As the school year comes to and end and your family’s daily schedule begins to change, it’s time to start thinking about your summer parenting plan. As divorced parents, it’s important to work together to create a summer parenting plan that allows your children to have fun while maintaining balance.

During the summer, schedules change quickly as camps begin and end and vacations occur. So it’s a good idea to get on the same page before summer break begins to avoid conflict down the road and to help your children enjoy their summer break.

Plan Ahead

It’s best to start planning for summer as early as possible. Work with your ex-spouse to divide the time in a way that works for both parties. Most divorced parents choose to split the summer. For older children, you may decide to divide the summer in half. However, for younger kids, every two weeks may work better. Allow for flexibility in your summer plan as plans do change and unavoidable situations do arise. Keep your children’s best interests at the forefront of your discussions and do your best to avoid making decisions out of anger or jealousy.

Involve Your Kids

It is always a good idea to involve your children in the decision-making process. Ask them about what activities they would like to do or places they would like to visit during their summer vacation. Do your best to accommodate their wishes while maintaining a beneficial routine.

Coordinate Vacations

If you or your co-parent decide to take a family vacation with your children, be sure to coordinate these dates with one another to avoid conflicting schedules. Be cooperative and sensitive to the needs of your children and your co-parent. Be sure to provide all the appropriate information in order to make your co-parent feel completely comfortable with your vacation plans. Make it clear to your children that you want them to have a good time with their other parent, and don’t make them feel guilty for leaving on a trip. Encourage them to take pictures and share their travels with you when they return.

Be Flexible

The most important thing to consider this summer is the happiness and well-being of your children. When conflict arises, try to take a deep breath and work out a compromise. Hold your summer plans loosely and be flexible. When you both have your children’s best interests at heart, you will eventually come to a conclusion that works for everyone.

Making Memories

Regardless of how you choose to plan your summer, remember that your children just want to spend time with you. Instead of obsessing over how much time you have with them, just do your best to enjoy the time you do have. Support your children and remind them that you love them and want the best for them.

Although planning for the summer as a divorced family can be challenging, staying honest and flexible can help you and your children relax and have fun this summer!