As a parent in San Diego, I understand the anxiety that comes with June very year. As parents, our day-to-day lives are not changing, we still have work to do, houses to upkeep, and now, we also have an 8-hour period every day that we need to figure out what to do with our children. This is a difficult and stressful time for all parents. Of course, for parents who are separated or divorced, this anxiety is exponential.
As family mediator in San Diego, I have seen first-hand how challenging summer vacation can be for co-parenting. As the school year comes to an end, parents must make plans to ensure their children are taken care of during this time. In this post, I want to discuss some of the main concerns regarding co-parenting throughout the summer school vacation and provide helpful tips to make the process smoother.
Communication is Key (but, isn’t it always??)
One of the most important factors in successful co-parenting anytime, but especially during the summer is communication. It’s crucial to have open and clear communication with your co-parent about your plans for the summer. Discuss the schedule, vacations, and any other activities that may affect the children’s routine. By communicating effectively, both parents can make arrangements that work best for the children and the co-parenting relationship.
Create a Summer Schedule
It’s essential to create a summer schedule that outlines the children’s activities and responsibilities during this time. This may mean that the regular schedule you follow throughout the school year is modified to ensure the children can engage in weeklong camps or family gatherings that the typical school year schedule may not be conducive to. This schedule should be agreed upon by both parents and should consider the children’s interests, any summer camps or classes, and any travel plans. Having a schedule in place will help both parents and children stay organized and on track.
It’s essential to be flexible during the summer, as unexpected events can arise, and plans may change. While having a schedule in place is important, it’s also important to be willing to make adjustments as needed. Flexibility is a key component of successful co-parenting and can help minimize stress for everyone involved. Being flexible with your co-parent to allow for a better organized summer vacation for your children may be a challenge to handle on your own. If you feel that a mediator can help, please reach out and we are happy to help guide the discussion to ensure the summer runs as smoothly as possible for the whole family.
Plan for Vacation
Summer vacation is often a highlight for children and families, but it can be a source of conflict for co-parents. It’s important to plan ahead and communicate clearly about any vacation plans, including the duration of the trip, the destination, and any costs involved. Both parents should also agree on how the children will communicate with the other parent while they are away. Planning ahead can help ensure a stress-free vacation for both parents and children.
Prioritize Your Children’s Needs
Finally, it’s essential to prioritize your children’s needs throughout the summer. The summer break is an opportunity for children to relax, have fun, and make memories. Co-parents should work together to ensure their children’s needs are met, and they have a positive experience during the summer months. As adults we forget how magical the summertime is. Try to remember that feeling of knowing you have the WHOLE summer to play! Avoid including the children in any stressful conversations over summer plans. Don’t make them feel guilty for having a fun vacation with the other parent. Allow your kids to be kids and bask in the summer vibes as they make memories that they will carry with them forever. Focus on the quality of the time you have with your children, don’t focus on the quantity. This is especially important for those parents who live in different states and the children may come to see the non-custodial parent through the summer.
The school-year parent will be without them all summer which is very difficult and the summer parent feels their time with the children is too short. Instead of focusing on what you DON’T have, try focusing on what you do have. Make your time together as magical as it can be! If you are the summer parent, and are able to work more during the school year while the children are with the other parent, try taking a full month off in the summer to spend the days and nights with your children. That focused time where your children truly feel like the center of your world will provide them comfort throughout the rest of the year, when they can’t be with you.
Co-Parenting in the Summer
In conclusion, co-parenting during summer vacation can be challenging, but with effective communication, flexibility, and a focus on the children’s needs, it can be a positive experience for everyone involved. As a family mediator in San Diego, I am here to help co-parents navigate this process and find solutions that work best for their unique situation, no matter what that situation is.
by: Jennifer Segura