Summer is here, which means the sun is shining and your children are out of school. But while your children may look forward to this time of year, the divorce may throw a wrench into their plans and ideas. The first summer after you and your ex split up can be difficult for the whole family, but it does not need to be a disaster by any means.
While the thought of co-parenting during the summer may stress you out, everything will start to make sense as you go along. You, your former spouse and your kids can adjust to this new normal. Here are some suggestions on how to make the summer after your divorce a successful one – particularly for the best interests of your children.
Have a plan in place and try to stick to it
Co-parents are vulnerable to disagreements, especially when there are last minute plans and miscommunications. The best way to avoid disputes is by having a court order or parenting plan that outlines who has the kids and when. A clear schedule makes it less likely for arguments to occur. Adhere to the plan as long as it is feasible and good for your children.
Be flexible and open to compromise
However, your custody schedule may not always work out. Things may come up that may cause you or the other parent to give up a day or two every now and then. Be open to straying from the plan in certain circumstances, especially when it will help your kids attend special activities or events. It is good to learn how to be lenient for the benefit of your children.
You may have the urge to "out-do" the other parent, especially since this is the first summer after your divorce. However, do not let your vacation plans turn into a way for you to prove you are better than your former spouse. Focus on having meaningful and fun times with your kids without worrying about who is "the better parent." Your kids just want to enjoy their summer.