Southern Charm Sunday: Trick Or Treat Etiquette

Every year, on our way to trick or treat, my mom did the same thing. She reminded us of our manners and the dos and don'ts of trick or treating. Now that I am a mom, I want to make sure my own son is taught proper trick or treat etiquette. Good manners make things more fun for everyone. 

Proper Trick-0r-Treat Etiquette

1. Do a costume check. Make sure they are weather appropriate. While you are doing that, do a check for legs and sleeves that are too long and anything that can get snagged.

2. Make sure your child is wearing something light and/ or reflective. Also, carry a flashlight.

3. Before you leave, make sure to remind your children to watch for cars, stay with their supervising adult, and say please and thank you. As parents, we should say thank you as well.

4. Make sure that only children who are of the right age are trick-or-treating. Babies don't get candy and over a certain age, it is time to stop asking for candy. However, if the teen or older kid is chaperoning younger kids, they can receive treats as long as they are dressed up.

5. If you are not participating in the treat giving, remember to turn off your light. If you are the receiver of treats, remember to respect when lights are off. If they are off, the resident is not giving out candy.

6. Do not ask for seconds or if you can trade for something else in the bucket.

7. If you are invited into someone's house, do not go unless you are with an adult you trust.

8. Use the restroom before leaving home, never ask to use someone's restroom.

9. Adults- when trick-or-treating with children, be sure to keep your costume family friendly.

10. Don't walk through yards- that is just plain rude. There are also dangers in lawns that are not well lit.

11. Only knock once.

12. Be courteous of early-to-bedders. If it is after 8pm, make sure to start wrapping up your festivities and keep it somewhat quiet. Also, don't go trick-or-treating before 5pm.

13. If you are trick or treating with a dog, clean up any messes and don't let them get too close to doors or other families.

14. Clean up any mess you make on your trek.

15. Make sure you check all candy before you let your goblins eat it up. If you think it may have been tampered with or it looks iffy, throw it out.

Have fun trick-or-treating and if you mind your manners, others will have fun as well.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I don't have children of my own, but we have gotten a few snotty, disrespectful trick-or-treaters at our house before.

    - Robin

  2. Thanks for visiting. That is actually why I stopped giving out treats before I had my son.