As the weather cools and the days shorten, our time with loved ones becomes more precious. With the academic year in full swing, the holiday season is fast approaching. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas are all just weeks away. Can you believe how fast this year has gone by?
Some of us will carry on with old traditions, while others may be starting new ones. Perhaps you're beginning to divide time with your children and co-parent. In this newsletter, we'll discuss three ways to ensure you, your co-parent, and your child have a respectful and enjoyable Halloween season.
Tips for Co-Parenting on Halloween
When it comes to Halloween plans with your ex, it's important to openly discuss and agree on a game plan for sharing the day and evening events equally. It's also a good idea to have the plans in writing to avoid any awkward situations. While sharing time with your ex may be uncomfortable, it's important to be respectful of each other's space and time with your child, without pretending to be a couple. Remember that your child didn't choose the divorce, so focus on their happiness and keep things simple. Maintaining a positive attitude and having fun can go a long way in making the event a success.
If both parents live in close proximity, consider allowing children to enjoy trick-or-treating with each parent. In doing so, your child will be able to experience Halloween in different neighborhoods, possibly with different friends and/or family members. Double the candy. Double the bonding. Do you think your ex will blame you for that offer at the next court hearing? The judge will certainly give you credit.
If you have a written agreement for Halloween family time, talk to your child about the plans and listen to their concerns. It's normal for them to want both parents present. Explain the game plan and roles you've agreed on. For single parents, discuss the rules and roles during events. Reinforce support for each other and let your child know all activities can be enjoyed at either home. Explain the "big picture" and reassure your child that the changes won't take away from time with you.