As far as holidays go, Halloween isn’t usually considered a major one. In parenting plans or parenting schedules, Halloween may not get much attention. However, when you have young children, the issue of Halloween may be worth thinking about in your parenting plan.
For children who still dress up and go trick-or-treating, Halloween can be a magical night full of memories for kids and parents alike. When you are separated from the other parent however, it can be a recipe for more conflict. As with most co-parenting conflicts, there are options for addressing potential areas of conflict before the children get caught in the middle.
Address Halloween in your holiday parenting plan:
Even though may not seem as important as other holidays, if you think it will matter to you in the future, then plan for that eventuality. You will then be able to spend time with your children trick-or-treating or at a Halloween event. Two options include allocating it every other year or dividing the night into two time periods so both parents get some time every year. You may even plan to spend it together if you are able to get along with the other parent.
Communicate about the child’s costume ideas and obtaining the costume:
When your child lets you know what they want to be for Halloween, let the other parent know. Make a plan for who will buy the costume (or make it) and whether you will share the cost. It may make sense to include how you will handle this in your parenting plan. One option is to have the parent who has the holiday will buy the costume for that year.
Do not make this about you, make it about your child:
Whatever you do, make this about your child. If your child wants to bring the Halloween costume back and forth or won’t be with you on the holiday, then the costume goes with the child. Unless they want to be two different characters for Halloween, you should not withhold the child’s ability to share the costume with both parents.
If your child wants to spend the holiday with both parents and you are in a position to make that happen, consider sharing the holiday with the other parent and going trick-or-treating in the neighborhood together.
If you have young children, make sure you take the time to consider Halloween in your holiday parenting plan. Take the opportunity to develop a thoughtful plan to ensure your child has a positive and fun-filled experience.