Thursday, October 29, 2009

halloween and the divorcing parents

I read an excellent article on Divorce 360 regarding how to handle the Halloween holiday when recently divorced or in the divorce process. As always, being reasonable and viewing your decisions and statements through the eyes of the children is the best way to handle things. If you need a little help with this, they offer 5 tips in their article "Tips to Help You and your Ex Make this Halloween Fund for the Kids":

1. Keep children informed.

Let the child know ahead of time what will happen on the holiday "so that different expectations will not arise," Shoshanna said.

2. Don't put the kids in the middle.

Don't ask, 'Do you want to spend Halloween at my house of your mom's (or dad's)?', " said Blackstone Ford. "That approach tests your child's allegiance. Better to ask, 'Where would you like to spend Halloween?"'

3. Share your children.

"If possible, see if you can share the time during a holiday so that all participate. Perhaps each parent can take half of the time. Or, for Halloween, for example, perhaps one parent can get the costumes and dress the child and the other parent go with them for the trick and treating," Shoshanna said.

4. Treat the other parent well.

According to Shoshanna, it is "very helpful for children to see that their parents are treating one another respectuflly during holiday times (as always). Don't use this occasion to reminisce about the pass or say negative things about your ex."

5. Make your own plans.

If you're a parent who is alone during a holiday, don't make a big deal about it or create upset about it in the child. Find a friend to share the time with. Or, use the time to volunteer and be with others. "You don't want to child to feel that they're enjoying the holiday while the other parent is sad or alone," Shoshanna said. "This may create guilt in them and prevent them from having a good time."

4 comments:

CraezieLady said...

When my husband first got custody of his son, cooperating in any way was not an option. Not that he was particularly interested in cooperating with his ex-wife either, but she was especially angry over the custody battle, and went out of her way to be uncooperative.

The first couple of Halloweens, she had their son for the weekend. She was not interested in sharing or celebrating together. It was extremely sad and lonely for my husband, especially in light of the fact that we had other children in our home with whom to celebrate.

I think the one thing that this article fails to mention, and something that I wish someone had told us at the time, is that you can minimize the pain of not being able to celebrate the minor holidays (or the major ones) by doing something special with your child when you DO have him or her.

Instead of sitting at home being sad, I wish that we had carved pumpkins with my step-son (and the other kids, of course) before he went to his mom's house, or done face-painting or baked Halloween cupcakes or hosted a pre- (or post-) Halloween party. That way, my husband wouldn't have had to feel so bad about not seeing him on the actual day.

Of course, we were already adjusting celebration of the MAJOR holidays around the visitation schedule (opening gifts the day after Christmas, or Celebrating Thanksgiving a couple days early), but we never thought to do so with the minor holidays.

marry said...

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joan@txparent.com said...

Great suggestions! To a child's ears, any criticism of the other parents goes right to his heart. This is because the child sees himself as half mommy and half daddy. If mommy is "stupid" or "crazy" then part of him must be, too. He reasons. There are so many good tips for coping with divorce in the online Texas Cooperative Parenting Course. I like it because it's made by Texans for Texans and full of Texas law and resources. www.txparent.com

Divorce Attorneys said...

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