Summer break is here and that means family vacations, summers camps and for some, part-time jobs and summer school. Summers can shake-up family routines and for blended families and separated parents, it can completely alter the normal time sharing schedule. Children may have an extended visit with their non-primary parent, step-children may be coming to stay for part of the summer, or you just want to plan a family getaway. So how do parents effectively deal with these changes?
- Communicate & Stay Flexible: Sit down with your ex to discuss dates and any travel plans to create a summer schedule that you can agree on, but even the best plans can fall apart and adjustments may have to be made.
- Don’t Bad Mouth Each Other: You may not always agree, but your kids don’t need to know that. Children may not act like they hear or care what you are saying, but those statements can stick with them and put a damper on their visit.
- Don’t Jam It All In: If your child is staying with you for a few weeks, don’t try to jam a years’ worth of activities into that time. Trying to do too much can often lead to stress for everyone involved. Talk with your kids to find out what they want to do and prioritize from there.
- Sending the Kids Away: If your child is going for an extended stay with their other parent, it is important not to intrude on their time together. Check-ins are great, but keep it to a minimum so your child can enjoy their time without distraction. If other children are staying home, use the opportunity to do some one-on-one bonding.
Kids look forward to summer break all school year and with a little preparation, you and your ex can make it one of the best summers yet.