Co-parenting around the holidays is always challenging. While many parents make provisions for sharing major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter in their parenting plans, holidays like Halloween can be overlooked. However, Halloween is a holiday most associated with young children, and many families look forward to helping their children pick a costume and going trick-or-treating with them.
If you didn't include Halloween in your parenting plan or visitation schedule, it can be frustrating when you discover that you do not get to spend Halloween with your child. You may also be in a position where it is your year to have the kids for Halloween, and your co-parent is asking for extra time. Furthermore, it can be difficult for children not to see both parents on the holiday, especially if this is the first time you will celebrate post-divorce.
Below we have provided a few tips on how co-parents can work together to help their kids have a happy Halloween.
Tip #1: Start Discussing Halloween Early
We've all had a holiday sneak up on us, but if you can, open a dialogue with your co-parent sooner rather than later, especially if you are requesting an adjustment to your normal visitation schedule. The sooner you start planning for Halloween, the easier it will be for both you and your co-parent to adjust your schedules and work out any issues. It will also give your co-parent time to think about your suggestions and voice any concerns or questions.
Tip #2: Consider a Joint Celebration
If you and your child's other parent are in a good place, you can consider having a joint celebration with your child. For example, you and your co-parent can meet up to take your child trick-or-treating together. Or, if your child is attending a Halloween party where parents are invited, you can both participate with your child. However, this only works when parents can get along and will not be appropriate for every family.
Tip #3: Split the Day
If you and your co-parent are unable to have a joint celebration, consider splitting the day or splitting the evening with them. Typically, the main Halloween event is trick-or-treating, but your child may also have parties and other events to attend. Talk with your co-parent and consider how you can divide these events. Alternatively, consider when and where your child will be trick-or-treating and see if one of you can take the first half of the evening and the other take the second half. This way, your child gets to spend meaningful time with both parents.
Tip #4: Do Some Research on Local Halloween Events
If you and your co-parent decide not to share the actual day of Halloween, look around your local community and see what events are being put on leading up to Halloween. Many areas have fall festivals, street fairs, and trick-or-treating events in the weeks before and after Halloween, and many of these are free. Additionally, local museums, libraries, and community centers frequently put on events as well. If you cannot have your child on the day itself, consider attending or purchasing tickets to some of these alternative events and taking your child to them.
Tip #5: Spend Time Doing Halloween Activities at Home
Just because you will not be with your child on the day itself does not mean you cannot enjoy your Halloween traditions or create new ones. Even if you do not get to spend Halloween with your child, you can still do things like carving pumpkins and decorating your home together. Other fun ideas that can make the holiday feel special include Halloween movie marathons, Halloween crafting or baking projects, and throwing a Halloween party for your child and their friends the week before Halloween.
Hunt Law Firm wishes you and your family a fun, safe Halloween!