Halloween can be a tricky holiday for divorced families because most divorce decrees do not address it as a holiday subject to a different parenting time schedule like more traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Therefore, it is incumbent on you and your ex to map out a clear plan of attack for how to approach this day and make sure it is still special for your kids.
If this is your first Halloween after your divorce, you might be taking on some new responsibilities regarding your children’s school and trick-or-treating activities. There are some important things you need to keep in mind, especially regarding your child’s safety.
First off, if you and your ex are at least fairly amicable, it is smart to talk about how you will each share in the day’s activities. Maybe one of you will attend your child’s school Halloween party while the other takes on trick-or-treat duties. If you’re on good enough terms, maybe you can both attend the school events as it is a great way to show support for your child.
School events are of course supervised, so you will need to be more proactive regarding after-school trick-or-treating to make sure your kids have fun and stay safe.
Map out a trick-or-treat route – If you’re not accompanying your child to trick-or-treat, make sure you are clear about which houses and neighborhoods they are going to. You want to make sure they only go to houses you know are safe.
There are also several tools you can use to track and monitor your child to make sure they don’t wander off to an unfamiliar area.
If your child has a cellphone, Glympse offers a free Track & Treat app to track your trick-or-treater in real time.
Make sure your child’s costume is safe and they remain visible in the dark – Your child is going to be gallivanting through the neighborhood after dark, so it’s very important that they remain visible. Many costumes feature dark colors, so make sure they carry flashlights.
You can also have them carry glow-in-the-dark accessories like trick-or-treat bags or use reflective tape to make sure they’re easy to see.
If your child’s costume features a mask, cape or dress, make sure they can easily see through the eyeholes and that the costume isn’t so long that they could trip over it.
Inspect the candy – Before your child digs into any of the candy, carefully look at all over for anything suspicious. Throw away anything that has been opened or if you notice anything else unusual.
Limit the candy consumption – It wouldn’t be Halloween without getting to chow down on some sugary treats at the end of the night. But make sure your child doesn’t overdo it.
Set a limit on how much they’re allowed to eat for the night (and maybe the next several nights). You don’t want to have to deal with a sugar rush or tummy ache as you’re trying to call it a night.