With summer drawing near and the taste of freedom so close for every child, it’s a good time to make sure you’re ready to handle everything that summer break is as a co-parent. Co-parenting through summer break can be hard, as it’s a completely new schedule thrown at you that requires flexibility, new pick-up windows, family vacations, and more. Especially for those who’ve just recently gone through divorce, summer break brings up a whole new host of challenges.
In order to get your summer started off on the best foot, here are some tips to make co-parenting go as smoothly as possible during the kids’ time off this year:
- Plan early; don’t wait until the last minute.
To avoid unneeded stress, don’t let plans unfold “naturally” or just “let it happen.” While this may seem like the more stress-free way to handle things at first, that will all quickly unravel when logistics come into play. Instead, sit down and create a plan that will work for your whole summer. This may mean sitting down with your ex to make some agreements. If that’s not possible for your situation, there are some great apps available to make scheduling for co-parents a breeze!
Figure out what custody schedule will work for you, work around any family vacations, decide upon childcare or summer camps, and put it all down on paper so you both have a common plan to work off of. That way, you’ll know what to expect each step of the way.
- Get the kids involved.
Summer is supposed to be a fun and carefree time for children. So, how about asking them how they’d like to spend it? Before nailing down every aspect of your plan, consult with them to see what their top choices are for summer activities and things of that nature so they feel like their time matters to you. Everything will go smoother with happy kids.
- Find agreement.
For a smooth summer to be possible, there should be an agreement between parents right off the bat. Rules change a bit when school gets out, so make sure you and your co-parent are on the same page about things like TV time, grounding, sleepovers, and things like that. Staying strong in what you’ve both agreed to will keep a united front for the children.
- Stay flexible.
Remaining flexible is so important for the summer time. Even though you have a plan in place and have made certain agreements with your ex, things are bound to change. Being able to roll with the punches when they come will make for a much more pleasant experience not only for you, but also for your kids who will be learning from your example. Handle unexpected situations as calmly as you can and things will surely work out as they’re supposed to.
Got all the above tips down? How about starting off summer with a small kick-off party for your children and a few of their friends? Getting the kids in the spirit early on can set them up for a great summer, no matter the co-parenting circumstances.