5 Summertime Tips for Co-parenting While Divorced

Parenting trends change and evolve from year to year, let alone over generations. But whether you’re a helicopter parent or opt for a more free-range parenting approach, your first and foremost responsibility should be your children. Good parents don’t stop those responsibilities just because their marriage didn’t work out.

But being an active and present parent can be quite a bit more difficult during the summer. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can help you easily manage summer vacation as a co-parent.

Opt to Plan Ahead Whenever Possible

Since the kids are out of school during the summer, chances are both parents will opt for special outings, overnights, and fun time. These plans can overlap, cause more stress than expected, and even blow up in your faces altogether if you don’t plan in advance.

Your formal custody order can simplify matters by deciding summer custodial times for each parent. Just be careful not to abuse or disrespect those rules to avoid the possibility of increasing that time or prioritizing scheduling in the future.

Prepare the Kids

Once you have an idea of what you’d both like to do, talk to your kids. Moreover, really listen. Depending on their age, they may have suggestions to make things go smoother, have better ideas, or even other plans you may have forgotten about.

Perhaps they’re planning for a group camp, a planned getaway with friends, or summer school session that takes priority. Regardless, discuss matters with them and let them know their thoughts and opinions matter. It is about them after all.

Communicate with the Ex

Divorce means you no longer live with or have to rely on your ex for daily support, but continuous communication is still essential when kids are involved. Schedule changes and unexpected life issues occur that can completely derail plans.

It’s crucial to communicate any and all plans and changes to avoid unnecessary concerns or stress. Your children still need loving, supportive parents who provide a united front and work together to ensure their happiness. So do that for their sake. And it really will make everyone’s lives easier and a lot happier in the process.

Provide a Smooth Transition

Your kids should feel welcome and comfortable in both homes. Each home should have similar rules and guidelines. So if one parent has a curfew system or limits video game play, that should be mirrored by the other household.

Give your kids personal living space of their own and make their second home as comfortable and familiar as possible but not a carbon copy of the original. Your kids should be able to transition smoothly and be able to tell they belong there even if only one of their parents do as well.

Avoid Trying to Compete

It’s no secret that high-conflict behaviors between divorced couples lead to completely stressed-out kids. But co-parenting is supposed to eliminate those issues by creating a workable parenting system that benefits everyone.

Unfortunately, conflict can and often does still arise when one or both parents get into a competition to win the kid’s favor. Your kids don’t need presents and the newest toys or gizmos to be happy.

They just want to spend stress-free quality time with their parents. But that means you both need to be adults, communicate, and respect the family unit to successfully manage summer vacation as a co-parent.