Sullivan Taylor & Gumina October 2017


This Halloween

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE Masks can really bring a costume together, but they can also make it hard for young eyes to see where they’re going. Before trick-or-treaters head out to collect that sweet candy, swap out masks with face paint. It might take a few practice runs, but face paint can be just as cool. Make sure to test for allergic reactions first. KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD It is important for trick-or-treaters of all ages to know how to behave safely as they walk down the sidewalks. They should always look both ways before crossing the street, never run out between parked cars, and make sure oncoming traffic is completely stopped before they step out into the road. Kids under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult, and older children should stick with their friends and never trick or treat alone.

You may wonder if trick-or-treating is safe, especially when stories of poisoned Halloween candy circulate every year. These terrifying tales have all been hoaxes, but beyond needlessly frightening parents, these urban legends take attention away from the real danger kids face while trick-or-treating. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that children are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Here’s what you need to remember before sending your little witches and knights out trick-or-treating. LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Brightly colored costumes will make your child more visible in the dark. That said, if your ghouls and goblins have their hearts set on being a real creature of the night, flashlights, glow-in- the-dark bracelets, and reflective tape attached to candy bags can help trick-or-treaters remain visible to drivers. DRESS FOR COMFORT The cold might not bother Elsa, but your trick-or-treater may not be ready to sing after the sun sets and the temperature drops. Have them wear jackets and gloves as needed and insist on shoes they can walk in. If your little princess is absolutely in love with her high heels, have her wear the pretty, uncomfortable shoes for pictures at the door, then switch into comfy sneakers before hitting the sidewalks.

Trick-or-treating is a wonderful childhood tradition, and it shouldn’t end in tragedy. Talk to your kids about the risks and make sure they know why these rules are necessary. When you keep safety in mind, your trick- or-treaters can focus on the best part of Halloween: getting the most candy!


to talk about. A counselor can help a parent and child get to the bottom of an issue, and figure out a plan forward. Advice for Parents of Teens The role the custodial parent plays in these situations is also a tricky one. The parent in this position is often balancing two contradictory emotions. First and foremost, they want to respect their child’s feelings and not put them in a situation where they will be unhappy, even for a weekend. On the other hand, not following court-mandated visitation can lead to all sorts of legal troubles. If you’re in this role, you should have open communication with your former spouse, preferably via email. That may sound awkward, but it creates a written record of your conversation. If the non-custodial parent is acting in bad faith, you’ll be able to show that to a judge. If you’ve exhausted all possible mediation options and believe you are at an impasse with regards to visitation, you should contact a lawyer to seek a modification of parenting time. No matter what course you take or what role you are in, the most important thing is putting the best interest of your child first.

Custody issues don’t always go away once a divorce has been resolved. Even if you’ve established a visitation schedule, it can be hard to get your kids to stick to it. This issue becomes especially troublesome as children approach adulthood. Parents can feel at a loss when a

child refuses to go for visitation. There are, however, a number of strategies you can employ in an effort to mend the relationship.

The most important first step is for the non-custodial parent and child to sit down for a conversation. This dialog should happen in a space that is safe for both parties. If you feel that the level of hostility cannot be broached via one-on-one interaction, you might want to look into reintegration or reunification counseling. Divorce is often hard on kids, and can cause latent resentment that’s hard


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