- Take the children Trick or Treating together.
If there are lingering tensions between you and your Ex, this is definitely not the solution for you. Children quickly pick up on stress or tensions between their parents and it is important to allow your children to enjoy a stress-free Halloween. On the other hand, if you and your Ex have a calm and cordial relationship, Trick or Treating with you both may be a way to create memories your children will always cherish.
- Divide the Trick or Treating route.
Plan the Trick or Treating route ahead of time with one parent walking with the children for the first half and the other parent walking with the children for the second half. This arrangement allows the children to spend time with both parents and to avoid any tensions that may still exist between you and your Ex.
- Take the children to a party or event.
Many businesses, churches, and organizations offer Halloween activities and parties at times other than traditional Trick or Treating hours. If you cannot be with your children for Trick or Treating itself, take advantage of one of these events.
- Plan a Halloween party.
Plan a Halloween party for a time your children will be with you. With a few spooky decorations and Halloween themed snacks, you can create a Halloween your children will never forget.
by Michael Garner, One-eighty Counseling
Life did not turn out the way you had expected it. You are heart-broken, angry, and for some, maybe even a little relieved that the relationship is over. Your ‘happily ever after’ story has ended in a separation. However difficult, you know you still have to work together with your ex regarding your children. Being a single parent is not easy, and can be down right exhausting at times. It is hard knowing you have less time with your children while also knowing you have ‘no control’ over what happens at the other house. This can be extremely frustrating and anxiety provoking. However, with some help, the co-parenting relationship may help lighten the load. Remember a few key points when it comes to co-parenting.
1. The relationship ended, not your role as a parent
2. Your primary focus has to shift
3. You can still co-parent successfully, despite your differences
4. Never put the kids in the middle
5. Say only positive things about your child’s other co-parent
The relationship has ended, but your role as a parent has not. You still have a high responsibility to help raise your kids to the best of your ability. Your attention now shifts to your children. This will be a trying time for everyone, but you have to focus on what is best for your children as well as taking care of yourself. Despite the frustrations of the events, you have to do what is best for the kids and be willing to put aside your differences to focus on the children. Protect your children, allow your kids to be kids and never put them in the middle of your conflict. They have enough going on as they attempt to figure out this new normal. Finally, one of the most important pieces is to stay positive and keep the negativity away from your children. All the negativity may unknowingly push them away from you.
As you can see, being a single parent can be extremely difficult, but if both parents can put their differences aside and mutually agree to do what is best for their children, you will see tremendous results. Your children will adapt to this change much quicker and with more security and comfort knowing that both parents continue to love and care for them.