The summer is approaching, and that means that your children won’t be in school. Instead of getting several hours a day where you can work or take care of other personal responsibilities, you have to figure out how to watch your children and make sure they have the attention they need.
You and your co-parent have a good schedule during the school year, but you both work 40-hour-a-week jobs and aren’t home as much as you’d like. That creates a problem in the summer months because you have to try to adapt to your children being home from school when they’re not yet old enough to take care of themselves— even for a few hours at a time.
How can you make co-parenting easier in the summer?
Since you know that you and your ex-spouse will be facing tighter schedules in the summer, now is a good time to sit down and discuss how you want to handle summer vacation. Some of the topics to bring up include:
- Whom your children can or cannot stay with when neither parent can be there
- How to handle away trips, sleepovers and other extracurricular activities your child participates in
- What to do if your child is hurt or sick, such as who to call or what to do about changing the custody schedule
- Setting up “summer hours” for communication, so you and the other parent know times when it’s appropriate to call
Going over each of your schedules with one another will help you have a better idea of what’s on each parent’s plate. You can take a look at possible scheduling conflicts now rather than when they’re a week or two away, helping you plan to address them.
Summer may make shared custody harder, but you can get ahead of issues by talking about them now
Even though you and the other parent might have less flexibility in your schedules in the summer months and have to be stricter on changes, it’s still possible to get through the summer without significant co-parenting disputes. Talk about possible problems in advance and agree on how to handle them. Doing this may minimize the risk of parenting conflicts that negatively impact your experience.