It happens every year. Summer vacation has a way of quickly sneaking up on busy parents. No matter how hard you try to plan things in advance, it’s inevitable that you’ll face last-minute schedule changes and discover a few weeks that you forgot to cover.
As a divorced parent, the planning takes on an extra level of complexity. You must work with the other parent to ensure you both agree to the summer plans and the plans line up with agreed-upon child custody arrangements.
Summer Plans: Make Them Now
If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to sit down with your ex-spouse and go over the summer plans. Who has the kids during certain times during the summer, including holidays, who is paying for what and how will kids get to and from their activities?
Though divorce can complicate a family’s life a bit at first, it doesn’t mean kids can’t have a fun, adventuresome summer. Co-parenting, when faced with summer break, might mean getting the kids involved in the following types of options that Texas has to offer:
Camps are a great idea for kids of almost every age. Day-camp programs usually have early-morning start times or pre-camp daycare to accommodate working parents. They offer the same extended-care after camp ends in the afternoon.
Consider sending the kids to camps that specialize in one of their favorite activities like art, music, sports or science and math. Many school districts offer free or low-cost programs right at schools or nearby community centers and often have last-minute openings.
If your kids are ready for overnight camp, go for it! There is nothing cuter than watching their beaming smiles through the window of the bus as they wave goodbye! They’ll come back refreshed and energized and chat for weeks about all their new friends.
Like day camps, overnight camps offer themed experiences or unstructured days in the beauty of the woods, on the lakes or doing altruistic activities near or far from home.
Hire a College Student
There are many kids in your neighborhood who are home for the summer and looking for work. Even if you have flexible hours or plan to stay home during summer with the kids, having a fun, energetic college student come occasionally to give you a break and take the kids to the beach or the playground is a treat. Consider sharing the expense with friends so that you each have help one or two days a week.
Get Away With the Kids
When you look at how many weeks there are in your kids’ summer vacation, you can probably fill a few with your regular, summer vacation routine. If you and your ex each want to take a summer vacation with the kids, plan it out so that the kids can spend some special time with each of you. That time exploring new places together is special parent-child bonding.
Just make sure each of you agrees to the vacation plans and knows about them in advance. Last-minute disagreements about a trip can not only stress you out as a parent but also add unwanted stress into the lives of your kids.
Summer Vacation is Fun and Manageable With a Bit of Planning
A successful summer of co-parenting is finding the balance between sticking to the routine and parents working together to foster learning and a sense of adventure for their kids. Parents will not always agree, of course, and if you need help setting up a new or modified custody and visitation schedule, contact our Texas family law attorneys for advice.