1. Work Together- You and your ex may not always agree, but it's important to present a united when it comes to planning major events. Even if you're used to being a single parent most of the time, holidays including Halloween often require you to work together to make sure things run smoothly. Whether is picking out and purchasing a costume, providing transportation or limiting sugar high and tummy aches in kids who are overexcited about king sized candy bars, remember two is better than one. Work together to establish rules and plan for the night.
2. Be flexible - when kids are involved things rarely go as planned. With kids running amuck (Amuck! Amuck!) no matter how much you plan, something is likely to throw a wrench into your night. Be willing to go with the flow to ensure and offer to change your plans in order to ensure that your kids enjoy the night. Even if it's not your ex's custody day, be willing to negotiate, agree to spend time together if necessary, and give a little so that both of you can experience the day with the kids.
3. Schedules are important - If you've been involved with a custody case, you're inevitably used to scheduling most major events out days or weeks in advance. With trick-or-treating, school parades and parties, Halloween can be even trickier. Sit down with your calendar, call your local municipalities and schools to find out times for trick-or-treating, parades and youth festivals for where you and your ex live. Build a schedule that works for you and your ex and most importantly for the kids. Make sure they get to spend time with both parents and don't miss out on any of the fun activities the weekend has in store.
4. Use this as a Test Run for the Upcoming Holiday Season- Halloween signals the beginning of the holiday season that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years just to name a few. Because Halloween is often involves less travel and extended family, it can also be less stressful for parents. For divided families, especially those who are still adjusting to new custody orders, Halloween can be a great way to test run before the more major fall and winter holidays add more stress to the mix. Us Halloween to find out what works and doesn't work for your family to help take the edge off of the bigger holidays later in the year.
5. Remember It's About the kids- Kids often get lost in the shuffle of divorce. This is made all the worse when children are used as pawns by their parents in order to "win" the divorce or be the "better" parent. However, during the holidays, like all other times of year, parents should focus on what is best for the kids. Your kids won't remeber who "won" instead they'll remember the fun they had or the fights they witnessed. Don't try to one up your ex. If you child wants both his parents at his school Halloween parade, put your differences aside and make it happen. If you can act cordially with your ex, go trick-or-treating together. Compromise and put the kids first and things will work out for the best.