With Halloween right around the corner, we must acknowledge that holidays can be a difficult time for divorced parents. It is normal for recently divorced dads to feel guilt or anxiety over the breakdown of a marriage and the effects on their children. Nevertheless, it is important to make every moment count with your child, no matter how awkward and unfamiliar Halloween can be as a newly single dad.
Here are 5 tips for divorced dads about co-parenting, communication, and safety on Halloween:
- Share your children. If this is not stipulated in your divorce agreement, try to share the time equally. For example, one parent may get the costumes and dress the child and the other parent may go with the child for the trick or treating. Or, share the time between the two households if you live close enough.
- Communicate with your ex. Elementary schools generally have many planned Halloween activities during and after school that your child will be attending. If you are in a joint custody schedule, it is important to communicate with the other parent with regards to any upcoming school functions and emails that you receive from the teacher. In your communications with your ex, be respectful. This may sound difficult, but it is helpful for children to see that their parents are treating one another in a respectful and cordial manner.
- Do not put your children in the middle. Don’t ask your children with whom or where they would like to spend Halloween. They do not need or want the pressures associated with having to choose. Children should not have to feel like their allegiance is being tested.
- Be safe. Do not get so caught up focusing on your ex that you forget to take safety precautions. Make sure your children have a flashlight or glow stick with them. Try placing some reflective tape on the back of their costumes. If your child is carrying a prop, like a sword or pitchfork, ensure that the tips are smooth and flexible. Also make sure that costumes are not too long such that they would cause tripping hazards.
- Make your own plans if necessary. If you do not have your children on Halloween, do not make a big deal about it. There will be other Halloweens and other holidays. Find a friend to share the time with. Do not make your children feel guilty that they are not with you.
Whether you are deep into the divorce process, or whether you have been divorced for years, the key is in the way you handle the holiday with your ex and how you present it to your children. Remember that the children should be the primary focus and work from there.
Call (201) 597-0065 to schedule a Free Consultation at the Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC.