Mom Shares How Kids Today Are So Different From Previous Generations — 'These Trick-Or-Treaters Are Like Little Old People Ready To Go Home'

Dressing up in costumes and getting free candy just isn't as exhilarating as it used to be.

halloween, trick or treating Daniel Jakulovic / Shutterstock 

When most of us were kids, Halloween was one of the best holidays. We could not make it out the front door fast enough, dressed in the costume we’d patiently kept in its packaging until the big night.

We practically ripped our parents’ arms out of their sockets as we dragged them down the street, with our pillowcases slung over our shoulders as we made sure to hit every house within a 4 mile-radius. When we finally got home hours later, we dumped our candy haul on the floor, organizing them by chocolates and sour lollipops, and exchanging pieces with our siblings. 


However, if you were to walk into a family home on Halloween night today, you might encounter a very different scene. 

Photo: / Shutterstock 

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The kids are usually parked in front of the television with their trick-or-treat bags, which only contain a few pieces of candy, tossed to the side. They’ve likely already taken off their costumes, with just some residue of clown makeup left on their cheeks, if they even dressed up at all. They’ve already completed their trick-or-treat rounds and the sun hasn’t even set yet. 

Times have certainly changed, and many of us are asking why. The answer ties back to drastic generational differences between most of us and today’s children. 

Many children have cut their trick-or-treat trips short, if they even go at all, so they can get back home to their screens.

If you noticed how vacant your streets were and how full your candy bowls were by the end of the night this Halloween, you are not the only one. People are pointing out how Gen Alpha, those who were born in 2010 to present day, do not find the joy in trick-or-treating as the generations before them did. 

One mother took to TikTok to reveal how her own young children spent their Halloween, and noted just how different they did compared to her when she was their age. “About halfway through trick-or-treating, maybe like 45 minutes, my kids pretty much were like, ‘you know what, I’m pretty much done trick-or-treating, I have enough candy,’” she recalls in a video. 


The mother also shared that her children wanted to go back home since their feet and backs hurt from walking around the neighborhood. “It’s so different from when I was growing up,” she says. “We literally would go trick-or-treating until we would drop dead.” 



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Even when their trick-or-treat bags were full, the mother says it still was not enough candy, and that she and her siblings would go back home, empty their bags, and resume trick-or-treating until it was full again. “You would hoard that candy until springtime,” she adds. 


However, when her own children got home on Halloween night, they went through their trivial amount of candy, picked out 10 pieces, and gave them to other trick-or-treaters who came by their house. “That’s definitely a sign that the pendulum of parenting has swung in the total opposite direction when I was raised,” the mother says. 

She also admits that she is “scared for Gen Alpha,” believing that they will be “so much worse than Gen Z.”

Other parents of children apart of Gen Alpha agreed with the mother, sharing that their own childrens’ reactions to Halloween and trick-or-treating are much different than theirs. 

“My kids too!!!!!!! I’m like you’re done already?!?!” one TikTok user commented. “My kids barely made it around the block, the block we rode bikes around all summer. I told my husband they know we will just buy candy if they ask,” another user wrote. “I am so triggered when my kids wanna stop and I see all the lights on they haven't got to yet,” another user revealed. 


Trick-or-treating is just not what it used to be, and there are several factors that influence today’s childrens’ feelings toward participating in the longtime Halloween tradition. 

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Electronics are partly to blame for the lack of enthusiasm when it comes to trick-or-treating.

When many of us were younger, there was no access to iPads, laptops, Xboxes and Nintendos. We relied on activities such as bike riding, blanket fort building, and hide-and-seek for fun. 

Today, the majority of children and teenagers own personal electronic devices that can be used to keep them entertained and even allow them to communicate with their friends without having to leave their homes. 


Photo: LighField Studios / Shutterstock 

A survey conducted in 2021 by Statistica found that 88% of children between the ages of 13 and 18 had a smartphone in their home, while 57% of children between the ages of eight and 12 had one. 

Why go outside and trick-or-treat when there is a virtual Halloween game waiting for them at home? 


Other children know they will get candy whenever they please. 

Another reason that children who are part of Gen Alpha aren’t so keen about trick-or-treating is because many of them know that they have unlimited access to candy year round due to an increase in permissive parenting.

There is an old Chinese proverb that states, “Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.” 

Many parents today try to steer away from telling their children “no” when they spot a piece of candy they want in a store for various reasons, whether they do not want to be subjected to their child’s tantrums, they don’t want to deprive them, or they feel guilty telling them that they cannot have something that they want. 

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If children are never told “no” and immediately given the sweet treats they desire, there is really no need for them to march up to their neighbors’ doorsteps one night a year and ask for it. 

Growing up, many of our parents were more strict, and candy was something that was most likely limited and only saved for special occasions, including Halloween night. 

Many other children suffer from social anxiety and want to steer clear of trick-or-treating. 

Another reason children today may have no desire to go trick-or-treating is because they are afraid — and no, it has nothing to do with the frightening costumes and decorations. 


Since so many of them rely on their devices to keep themselves occupied, they have pretty much forgotten how to socialize and interact with others, something that is required for trick-or-treating. 

Social anxiety is on the rise, affecting one out of three adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 today. Given the pandemic that forced many children to lock themselves away for months, it makes sense that they would be hesitant and unsure about partaking in social activities in the outside world. 

Photo: CandyBox Images / Shutterstock 


There is no rulebook that states your children should have to love trick-or-treating as much as you did. As heartbreaking as it can be to see their drastically different attitudes toward the tradition, it is never too late to establish your own Halloween festivities! 

This can include going on a haunted hayride, carving pumpkins together, or having your very own family costume contests to get your kids more engaged and involved during Halloween time. 

Every generation is evolving differently, and if that means tweaking your traditional trick-or-treating, then so be it. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.