Working parents always face the decision of what to do with their school aged children during the summer break from school. Do you place them in day care, camp, or send them to a relative’s home? It is even more complicated when the parents are divorced. As they age into the teen years, the schedule gets even more complicated with summer jobs, sports, and special interests.
So what is a parent to do? The first key step is communicate, communicate, communicate. A parenting schedule that worked for your 6 year old is not necessarily going to work for a 10, or 12 year old let alone a 16 year old. Have a meeting in the spring and work out the summer schedule.
Issues to discuss and resolve:
- Family vacation times-schedule as far in advance as possible who will have which weeks so travel arrangements can be made when airline prices are lower.
- Family reunions, weddings, graduations or other special events. Every family has these, try to accommodate them because your ex-spouses extended family is your child’s extended family.
- Summer camp for the kids – who will pay and how will it impact residential time? Who will do pick up and drop off? Avoid the last minute stress and decide in advance.
- Allow the kids to grow – if your child wants to play high school football or be in the marching band, there may be a need to be close to home in August. Honor your child’s desires to excel and be a part of something bigger.Having both parents on the same page will lower everyone’s stress and anxiety over summer plans. Most of all it will help your child have a happier, healthier summer.