When summer vacation comes around it’s natural for your children to have a mixture of both excitement and apprehension, especially if it’s their first summer after your divorce. After all, they get to be out of school for several months, but also have to navigate a different custody schedule. If you haven’t carefully planned how to best prepare your child for a summer away from you or your former spouse, it might be a difficult experience. Here are four ways you can help your child get ready to have a great summer:
- Keep your communication open – There’s no doubt that you and your kids will both be missing each other if they are away from you for a long period of time, so make sure you and your ex can coordinate a phone schedule that meets everyone’s needs. Maybe it’s a quick ten minute chat every few days, or you call every night to tuck them in over the phone. Whatever the case may be, make sure you can and do communicate with your kids often, and make them feel like they have an open line to you as well.
- Make exciting plans – Your kids should have something really great to look forward to at the other parent’s house, not only for the fun of it but to help with easing the sad feelings of having to leave you. Likewise, you can take the time alone to catch up on your favorite television show or take a new class or start a new hobby with a friend. Making sure you have plans to look forward to is just as important for you as it is your children.
- Set boundaries – Whether it’s how far away from home your kids can travel for a vacation or what types of summer sports they can be involved in, make sure to discuss everything with your ex before the activity happens. One topic in particular that can cause some tension is whether new partners can be included in the family vacation. Discussing these subjects ahead of time takes out the element of surprise and hurt feelings, and gives you and your children some structure so everyone knows what to expect.
- Include friends – Summer can often be a sad time for kids because they don’t get to see their friends as often. Having a successful summer vacation away from Mom or Dad should include as much social time as possible with their friends and their other parent to help normalize their time and give them something to look forward to. If you’re faced with an empty home for a month or two, remember to give your friends a call to make some plans as well! You are still the Chief Domestic Officer of your home, so take the reins on summer vacation and be proactive! Your summer away from your kids does not have to be an unpleasant situation.
Summer vacation can be tricky to navigate, but it doesn’t always have to be. If you’re having a tough time managing a summer custody schedule, or need help with family law matters in Texas, contact Alexandra Geczi Family Law today. We wish you and yours a safe and fun summer!