While summer vacation can seem like fun for the kids, it can become particularly stressful for divorced parents struggling to adapt to the new realities. Sometimes you're wondering what to do with the kids? Which summer camp should they go to? And how to deal with the enormous expenses?
While dealing with life as a divorced parent can be challenging, we've come up with some tips that could help you during this summer break.
1. Plan from the beginning
While a summer game plan could be enormously helpful, most parents don't consider modifying their 'summer schedule' compared to their 'regular parenting schedule.' In divorce mediation, issues like this are covered and agreed upon in advance.
But often, many parents have a heated court battle where these issues are never raised. Sometimes, even many mediators fail to raise this critical issue. However, the earlier you start planning for summer break, the better you'll be able to deal with it.
2. Add a 'summer vacation' clause
One of the best things you can do during a divorce is work closely with your divorce mediator to plan for the summer. Typically, parents have a 'general vacation time clause' that covers how each parent may request vacation time each year.
For instance, parents may agree that each parent will have up to 15 days of vacation during the summer break, and parents shall confer every year on April 1 to discuss and confirm each parent's vacation schedule.
3. Minimize conflict
While co-parenting might not be your favorite thing, keeping conflict low can help you get through summer break without breaking down. It requires a little gesture and consideration to build a working co-parenting relationship.
A mindset that would help you immensely is seeing your ex as a colleague or business associate whose business is your kids and nothing else. For the sake of your kids, you don't need to hold grudges against your co-parent.
4. Look forward, not backward
To have the best summer break as a divorced parent, you might need to look at any problems that might arise during the summer and address them beforehand. Remember, the past is gone, and being angry will not solve anything.
Instead, learn from all past mistakes, and think of what triggered them and what might work going forward. Then, when you're looking ahead, it not only benefits your mental health by that of your kids.
5. Don't involve the kids in details
It might be tempting to let your kids know who paid for what, demanded, refused, or agreed to do it. But don't do it since it further complicates things. They need to know the plan for their summer and how you and your co-parent what them to have the best.
If you're seeking an expert's opinion regarding summer break as a divorced or soon-to-be divorced parent, give us a call or book an appointment.