Summer vacation provides children with a break from school and homework. This time of the year also provides an excellent opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children. However, some separated and recently divorced couples may find that Summer vacation is full of opportunities for conflict with his/her co-parent. Luckily, there are some ways to avoid such conflicts:
- Plan Ahead
Summer approaches quickly and seems to end even more quickly. Planning ahead is a great way to maximize the time the children spend with both parent during the Summer and to avoid conflicts. Many parents, like to take advantage of the Summer break from school to take vacations and/or extended weekends to spend more quality time with their children. A good way to avoid potential conflict is to pick a day in early-middle Spring where both parents will exchange their desired vacation dates. This gives both parents plenty of advance notice of intended vacations and provides both parents with the opportunity to plan and adjust their schedules where necessary.
It is also a good idea to discuss summer camps, summer school, and other extracurricular activities prior to the arrival of Summer. This will ensure that both parents are aware of the children’s schedules and may avoid conflicts with potential vacation plans. This discussion can be through a meeting, telephone call, or e-mail exchange, depending upon what will work best for your co-parenting arrangement.
- Establish Conflict Resolution Procedures
For some co-parents, it is easier to overcome conflicts if they have already established a method to resolve potential conflicts. For example, because both parents will likely want the opportunity to take a family vacation, it is easy to imagine that both parents may want to take a vacation over the same time period. These conflicts can easily be overcome if the parties are able to agree on a resolution method before the issue arises. One potential solution is for one parent to have first choice of vacation dates during even years, and the other parent to have first choice of vacation dates during odd years.
This may seem like common-sense; however, there is less structure during the Summer months and there are often many new activities for co-parents to communicate with one another about. This includes: camps, summer school, play dates, child care, etc. It is important to continue to use the communication tool that works best for your co-parenting arrangement. This could be via text message, e-mail or a tool like ourfamilywizard.com.