5 Tricks to Make Halloween a Treat for Co-Parents
Halloween is the beginning of a holiday season that may be challenging for families in any stage of divorce. Halloween and other holidays that focus primarily on children can be difficult to navigate, even for expert co-parents. Although it’s not always easy, every parent’s priority at this time should be to ensure that the children and their safety and happiness is the focus. There will be school parties, family and friend parties, trick-or-treating, costumes to choose, candy preferences, bedtime extensions, and many other reasons to communicate with your co-parent at this time – whether you want to or not. Here are 5 “tricks” to help your children have a spooky good Halloween.
Communicate about Costumes.
Some children prefer scary costumes, some prefer cute, some want to carry big faux weapons, and some older children are looking for more provocative costume choices. Each parent has their own feelings about what kind of costumes are appropriate for their children. Most parenting plans written by our attorneys designate which parent is responsible for costumes each year, but if your Parenting Plan does not include these guidelines, you should discuss the costumes before allowing children to wear them, especially with older children and teenagers.
Talk about Plans and Activities.
Our Parenting Plans designate which parent will have overnight time-sharing with the children on Halloween night, but not all plans include this. Additionally, Halloween night will not be the only thing to discuss. If you haven’t had these conversations before now, call or text your ex to figure out who is doing what. There will be school Halloween events, such as parties, parades, pumpkin carving, and trunk -or – treat too. Sometimes these events are scheduled before or after Halloween night. Who will transport your child’s costume to make sure your children have their costume for each event? Will your children have a different costume at each parent’s home? Who will decorate the trunk? These are all issues that your children would appreciate their parents figuring out to prevent unnecessary anxiety or stress.
Trick or Treating Togetherness.
Can you tolerate sharing space with your ex for a few hours of trick-or-treating? If you can both manage this, imagine how special that could be for your children. If not, is it possible for one parent to take your children for a couple hours and then exchange so that the other parent can take them ack out for more trick-or-treating? We don’t know many children that would complain about twice the candy!
Stay Focused on the Fun.
More than anything, make sure to stay focused. What is this all really about? The stress that co-parents experience around Halloween revolves around the fact that they want to have fun with their children. Don’t let the tension from a difficult relationship with your ex cloud your vision. Put aside your own feelings and recognize that your children deserve to have fun with their parents. Your children will appreciate you for this.
Make Sure You Have a Parenting Plan – and Follow It.
Halloween is only the start. The coming months will include various holiday festivities which will require communication and planning. For some families, this time also brings out of state travel. Do you have a great Parenting Plan? If so, just check the Holiday section and you’ll be all set. If you don’t have a Parenting Plan, consider it. A comprehensive parenting plan created by a family attorney can take the guesswork out of holidays and help each parent plan and understand how they will spend time with their children. Most importantly, this can alleviate tension and stress that your children will undoubtedly absorb.
If you would like to discuss your specific family needs in a parenting plan or review your current parenting plan, feel free to contact Hancock Law Firm at 727-222-0529 to schedule a consultation with our attorneys.