The coParent Trick or Treating Guide: Halloween is Not Scary!!
Top 5 Things That Make Halloween Not As Scary!
Halloween is one of my family’s favorite holidays. Even though we are no longer in the same household, sharing this tradition is important to us. But finding ways to coParent during the holidays can get a bit tricky – especially if both parents aren’t on the same page.
The following is a guide to some “tricks” and some “treats” that can occur that can help the coParenting partnership. Thus, making this Halloween not as spooky (energetically) for everyone involved:
- Get Organized – Ensure that both of you talk about plans for Halloween so that no one feels left out in the cold. If you are planning to celebrate separately, make sure to discuss days/times that each of you will be celebrating with your child. Also, discussing your child’s Halloween costume and agreeing to “share” it for your child to wear at both occasions could be helpful. No sense in spending more money.
If you are going to do it together, finding a fun experience that everyone will enjoy is crucial. Arranging a trip to Knott’s Scary Farm when it isn’t age appropriate or enjoyable for the other parties involved might not go over so well. So when researching activities/events to attend together, make sure to run it by each other.
Benefit: When you are in open communication and can plan ahead, it can make things much more easeful.
- Set “Healthy” Boundaries Together – If you both have different rules within your home about food and nutrition, setting a healthy boundary around what sweets your child can have can be helpful to avoid disagreements. One suggestion is agreeing to buy healthier options that he/she can still enjoy. Your child can still have the thrill of going trick-or-treating and at the same time eat healthier treats. If buying healthier options isn’t available, then perhaps coming to an agreement what kind of candy and the quantity your child is able to consume. Then the rest of the un-used candy can always be donated so as not to go to waste. Just make sure that you also keep your child in the loop with the plan, as well so they aren’t surprised.
Benefit: This helps to find a mutually, respectful way to accommodate your child’s health and nutrition while keeping the peace between everyone.
- Release Expectations – Couples can tend to set high expectations for each other that can sometimes lead to disappointment when things don’t go as “planned”. When two people have consciously decided to coParent, the same can occur. So instead of going batty and feeling let down, let go of any expectations or agenda of how you want things to turn out. Just allow yourself to enjoy the moment!
Benefit: When we remove expectations and agendas, there is more room for acceptance and openness to occur.
- Stay in the Present Moment – And speaking of enjoying the moment, do your best to stay in the enjoyment. Meaning, keep the past in the past.
A great quote by Leo Tolstoy best describes this: “There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.”
If we continue to give the past our focus then in essence, we are giving our power away. Therefore, not being able to see the real gift at hand: both of you deciding together to raise your child as respectfully as you both can.
Benefit: When we are able to become more present, there is a certain stillness and calmness that happens. It can help us to de-stress, stop overanalyzing, and keep us more open-minded and open-hearted.
- Stop, Drop, and Pause! – If you start to notice you getting triggered by the other, a good technique that can help you get present is what I like to call “Stop, Drop and Pause”! Similar to the oh-so-familiar phrase, “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, this is a great analogy for when you get heated emotionally and need to put your own fire out. It is within the pause that can help us to breathe and re-center.
Benefit: Practicing this exercise creates healthier relationships and models to your child how they too can self-regulate when flooded with over-heated emotions.
So to keep the “fright” or “flight” feelings at bay, brush off those cobwebs and develop these tricks of the trade to hone in on your communication skills so that everyone can have fun this Halloween season!