As Halloween approaches we are all likely to get a visit from local children asking "trick or treat?"
Trick or treating seems to have become more popular over the past few years and is in some part down to the influence on our children by American television programmes.
I myself can remember trick or treating as a teenager and at that time it was mainly used as an excuse to play practical jokes on neighbours (I should add harmless ones).
The tempation has become more serious these days with Police threatening to prosecute parents of children who carry out the trick.
I have accompanied my own children for the past 10 years or so, and have mixed feelings about the whole affair.
On one hand it almost feels like I encourage them to beg - knocking on virtual strangers doors and asking for a treat purely for the fact that they have dressed up in some impressive Halloween costume.
On the other hand it like many other things is something I have to embrace as a tradition which our children have come to expect.
I would never encourage my own children to carry out the trick side, and am pleased that my 12 year old (too old now to go out with her Mum!) is going to an organised party. I have also taught my children that they should only ever call at a house which has Halloween decorations on view - the idea that the people behind these front doors have no objections to the callers.
For those of you parents out there not keen on letting your children out trick or treating then why not consider the other options -
There are often organised events - a safe place for children to enjoy Halloween in a controlled environment.
There is such an event being held at Rhuddlan castle - details of which can be found on the events pages of this site.
Alternatively many people now organise their own parties at home - a chance for your children to invite their friends round, play some games and dress up.
If you have a strong opinion on the phenomenon of trick or treating please feel free to post your comments - we'd love to hear what you have to say.