If you are a parent you are likely familiar with that time of year where the kids get antsy for the school year to be over and anxious for their summer to begin. If you have recently gone through a divorce, or are currently attempting to put together a parenting plan, finding a happy medium with your (ex)spouse and the kids may prove to be a struggle. While summer break can be a great time, it can also mean a hectic schedule for the parents if the kids are involved in various activities and vacations are planned.
If you are new to divorce, the first summer will more than likely be the most hectic as you work with together to find a balance with scheduling. The following may be helpful when trying to plan accordingly:
- If you want to take vacation with your children, talk to the other parent and plan ahead. This is particularly true when camps or other childcare must be arranged. Day Camps often fill up early. With proper planning there is more than enough time throughout the summer months for the both of you to be able to take a vacation with the kids.
- Keep the competition out of it. A “staycation” can be just as fun for kids as a more elaborate getaway. Don’t feel like you have to one-up one another. Keep it fun and stress-free for the kids.
- Keep the lines of communication open. If there is going to be traveling out of the state or the country, the other parent needs to know about it. If you do not keep him or her involved in out of state plans, you could face legal trouble.
- If the kids are involved in various activities, camps, or sports throughout the summer, work out a schedule for drop-offs and pick-ups. Consider the possibility of both parents attending at the same time to show your support.
- Kids tend to get bored pretty quickly into their summer break, so if you have younger kids try to have something fun planned for them to look forward to. If you have older kids, they will probably want to spend most of their time with their friends. Communicate with the other parent to work out arrangements but be sure that you are still present with your parenting.
Communication with the other parent may not always be easy, but when you have children, their best interests need to come first. If the lines of communication remain open and are respected, everyone can have a fun and safe summer.