Summer is almost here, so don’t wait for its arrival before you begin planning on how you and your co-parent will share time with the children during their break. If you did not already hash out a schedule for how summers are to be spent in your parenting agreement, now is the time to handle this.
Here are some tips that will help you successfully co-parent during the summer break:
- Get together for a check-in: You, your co-parent, and your children should all get together for a family meeting to discuss your summer plans. This is a great way to start working on a plan that not only speaks to both your needs and the needs of your ex-spouse, but to the needs of your children as well. They look forward to getting a break from school, so give them an opportunity to voice their opinions on what they would like to do during the summer break. If there are any specific activities they would like to do, you and your co-parent can consider fitting them into your schedule if their suggestions are reasonable.
- Get organized early on: Being organized is crucial to ensuring a parenting plan goes smoothly. Make sure you keep all your ducks in a row over the summer by keeping your schedules synched and discussing how you plan on dropping off and picking up the children. Additionally, since your kids will be out of school, other details might change as well, such as bedtime or how much time they are allowed to watch TV or play video games. Try to work on keeping consistent household rules even during the summer.
- Provide a calendar for your children: When your children know what to expect, they feel a lot safer, which is why you and your co-parent should have a plan in place before the summer break. Give your children a calendar that shows which dates they will spend with you and which they will spend with their other parent. Sure, it’s possible something might come up and you will have to make a few changes to the calendar, but at least they will have a general idea of what to expect over the summer break, which will ease any anxiety they might have.
- Staying in touch: If you go on vacation with your children, let them stay in touch with their other parent. Yes, this is your special time to bond with them, but they will probably still miss their other parent even while they are enjoying their time with you, so let them reach out if they need to. Your co-parent will likely return the favor when he or she is on vacation with them.
- Try to be flexible: As we mentioned earlier, something might come up and changes might need to be made to the plans the two of you made. Although you should both do your best to stick to the plan, it is important to be flexible when necessary. Cooperate and work together for the benefit of your children since, after all, you both want what is best for them.
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