Mommy, Am I Too Old?
Halloween is a time when you get the chance to dress up and pretend to be someone that you're not. Schools throughout the district usually dedicate the day before (or if Halloween is during the weekend, the Friday before) to dressing up and wearing costumes and celebrating the great event. Then at night, children get to go trick-or-treating and get a ton of candy. But, at what age do kids decide to stop going trick-or-treating? When does it become an "inappropriate" thing to do? I noticed that I stopped wanting to go trick-or-treating when I was fourteen. Last year some of my high school friends decided that they wanted to go out and have some fun and get some candy. But some of the houses didn't want to give them any candy because they thought they were "too old". This year, I wanted to see if there was any validity to the idea that people see teenagers as being too old to go trick-or-treating.
I took two of my friends and we dressed up for the occasion. One of my friends dressed up as a gnome, the other dressed up as a ballerina and I was a 1950's housewife. We went to our first house and knocked on the door. When the lady opened the door we smiled and expressed our eagerness with a nice, "Trick-or-treat!" and the lady just stared at us. There were a few awkward moments before she gave a huge "SIGH" and slowly reached for the candy that was in a gigantic bowl, filled to the brim with delicious candy. She slowly dropped ONE piece in each of our bags.
It was the worst possible way to start the night. It was even worse than being told that we were too old, because she acted as if the only reason why she gave us any candy was because she felt sorry for us… but not sorry enough to give us TWO pieces. After that we went to ten other houses and got only a handful of candy. So, we gave up and went out to get a milkshake and food from Denny's.
The Kid's Table
Thanksgiving is a time of year when all of your family comes together to eat delicious food and share memories. There always seems to be a designated "kids table". I understand the need for it, because there are a lot of people eating at the same time and not everyone is going to be able to sit at the same table. When you are five years old you think it is AMAZING that you and the other kids get your own little table without the grownups, but when you reach the age of fifteen it tends to get a little boring and uncool to sit at the kids table. So when do we get to upgrade to the "adult table"? It seems like, as we get older, the age limit of the "kids table" keeps growing along with us.
When should parents stop giving their children an allowance? My dad used to give my brothers and I a weekly allowance, but after a few years he stopped. We all got paid a certain amount of money based on the chores that we did. At the end of the week my dad would tally up all of our chores and give us the choice to either save it, spend it, or save some and spend the rest. But then it stopped and we were just expected to do the chores without the reward that we had become accustomed to. Of course we found it unfair, but our parents thought it was the right thing to do. They said that if we want to make money, then we should go get a job. But our rational was that we couldn't legally get a job because we were not of age. We thought we had a valid point! Still they refused to start up our allowances, once more.
Age = Freedom
At sixteen you get freedom: well, some freedom. You can get your driver's license but then for the first year there are rules that you have to follow or else you'll get your license taken away. So when are teenagers no longer considered children? When are we grown up enough to be able to be considered adults?
When I think about it, so many times I want to be treated like an adult, and yet there are many times when I still feel like a kid. It can be confusing, even within the course of a day, as to how I feel about things going on around me. Do I order from the kid's menu, or the regular menu? Do I think about a major, in order to choose the best college, or do I focus on my chemistry homework? Parents and children don't always agree on these things, and, as we get older, we need to have an open conversation with our parents when developing rules and expectations. We like to think that we can do it all, but many times we just want a shoulder to lean on.