For divorced parents, co-parenting in the summer months can be a challenge. Planning family vacations, special events, and childcare needs during this busy time of year can lead to stress, especially when blended families try to coordinate schedules. Communication is essential to managing parenting plans for the summer months.Start Planning EarlyParents who start their summer planning early tend to have the most flexibility in their schedules. If one parent is planning a vacation that infringes on the other parent’s scheduled visitation, working together before plans are finalized leaves room for compromise. Coming together with both parents and the marital children to plan out the summer months may seem like an overwhelming task; but having everyone present when schedules are reviewed will help to minimize conflicts. Often, parents will coordinate their schedules but are thrown off balance when their child announces their desire to attend summer camp or a visit with relatives.Compromise on the part of each parent and child is essential for success. While it is important to listen to the requests of the children, they must also realize that blending schedules for two families is not always easy and may result in unavoidable disappointment.Establishing Childcare Plans for the SummerOne of the biggest hurdles for divorced parents to conquer over the summer months is establishing childcare plans while both parents work. During the school year, before- and after-school childcare programs afford working parents with a solution to the supervision of their children during the workday, but the summer months can wreak havoc on those arrangements.Depending on relatives and family members to watch young children can be problematic. Illness, vacation plans, and unexpected interruptions to summer plans can leave parents in a quandary. Hiring college-aged and high school-aged young adults can be a solution, but is often fraught with unexpected dilemmas. These situations can become even more complex when divorced parents disagree on which family members or teenagers to hire.Summer day camps and other themed childcare programs are often the best remedy for children of divorced parents. These businesses are dependable, have reliable and often certified employees, and are there to accommodate flexible schedules. Parents need to establish how much each will be responsible to pay before making their final decision.Preparing for Extended StaysWhether you are the custodial parent that spends the majority of time with your children, or are the non-custodial parent with visitation privileges, preparing for an extended time with or away from your child can be a challenge. Approaching the idea with a positive attitude will help everyone involved. Children sometimes hesitate to accept the change in routine, but with both parents working together amicably, the experience can be positive for all.It is important to reassure children that you plan to keep in close contact, even during times of separation. Video calls and texting offer practical solutions to children who may miss their parent. Sharing in the excitement for special activities being planned, talking about anticipated visits with relatives and grandparents, and sharing photos keeps everyone connected.