This pandemic exposed certain insecurities and issues and widened cracks in our co-parenting facades. Many parents had a system, a system that functioned for years. Then, Covid-19 hit, and parents have been struggling to work and keep their children safe for the last six months. Parents fought over different household rules and safely procedures concerning playdates and outings; parents fought over summer schedules, vacations, and trips to water parks. Parents fought over in-person versus on-site school instruction. Now, parents find themselves continuing the ongoing battle as Halloween approaches.
Communicating with an ex can be painful and often dredges up old issues of why the relationship did not work. Parents find themselves needing to communicate more as they discuss their concerns over Covid-19 and trick-or-treating for Halloween. Some people will flout the advice of medical and scientific experts and hold parties for their friends and children. Other people will mask their children along with a costume and try to safely go the traditional route of walking neighborhoods for candy and fun. Still, there will be parents who have no qualms with parties or trick-or-treating, while their ex-spouse wants to keep everyone home and have a private Halloween celebration. This makes for a bubbling brew of anger, frustration, and hurt feelings. Don’t call a mediator yet; you can figure this out with some deep breathing and logic.
One of the most important aspects of navigating co-parenting during covid is respect. The other is listening, but that is part of respect. Respect the wishes of the other parent and his/her concerns. Some parents have used the pandemic as a way to seize control over the children and the ex, but most parents will be trying to keep children and vulnerable people safe. Of course, the visitation rules apply here, but respecting one another is vital at this time for keeping peace and keeping out of the courtroom.
Listen to one another and validate each other’s concerns. Decide what works best or both families and consult the latest medical releases concerning safety. It’s one Halloween in the blip of time. It doesn’t have to turn into Halloweengate 2020. If at all possible, go with the option that causes everyone the least amount of stress. It will get better, and you can look back on this harrowing time knowing you did what was best for your family.
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