Without the daily routine of the school year, planning for your child’s summertime childcare arrangements along with the demands of your workday can be a challenge for any parent. For divorced parents who are sharing childcare responsibilities and decisions, it can be especially tough.
At the same time, the summer presents an opportunity for your child to enjoy nice weather, activities with friends, and hopefully some parent-child bonding time with both parents. With the focus kept on what is best for your child, you and your former spouse will be in a position to provide your child with an enriching and memorable summer.
The main concern parents should have is the welfare of their child. If you have to be at work, your child should be in a safe and stimulating environment. As with most co-parenting decisions, if you can find a way to agree on a childcare arrangement to serve the best interest of your child, you are focusing on the most important thing.
Keep Children’s Age in Mind
Children too young for school may not see any change to their routine as the seasons change, but school-aged children see their usual orderly schedules change to a much less structured day. To fill the time, kids should be able to explore their interests, pursue fun activities, and be exposed to new experiences. Older kids will want to spend time with friends. A childcare plan should take this into consideration as well.
It can be beneficial to talk with your child about the options for how they might like to spend their summer. Once you have an idea of what your child has in mind for their time, you can research some options to present to your former spouse for discussion.
If you can manage to remain focused on summer activities that fit best with your child’s wishes, you have a better chance at a successful presentation of options to your former spouse, which makes way for joint decision-making.
Another topic to discuss is summer vacations. Summer is the perfect time to bond with your child. It is beneficial for the child to spend quality time with both parents. Accommodation of that should be a priority on both sides. Resist the urge to put the children in the middle. Encouraging them to have fun with their other parent will make them feel less torn between the two of you.
Being selfless for your child is an integral part of being a parent. Do your best not to allow a contentious divorce to get in the way of providing healthy and positive experiences for your child.