As we wrap up the school year, families are making arrangements for kids’ summer camps, summer vacations, and preparing for extended periods of time with kiddos. Many divorced families exercise extended periods of time with their kids, ranging from one to two weeks, thirty (30) consecutive days, or even as much as forty-two (42) consecutive days in the summer. Whatever the duration of extended period, it is always a good idea to make your child aware of the upcoming extended visit with the other parent. Like adults, children often need time to mentally prepare themselves for a change in routine. Especially when pre-teen and teenage kids become excited about making summer plans with their friends, they may feel that spending several weeks with the other parent is unfair and express agitation with this. Preparation is key.
Additionally, just because school is not in session, does not mean that kids’ schedules slow down. Many times, the kids are swamped with summer activities, sports, parties, etc. All of the summertime fun can become rather challenging when big blocks of time are spent with or without the child. During the adjustment of the summer months, it is best to simply communicate as a family. It is understandable that not all divorced parents communicate well. However, if the busy summer schedules are not communicated or shared with the other parent, then disaster could be lurking around the corner, ultimately affecting the child the worst. Likewise, when sharing information about summer activities, do so in written form, such as an email or text so that the other parent may refer to the information later, if need be.
As the summer whizzes by, remember to enjoy this time with your children. As parents, at some point, we all lose ourselves in the hustle bustle of our kids’ lives. Maybe because we are planning pool parties, summer camps, or vacations, but take this time slow down the pace. Children with divorced parents are shuffled around a tremendous amount of time and, while they may not express it, they, too need to slow down and recover from the school year.
Have a great summer!