Halloween might not cause as many headaches for divorced parents as Christmas and Thanksgiving when it comes to sorting out parenting-time issues, but it does present its own set of challenges.
The problem with Halloween is that it is not addressed by most divorce decrees, unlike the more traditional holidays. In that case, it’s up to you and your ex to work together to communicate to make sure your kids have a fun, and safe, time trick-or-treating.
If this is the first Halloween following your divorce, you might be taking on some added responsibilities with your kids’ school Halloween parties and trick-or-treating activities. If so, there are some important considerations to keep in mind concerning their safety.
The first order of business should be making sure you and your ex both know everything that’s going on. It might be a good idea for one of you to attend their school Halloween party while the other takes them trick-or-treating. (Or you both could attend the party, if you are on good terms.)
While school events are supervised, it is your responsibility to make sure your kids trick-or-treat safely.
Stay in a defined area
If you’re not chaperoning, make sure you and your child agree about which houses and neighborhoods they can trick-or-treat. Make sure they know which neighborhoods are safe and which are off-limits.
If your child has a cellphone, you can download a tracking app to be extra safe.
Make sure your child is visible
Many Halloween costumes are made in dark colors, which can help your child look extra spooky, but can also present a danger when they’re running around outside after dark.
Have your children carry flashlights while they trick-or-treat so they remain easily visible. You can also utilize glow-in-the-dark trick-or-treat bags or add reflective tape to their costumes to further ensure they’re easy to see.
A lot of children’s costumes also have masks and capes so you’ll want to make sure your kids can easily see through the eyeholes and that the cape isn’t so long that they trip over it.
Take a look at their candy
Once your child is finished hitting up all the houses in the neighborhood, be sure to take a quick look at the candy they’ve collected.
Toss out any suspicious candy or candy that has already been opened.
Of course the best part of Halloween is getting to pig out on all that sugar, but don’t let your kids go overboard.
Too many Twix and Laffy Taffy before bed can lead to a tummy ache, a long night, and a couple cavities on the next dentist trip.
Set limits on how much they’re allowed to eat for the night, and feel free to help yourself to a little snack to help them keep it under control.