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This Halloween, most families likely won’t be trick-or-treating with their kids, instead deciding to stay at home to avoid the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Halloween is typically a very social time with parties, trick-or-treating, and other social gatherings. When thinking about spending time with their children, parents should use their best, not only for their kids, activities but also for themselves. Divorced parents can sometimes face challenges with the holidays. This year is incredibly difficult as we try to learn how to celebrate while being safe.  

Keeping the Kids Best Interest in Mind

A typical representation of Halloween and holidays, in general, puts forward images of happy families spending and enjoying these gatherings together. Unfortunately, the truth is that around 50% of marriages end in divorce. For families dealing with this more objective reality, navigating a pandemic, no doubt, will add stress and other complications. When dealing with general visitation and who will take the kids to which activities, try to be more compromising than usual. Let the kids know the holidays are really about them and, if an agreement can’t be made in regards to the visitation schedule for the holiday, offer to be the one to make it up next year. 

Depending on both parents’ comfort level, spending Halloween social events with one another can sometimes work. This is probably only a good idea of there’s minimal conflict due to the divorce. If there’s noticeable animosity or hate between adults, the kids will notice and may even be exposed to unnecessary conflict. It may be in everyone’s best interest to celebrate separately.

Social and Family Gatherings –

Parents and extended family should understand that both you and the children are in a difficult situation. Depending on the children’s age, it may be a good idea to ask where or who they’d like to spend the holiday with. This works best for teens, but for children under 12, it’s probably best and more comfortable to decide for them. For younger kids, doing what feels right might differ from choosing what feels right for older kids.

Staying Safe –

If both parents are not on the same page regarding gatherings and activities, it negates the effort of one who chooses to stay home and safe. Suppose one parent has decided to take the kids to a Halloween party or social gathering, especially with potential infections, without letting the other parent know. In that case, they could risk infecting the rest of the home or family without their knowledge. Take the proper precautions if you choose to attend any small gatherings. If you’re not comfortable with the potential risk of exposure, explain to your kids, and consider not attending. 

At-Home Activities –

If you decide and can stay at home this Halloween, there are plenty of fun and safe activities you can do to enjoy the holiday with your children. You can still provide Halloween-themed treats or snacks while decorating, carving pumpkins, playing Halloween-themed games, or watching spooky movies. When co-parenting, try and make a plan for Halloween to benefit both you and the children. This way, they’ll be able to enjoy as many activities as possible with both adults, and you won’t need to worry about stepping on one another’s toes in regards to how you want to celebrate.  

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