Divorce is not easy for anyone, especially those with children. We establish a life around our families, and divorce forces us to redirect that life and create a new one. The one constant factor in all of the chaos, of course, is the children. We need to be reminded constantly, that this kind of change can be detrimental to the children.
The two things that families struggle with are holidays and summer vacations. Summer vacation is a prolonged amount of time where the children are not in school and therefore, the adults must work together in a compassionate and understanding manner to co-parent and work around each other’s schedules.
1. Plan ahead – nothing makes things easier than a plan. Planning ahead and making sure that the plan works for both parents and children is best. Use tools such as Google Calendar to collaborate effectively.
2. Let older children and teens help in the planning process. Make sure that this is done in a transparent way with everyone involved so that your family will still hold on to that united front, and feel combined.
3. Communicate effectively – this ensures that everyone is heard, understood, and the plan will be able to proceed.
4. Celebrate each other’s efforts in the planning process.
5. Avoid the phrase “My Time” when referring to your parenting period with the children.
6. Use the summer to maximize spending time with your child. At the times that you do have your children, try one of the items below:
7. Be sensitive to important events such as birthdays, fathers day, etc.
8. Welcome your children’s friends over at all times. The extra company over the summer may act as a buffer and help your child transition better to their new way of life.
9. Make plans for your own relaxing “me-time” when your child is visiting with the other parent. This may be fun and something you look forward to.
10. Let the “VEGGING” period begin. Let your child sleep in, watch tv all day, and veg out if needed.
11. Relax and just spend time with your children. Concentrate on what’s most important to you, and make beautiful memories!
In conclusion, your family doesn’t have to be split up, the dynamic is only changing, but you are still very much a family, and your ex-spouse is still very much a part of your life as well as your children’s lives. Make the transition and shift easier for everyone by not holding on to bitter feelings, and try your best to be amicable at all times. The results will be a successful co-parented, united family, with happy children, and parents who are very good friends.