Believe it or not, fall is upon us. Even with temperatures in the 90’s in southern California, people are getting into the spirit of things with pumpkin patches, apple picking and costume parties. Fall is the commencement of celebration and holidays and those can be stressful on families going through divorce. If you have kids, even Halloween can be one of those events that has to be sorted out amongst all of the other co-parenting issues that may arise. Yes, it may be a minor holiday, but for kids it is filled with expectation and fun.
So what do you do? In the most ideal of situations, you hang out with your kids together. If that is too stressful, then you can have your kids go with a group of friends with other parents there to chaperone. Some parents end up splitting the night with trick or treating or a fun autumn fair. Then, there are other parents that put Halloween in the category with major holidays and decide to alternate every other year.
Whatever you end up doing this Halloween, it is important to remember that holidays are all about. For kids, holidays are about tradition and consistency. Even as an adult, you might recall traditions that you grew up with. This is because they were important to your childhood. Forming traditions is an important part of who we are. If this is your first halloween after the divorce, maybe try a new tradition with your kids. Establishing the focus on them is important and will keep you from getting embroiled in conflict with your ex.
Be aware that your kids can pick up on the stress between you and your ex-spouse. Kids are smarter than you think and often, though they are excited about celebrating, they might also feel the stress and strain of figuring out plans with two separate households. So quickly after Halloween comes Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year. Get an idea of what your kids want to do then discuss it and come up with a plan to present to your children. While you can’t accommodate everything they want, being considerate of their wishes shows them that you are listening.