Children look forward to summer – and for good reason. They get to have later bedtimes, pool parties and do not need to go to school. But if you are recently divorced, your kids face unique complications during this season. If you and the other parent are not in a healthy co-parenting relationship, it may expose your kids to conflict when they should be relaxing and enjoying themselves.
The first summer after your divorce is complex, but if you approach it with the mindset of putting your kids first, you can make it through with happy memories. Here is how to prioritize the interests of your kids during summer.
1. Avoid power struggles
The last thing you want to do is make this summer about your own wants and flexing your own power. If the other parent signs your child up for camp and it is an enjoyable experience, do not make a big deal out of it, especially in front of your kids. Remember that your children should be able to have fun and healthy relationships with both of you.
2. Allow input from teens and older children
If you have toddlers or children who are in their first years of school, it is fine for you and your former spouse to essentially dictate the schedule. But when it comes to older kids, you should encourage some suggestions and leeway. Older children should feel comfortable expressing their wants.
3. Do not view your parenting time as "my time"
When you spend time with your kids, it should be focused on them. Avoid being too possessive, even if it comes from good intentions. The time belongs to your kids whether they are with mom or dad. Let them partake in fun activities and be there to support them.
It can be tricky to figure out how to manage custody and visitation during the summer, but you will get the hang of it.