. He dropped some of the pieces from one hand, but retained all the candy in his right hand.

Are these children greedy, do they have bad manners or is it something else entirely? I recognize that some children may not understand my instructions, but given that these are much older kids, typically in a group with many other teenagers, I am pretty certain they understand me.

8 thoughts on “Is It Greed, Bad Manners or Something Else”

  1. I think it's both. here you are, spending YOUR hard earned money to buy candy for ALL the ghosts and goblins that come to your house and they take full advantage. For some reason, I see my nephews. My oldest nephew is such a devil (literally, I call his satan jr). he never obeys my sister and cries if he doesn't get his way (he's 12). Was ALWAYS like that. Me? i was the 'mean' aunt when I had to babysit. If he didn't get his way, he'd cry and sulk and yell, etc. I ignored him, whereas my sister would give in to this. NOT ME. I know he probably hates me b/c I'm 'strict' with him, but I guess that's the parenting in my. So he would totally be the teenager at the end of your story.
    My youngest nephew is SO great! I had to babysit him last year and I took him to Target to do some xmas shopping. I cringed at first remembering taking my older nephew out when he was younger, but this one? What a blessing he is! So polite! AND, he helped pick out toys and clothes for a little girl my department was sponsoring for xmas. 'I think she'd like this one Cioci Beth (we're Polish).' and he's never met the girl! And he always asks for things and says please and thank you…so he would be the one that would take one piece of candy, shyly too.
    I like the idea of letting them pick the candy, especially nowadays b/c Kids have so many allergies and what not.

  2. I let kids pick the candy, and I was surprised at how many parents cringed when I held out the bowl in front of them. It was like they were expecting bad behavior from their kids and didn't want to ruin trick-or-treating by having to scold them. This sounds like a Catch-22.

  3. I let the little children pick and choose but I do not let the older children because at that point they've learned to grab and run. It also really annoys me when I see teenagers come. Seriously? Go out and buy your own! I used to keep candy I didn't like for them (Good & Plenty).

  4. My husband and I talked about how much we miss tricker treating this year. We want so badly to dress up and go out, but hate bars and there isn't a lot to do if you don't attend bar parties. We looked without success. Tricker treating was one of my favorite holidays as a kid and it makes me sad that adults and teenagers are shamed from doing it. I think if you put out the effort to do a costume and go door to door it should be "allowed". We gave out about $40 in candy this year and would have gladly spent much more than that to be able to go tricker treating. Why is it only for kids? Boo! (I'm 35 and he's 43)

  5. @spaghetti0625 – I love the story of your two nephews šŸ™‚ I've never taken my niece and nephew out shopping, but I bet they would both be well behaved.

    @scuttleboose – I got a lot of those same looks from parents and surprise by a lot of the kids too.

    @anonymous – I did consider handing out the candy to the older children, but I like all of the children to pick their own.

    @anonymous – I loved trick or treating and Halloween parties. Bobbing for apples was always a hoot!


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