While kids can’t wait for the hottest months and for school to be out, parenting during the summer can be a ton of work. Coordinating summer school and day camps, vacation schedules – it can take the strategic planning skills of a masterful CEO and an assistant for working parents to hold it all together when the kids aren’t in school. The challenge for divorced parents is even tougher, but it can be done.
Attorneys who handle divorce and child custody issues can help you navigate it all if tensions are too high and communication is too difficult. However, with a little planning and patience you can get the hang of co-parenting in summertime.
Here are a few tips:
1. Keep your eye on the prize – your children’s health and happiness.
During the summer months, try and structure time so that the kids have time with each parent to play, relax, and get the hang of summer as a divorced family. Especially if you’re recently divorced, summer can be a great time to plan extra down time to cope with all the changes. Don’t forget, summer is recharge time for everyone, and a chance to work of stress by being outdoors and doing fun stuff.
2. Really know your parenting plan.
If you haven’t reviewed it lately, or are just getting started on co-parenting, read that document again and make sure you understand exactly what’s expected of each parent. With parenting plans, coloring inside the lines is always the way to go to keep the peace, help the kids know what to expect, and avoid tensions. Parenting plans are put into place as a family roadmap. Use your map for a more restful vacation.
3. Make an effort to rise above the issues you have with your ex.
The easiest way to do this is to keep the focus on what is best for your kids. In some ways, if your parenting plan is clear and you focus on your children, you don’t have to spend much time or energy worrying about what your ex is doing. Focusing on your kids will let you enjoy your summer with the people you love the most, not ruin your vacation obsessing about what your ex is doing. Who cares? It’s over. Summer co-parenting is a great time to practice enjoying the present.
4. Necessary communication – and no more – is the key to success.
Above all, don’t make your child be the messenger. Take responsibility for communication with your ex and let your children be kids. If you aren’t on speaking terms, then send an email or use texting for communication. And keep it short and sweet. It’s easier to stay away from difficult territory if your emails are only a couple of sentences long
5. Summer is a great time to see extended family.
It’s also an opportunity to help your kids spend time with your ex’s extended family. Your ex’s parents, aunts and uncles all like to know that the kids are free to go to the zoo or go out for ice cream when time permits. Summer months are also a good time to fit in a visit to your folks or a close relative who can help fill the lazy days with fun and-bonus!-adoring supervision for your child while you take that rare run or sit in the shade and read a book.
If you have questions or concerns about co-parenting during the summer, please feel free to call the DuBois Cary Law Group.