The Collaborative Divorce Center

Halloween– Treats Only!

Halloween– Treats Only!

Halloween for your family is usually filled with spooky traditions (boo!)
or trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, no parent wants to miss out on their
kids in cute costumes having a great time.

Parents can consider approaching Halloween without scares of fighting, “split-
time” or alternating “every other year,” and make Halloween a treat for your
children every year. It takes a commitment from both parents for these treats to
work, and a promise that there will be no conflict or tension between parents
around their kids during this special time.

Treat #1: Trick-or-Treat Together. True—you may not be pulling the matching
family costumes out of the closet—but still, children can benefit from seeing their
parents come together to support them, even if it is just for one night of fun. You
can consider getting input from your children about the neighborhood they prefer
to trick-or-treat, without asking them to choose. Once there is consensus, Mom and
Dad can discuss and agree upon the place and time that the other parent will come
by for shared parenting time during trick-or-treating. Ideally, you would tell the
children together about your new Halloween plans and let them know that both of
you are so excited to see them in their awesome costumes this year!

If trick-or-treating is not possible together at the same time, you can accomplish a
similar goal of sharing the holiday by having Dad go out with the kids for an hour
while Mom hands out candy, and then switch so that Mom goes with the kids while
Dad hands out candy. It still shows parental cooperation, and this may also
minimize any tension.

Remember, Halloween trick-or-treating is only one night, but it is memorable for
your kids. As parents, you are capable of protecting this precious time by raising
the level of cordiality, despite what may have been a rocky history. Let down your
guard, keep it light, focus on your children and appreciate that your children’s
years in costumes are numbered.

Treat #2: Other Halloween Events. Trick-or-treating is but one fun event around
Halloween. These days there are lots of other spooky events going on around the
Halloween season. If being together for the holiday is just not possible, make it a
point to celebrate in different ways with your children. Maybe Mom goes trick-or-
treating, but Dad gets to go to the Halloween festival at church or school. No one
misses out on some festivities.

Treat #3: Make Halloween a Group Affair. If the idea of trick or treating with
your former spouse and children is simply too scary on Halloween, try relieving
the pressure by making it a group event. Make a plan with a group of other parents
and children to go trick-or-treating all together and invite the other parent. This
may reduce the awkwardness of not having others to socialize with, and your
children will feel special to know they get to spend the holiday with not only both
of their parents but also their friends.

For many parents, some of these creative approaches to Halloween may be perfect.
Or maybe these ideas will help you to think of your own fun ways to approach the
Halloween holliday. And if none of this is possible for you, just do the best you can
given the circumstances.

In any event, be well, be safe, and Happy Halloween.

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