Summer is already here, which means your kids are likely already jumping for joy about having no school. As a parent – not to mention a newly-divorced one – you may feel anxious about this time of year. How will you entertain your children and put them first while figuring out how to co-parent?
The first summer vacation after your divorce can be stressful, but it is possible for all of you as a family to figure it out. Here are a few ideas for helping your children have the best summer possible.
1. Consider summer camps or other activities
Even though parenting time can be hard even during the school year, you have some sense of consistency. Without any fixed schedule, summer break can be intimidating. This is especially true if you and/or the other parent work. How do you juggle working and co-parenting? One way is to sign your kids up for a summer camp that is similar to the school year schedule. This ensures your kids are having fun while being safe.
2. Avoid a power struggle
You may feel a lot of pressure during the first summer break after your divorce. It is normal to want to give your children an enjoyable time with you, but make sure your priorities are straight. If your goal is to "one-up" the other parent, it will only breed toxicity. Both parents should be able to do fun activities without trying to "flex muscle." Keep the focus on what is best for your kids, not what will make you look like the better or cooler parent.
3. Let older children have input
If you have teenagers or tweens, your approach will be different than with younger children. Avoid making all the decisions without hearing ideas from your older kids. They likely want to spend a significant amount of time with friends during the break from school.