Kids are a joy they are funny sweet kind and a constant source of joy, they are also a constant source of need. Feeding them, clothing them, seeing to their educational, emotional needs can be exhausting after a divorce. For me personally being a tag team of three kids on one constantly, my kids take the patience of a saint, they also take time money,energy and never ended love. When you get divorced usually you will find your self having some kind of child time share situation with your ex husband. Whether its 15/85 or 50/50 it is still a challenge, summer holidays heighten this juggling act. With 10-12 weeks of summer vacation what can we do to make this less stressful for your children you and your ex spouse.
1. When possible stick to a schedule, if your child was rotating week on week off through the school year continue this schedule. If your ex has more visitation in the summer than rest of the year figure out your schedule early allowing you, your children and your ex to make vacation plans accordingly.
2. Make your children part of the planning process for holiday plans, my kids love having a say in how they spend their summer, where we go? what we do? what we see? makes them feel part of the process and lets them have things to look forward that they know they chose.
3.Do not let your children guilt you into thinking that every one of the days of summer you need to be their personal entertainment coordinator. My daughter spends time happily entertaining herself building cardboard box doll houses, letting your kids find ways to fill their own time lets them be more independent and allows them to flex their creative muscles.
4.Try to keep your children socially active. It can be quite a shock to be surrounded in kids at school all day then to be alone or with siblings only for the summer arrange play dates to split up the weeks, they are inexpensive and fun way for your child to stay socially active.
5.If you have a good relationship with your ex try and to coordinate plans so if your ex is taking kids to beach for a week maybe you want to do something different than the beach when they return to you.
6.Have your children be active and involved in the meal planning process, I like to use the summer to have my children be involved in meal plans they can chose and help in preparation and cooking of meals, good way to teach them to cook and to teach them to make healthy nutritious food choices all year around. Keeps them busy to when its too hot to venture out much.
7.Camp no doubt kids love camp if you can find camps to suit your children and have the resources to afford them they are a fun way to keep your kids busy although I think kids need down time too, school to entire summer filled with camp seems a bit much for most kids.
8.Stop and smell the roses, with your children. During the school year it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily schedules of school after school activities and homework, take summer time to relax with your children, go for a simple walk with them, watch a movie cuddling on the sofa, take them for an ice cream and a chat. You will be amazed at the way they respond to life’s simple joys.
9.Make sure you are using your non child time wisely to rejuvenate your self too in the summer make plans to do things for yourself, take a trip alone sit at the beach read a book, work out, do something that makes you feel like you have had a summer break too. Happy parents make happy kids.
10.Divide and conquer if you have multiple children try and orchestrate alone time with each one or separate them with friends family grandma time. Even the best siblings being together 24 /7 can be too much and lead to arguing squabbling.
I have to admit summers with my children are my favorite time of year with them, what’s better than smiling little faces, ice creams, flip-flops and beach time.
Tiffany Beverlin CEO