Halloween is not a major holiday, so it is a day that often is not listed in parenting agreements, but it can be one of the biggest days of the year for young children. Divorced or separated parents should respect what should be a great time for their kids. Here are some ways parents can work together on Halloween, even though they are no longer together:
1. REMEMBER WHO HALLOWEEN IS FOR
Halloween is about the kids, not about you. If you are early in the divorce process, and emotions are still raw, you may prefer to step away for the day if you think you cannot handle the situation properly. As with the other holidays, it may be best to divide Halloween between parents on alternating years. If you can participate in Halloween activities together with your children, that is great. If not, do not force it and ruin what should be a good time.
2. DO NOT CREATE PROBLEMS WHERE THEY DO NOT EXIST
Arguments over a child’s costume, how late they should stay out trick-or-treating, or how much candy they can eat are not likely to help anyone. Things might be rough right now between you and your ex-spouse, but odds are that relationship will evolve toward something more positive with each passing year. You do not want to do anything this Halloween that will give your kids a long-lasting negative memory to associate with the holiday, so do your best to strive for civility.
3. SET PLANS WELL IN ADVANCE
Thorough pre-planning can help prevent many potential issues, and parents who are currently not on the best of terms can still make Halloween an enjoyable experience for their kids. Some potential ways to divide parenting time during Halloween include:
For parents who live near each other, one could take the children trick-or-treating and then bring them to the other parent’s home to show off their costumes and candy.
When Halloween does not fall on a weekend, many cities and towns have events on the weekends prior to October 31, so one parent could take the kids to activities on one of those days, while the other parent takes the kids trick-or-treating on Halloween itself.
If you can all share Halloween together, especially when new relationships and/or new spouses enter the picture, the kids will remember and value the unity shown in your family despite the end of your marriage. Halloween can be a building block for other holidays to come, establishing a good foundation to follow with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon.
4. START A NEW HALLOWEEN TRADITION
Another tip for parents who may have custody issues during Halloween is to simply start a new tradition. You could celebrate with them the day before or after. You could help them make their costumes or watch spooky movies. Make a Halloween themed snack, or decorate your home together during the holiday... the possibilities are endless.
CONTACT DEROUEN LAW FIRM
Your children should always come first. Successful co-parenting starts with that foundation. If you need help resolving disputes related to your children as you work to complete your divorce, the DeRouen Law Firm, PLLC can help you to try to reach an agreement in