According to, parents should follow a short list of etiquette guidelines when taking their kids 'trick or treating' this year.

As we open the door on Halloween night, we've all seen the inappropriate costumes, wild behavior, and not one word of appreciation for the free candy handout, and that's just from the parents! Most of us run down the list of rules when our kids walk out the door to forage for candy on Halloween night, BUT what about the parents?

According to Diane Gottsman, a national modern manners and etiquette expert, there are some valuable tips that can help all parents set a good example for their kids on Halloween.

  • 1

    Put Down the Booze Until Later

    Walking around the neighborhood with a solo cup filled with vodka, wine, Jack Daniels, or beer is not a good idea. Keeping your eyes on the kids is where your focus should be. Your kid's safety is priority one, not your buzz.

    Fantasy Fest in Key West Florida - Credit Getty Images
  • 2

    Use Your Own Good Manners

    Encourage your kids to echo a "thank you" when a treat is dropped into their bag, even if it's a popcorn ball. Remind them to watch for cars, stay close to an adult, and be polite. If you're near the porch, it's OK to thank the "candy -giver" even it it's a box of "Good N' Plenty." Man, I can't stand those things, and what's up with "NECO Wafers." Really!?

    The Wonka Bar From "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" - Credit Getty Images
  • 3

    Don't Try to Pass Off Your 2 Month Old as a Trick or Treater

    Do you need your own stash of candy so badly that you're going to bring along your toothless 2 month old dressed as a hot dog as an excuse to fill up a kitchen garbage bag full of candy? Wait at least until you're little hot dog has some teeth before using them as a pawn for your candy addiction.

    Children's Village Parade in NYC 2002 - Credit Getty Images
  • 4

    Let the Kids Wear the Costumes

    I know that the attraction is there to wear a hideous mask and scare the bejesus out of the neighborhood kids. If you must wear a costume, keep the mask off your face lest you should be reported as "a person of interest." Your kids don't need to see you being handcuffed and shoved into the back seat of a police cruiser.

  • 5

    Go Home at an Appropriate Time

    If the porch light is off, that's a signal the house is either choosing not to participate in the joyousness of Halloween or they've closed up shop for the night. The general consensus on when to wrap it up is between 8:30 and 9pm and even earlier for younger kids. The rule is, 'If the lights are out, the Candyman is closed.'

  • 6

    Check the Kids Candy Before They Indulge

    Most likely everything will be hunky dory until it's not, so do yourself and your kids a favor and make sure their candy is in the original wrappers. If you watch the news at all, it's proven there are some very sick people roaming the earth. Don't let your kids be one of their victims.

    396693 02: Ray Orozco inspects candy October 31, 2001 picked up by his children and other trick or treaters Halloween night in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)