People usually wait anxiously for summer to begin. However, as parents in Colorado know, the summer can create stressful situations for parents, particularly when they co-parent their children after a divorce. However, parents can work together to create a stress-free co-parenting plan for the summer if they plan early for summer schedules, rules and budgets and exercise flexibility when needed.
Plan your co-parenting schedule early
The regular year custody schedule usually does not work during the summer. Not only are children out of school, but there might be new activities to take on, such as summer camps, and both parents might have their own family vacation plans. Additionally, older children might have their own ideas of what they want to do during the summer. Planning this schedule before the summer arrives can help ensure that everyone’s needs are met and that the co-parenting relationship does not run into conflicts.
Set up the summer rules and routines that work for both homes
While the rules for summer might be different than during the rest of the year, successful co-parenting during the summer means that the parents have come to an agreement about the rules. Some of the things to talk about beforehand include:
- Bedtime and routines
- Chores and responsibilities
- Acceptable behavior
- Vacation rules
Collaborate on the summer budget
When summer co-parenting plans , are made early the parents can also discuss budgeting. Summer often brings additional expenses, such as those for camps and activities, new clothes, additional snacks, events and even traveling. Parents should discuss how these additional costs will be covered and work out each parent’s contribution. Setting this up ahead of time will also help to avoid creating conflicts during the summer.
Finally, parents need to remain flexible throughout the summer as sudden plans and events might come up. Flexibility will help with maintaining a stress-free co-parenting relationship not just during the summer but all year long.