Divorced Parents Can Take the Fear Out of Their Children’s Halloween
by Michael Heath
The All Hallows Eve holiday of costumes and trick-or-treating may seem unimportant to some but to children it’s a big deal. There is plenty of fun parading in silly outfits, being with friends with a little time off from school and going door-to-door collecting a bagful of candy. It is an endearing time providing opportunities to create wonderful memories. Parents owe it to their children to make Halloween something very special.
Planning Will Make Things Less Scary
Do not wait until just days before to prepare for the day of ghosts and goblins. Last minute “anything” usually leads to stress. Communicate with your ex at least a month in advance so that he/she is on board with preparation and prevents the other parent from feeling blind-sided. Share what the kid(s) want to do with a costume. Determine who is making or purchasing the outfit so nothing is left to assumption. Decide whether one or both parents will attend the festivities.
Fighting Is Frightening
If both ex-spouses participate in an event, there needs to be a commitment to not fight. Such poor behavior can easily put a damper on what should be a time of joy. It may be believed that the kids are used to the fighting, but they never like it. The conduct would also embarrass them as they attempt to enjoy their friends. Parents should always keep in mind that it is their divorce, not the children’s. Fighting in public around the children, especially on such a holiday, is not only wrong but outright selfish.
How Not to Become a Monster
When moms and dads are unable to get along, even for a few hours, each can still participate in Halloween without the awkward togetherness. One way is to split time with the kids. Maybe one can get the children to the parade and watch the festivities while the other later takes them trick-or-treating. If parents are civil with one another and can be together for Halloween, then they should do it. The kids will like it. In the event that there is discomfort with those arrangements then celebrating with a group is the way to go. The added socializing is likely to temper the risk of any public discord.
Halloween is More Than One Day
If sharing time or splitting it is not possible, parents can celebrate with the kids separately. Check out what is happening locally. Farms often have cornstalk mazes and fall tractor rides. Amusement parks sometimes provide Halloween-themed haunted houses and “fright fests.” See what the end of October has to offer. A little planning can lead to a family fun time that is absolutely spooktacular!