Whether you are new to co-parenting or have been a co-parent for years, the truth remains: sometimes it is difficult to co-parent over the summer season. Due to changes in schedules, vacation time, and summer camps, your summer co-parenting plan may have to change, which could cause some discomfort. Today, we will review some co-parenting tips so you can take on the summer season with ease.
Tips on Co-Parenting This Summer
Strive to be amicable
While this is not always possible, it should at least be a goal for both parents to achieve. Many children look forward to summer break all year, so try you best to keep your child custody exchange time amicable. You do not have to go above and beyond to be nice to your ex-spouse, but you can be cordial and set him/her up for success during custody exchanges by being organized and on time.
Plan your vacation time in advance
If you would like to take a vacation without your children, you should let your co-parent know so he/he can accommodate for your absence. Alternatively, if you would like to take you children with you on vacation, you will need to work out a compromise with your co-parent. Additionally, if there are any specific summer dates where you would like to have custody of the children, such as birthdays, it is important to establish this sooner rather than later.
Determine how to pay for the kids’ summer activities
Kids’ summer activities can pile up and get expensive – this is especially true if you are sending the kids off to summer camps for months at a time. Discuss some sort of payment schedule with your co-parent. Maybe you will pay for one camp and your co-parent will pay for the other. You could also work together to determine how much money you would both like to budget for the kids’ summer activities.
Consider your children’s interests
A good way to avoid fighting over what you and your co-parent should do this summer with your children is to ask them what they want to do. That way they cannot favor one parent over the other for taking them somewhere special.
If you make parenting plan modifications, write them down
You might have to modify certain areas of your parenting plan to accommodate for unseen factors. If you are going to do so, ensure you write down these changes as they could be used against you in the future. You would not want your co-parent to claim that you went against your established parenting plan.
Have your children communicate with their co-parent while traveling
Your children have a relationship with their co-parent that requires nurturing and communication. Allowing, even encouraging them to text, call, and video chat with their other parent continues to foster this relationship. It will also provide your co-parent with peace of mind knowing their children are safe while traveling.
Avoid competing with your co-parent
Trying to outshine your co-parent by planning the most expensive summer vacations is not something you should be doing. Your children benefit from having a strong relationship with both you and your co-parent. Remember this and strive to do what is in their best interests.
Be patient and understanding
Sometimes when your children spend time away from their other parent, they may miss him/her. Instead of taking this as a personal assault against you, practice understanding their feelings. Be patient if your children are hesitant to go to sleep or do an activity because they miss their other parent.
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