Guest Post :: Halloween Manners

My friend, Lisa, is guest posting today while we’re celebrating Halloween with The Mouse!

Lisa Richey is the modern day Miss Manners, and I can attest from knowing her in person that she is well deserving of that title. There is more about her at the end of this post, so without further ado, I give you Lisa! Please make her feel at home.

I love this time of year… the chill in the air, autumn along the countryside in Pennsylvania, orange and golden leaves fluttering around the yard and of course apple cider donuts.  You can’t help but notice all the Halloween candy looming in the grocery store aisles.

Are you taking your family out for “Trick or Treat” this year?  If so, I thought I would leave you with a few tips on Halloween Manners.

Ten Tips for Manners at Halloween

  • Dress the part if you are going to “Trick or Treat”.  Don’t show up in your street clothes and ask for candy.  Join in on the fun. It’s Halloween!
  • Ring the door bell only once.
  • Reach for one piece of candy… unless the homeowner offers more. In that case, two is enough.
  • Say “thank you” at every home you visit. This is also a great time to teach your children about eye contact, especially when expressing gratitude.
  • If you are invited to someone’s home for a Halloween party, offer to bring something or take a hostess gift. Your favorite homemade sweet treat or a scented candles is a always appreciated.
  • Children have a hard time with the masks that have small holes for eyes. Lead the way with a flashlight and help them up the steps or around landscaping to avoid tripping.
  • If you are a homeowner giving out candy, turn on as many outside lights as possible (porch and spot lights) around your property.
  • If you have dogs that bark, confine them to another room in your house. They might scare the “little ones”.
  • As a home owner, if you choose not to give out candy, turn out your porch lights and dim the lights in your home. Head out to dinner for the evening.
  • To avoid any late night visitors, turn off your lights around 9pm.

Lisa Taylor Richey is the creator of Manners To Go, a fun program and curriculum to build confidence. To learn more about manners classes and Princess-in-Training parties, visit her website. For more information about teaching manners at home, you may subscribe to the blog.


  1. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m taking my daughter trick or treating for the first time this year. I’m hoping to go with at least one other neighbor, too.

  2. says

    While I agree with most everything she said, I do feel the need to share this Facebook post from a friend … these are issues we do not have to deal with in our home, but they are issues to keep in mind, I think, when answering my door tomorrow night…

    In a few days, a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open-minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say
    “trick or treat” or “thank you” might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl may have a life-threatening allergy. The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might
    have sensory processing disorder or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, and pretend you understand. It’s everyone’s Halloween. Make a child feel good! (reposted, original author unknown)

  3. says

    Great post. Where I live most kids are not taught to reach for the candy (although an occasional house may do it this way). Mostly kids hold their bags open, say “trick or treat” and the homeowner tosses the candy into the bag.

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