Why You Should Mediate Using The Halloween Phenomenon
With Halloween just behind us, parents around the country are putting away their children‘s costumes. Little Johnny was Batman this year, and Sarah was a cowgirl – there were photo opportunities and memories to last a lifetime!
Children in the midst of a divorce are subjected to many pressures- a major one is tension resulting from their parents fighting about how to divide the holidays.
At Halloween, as mediators we see a lot of smiles on parents’ faces when we raise the issue of how to co-parent on this day. Parents seem more amenable to peacefully working out Halloween than other holidays. Perhaps it is because Halloween is essentially a holiday for children- candy, costumes and parties. Parents realize that they each want a chance to share in a day that brings so much joy to their children. Interestingly, even in the most contentious mediations, parents very quickly agree regarding Halloween. Some parents come up with their own suggestion that they go trick or treating together with their children!
Thinking about this “Halloween phenomenon” we have reached the conclusion, after years of mediating, that Halloween is different from other holidays because parents realize that Halloween is strictly for their children – and each parent wants to be a part of their children’s celebration. So, this has the effect of parents easily putting their differences aside and working toward a shared solution for their children- whether that is trick or treating together, or each parent having a separate time to see their children in costumes.
As mediators, we try to get parents to look at each holiday as Halloween- with the goal of putting their differences aside and focusing on their children- rather than themselves. So this year, think about your children – mediate your divorce and discussing holidays will be a treat, not a trick!