When you’re newly separated or divorced, there are a lot of “firsts” to get used to – including the first seasonal holidays you have to navigate with your ex-spouse and the kids.
Halloween, in particular, can get a little tricky. You only get one chance to see your five-year-old dressed up like a dinosaur or your youngest daughter decked out as a “Batman princess” because next year, everything will be different.
When you’re worried about missing out on some precious memories with the kids and alternating the holiday each year seems wrong, how do you manage the situation? Here are some options:
Take the kids trick-or-treating together
Are you and your ex settling comfortably into your co-parenting relationship? If you’re on reasonably good terms where the kids are concerned, see if you can put aside all other differences and go together. You and your ex-spouse will benefit by having more hands and eyes on the kids as they make their trek for candy, and your kids will benefit by sharing one of the most exciting days of their year with both parents at once.
Take the kids at different times
Halloween falls on a Monday this year, so many communities will hold their trick-or-treat festivities on Saturday or Sunday instead. Check the local community calendar and find out if your neighborhood is on a different schedule from your ex-spouse’s neighborhood. If so, that makes it easy – each of you can take the kids out on your own schedule. The kids certainly won’t mind the extra candy (or the chance to dress up again).
Take the kids to different events
Maybe the kids have a Halloween party at school, and your ex-spouse wants to be there, while you would rather walk them from house to house on Beggar’s Night. If so, some quick negotiations with your ex can help you both get what you want.
Effective co-parenting is often about compromise. Having a well-rounded parenting plan that always keeps an eye on the future is also a great benefit.