The school summer holidays are a challenge for even the most successfully run Children Arrangements Schedule. The smooth running routine for the school term is now all out of the window for the next 6-8weeks. The summer holidays have probably always felt like a logistical nightmare, but now that you are separated from your children’s other parent, how should you best approach childcare arrangements over the summer?
Here are 5 tips to help you cope:
Planning is everything. The summer holidays can feel like a military operation and very expensive with activities, holidays and additional child care costs. Plan in advance how everything will work best for everyone involved. Agree well in advance with your ex what dates each parent is having the children and when each will be taking them away. Being organised will also help alleviate stress and worry.
Communicate with your ex directly about the important issues, and not through the children. How will you cover child care over the next 6-8weeks? When will the children spend time with each of you over the holidays? How will the summer activities, holidays and childcare be financed? Both parents share responsibility for the child care arrangements and financing child related expenses. Put aside your personal feelings towards each other and take a business-like approach to the arrangements.
Remember to cooperate and compromise. Do it for the children! If you are the resident parent, you will want to spend some quality time with your children, away from school runs and homework. Likewise, if you are the parent who doesn’t live with the children, you will be looking forward to spending longer periods of quality time with your children over the summer break. Don’t be difficult about your ex wanting to take the children away. Be respectful to each other, for the sake of the children and your ongoing co-parenting relationship.
Always put the children first
Make all decisions in the best interests of the children, and not to suit either parent. Recognise the struggle the children may face navigating between 2 households over the holidays. Avoid arguments between you and your spouse in front of the children. It will really help the children to enjoy the summer, seeing their parents getting along. Be reasonable with your ex’s requests for time with the children and think what would be best for them, not you.
Live in the present
You may be feeling a little sad that the summer holidays will now be very different to how they were when you were all together as a family. Try not to dwell on the past. Live in the present and look to the future. Whilst things cannot be the same, concentrate on creating new happy memories when you have your time with your lovely children. Don’t struggle on alone if you are finding things difficult, ask for practical help from friends and family, and seek emotional support and guidance from your friendly divorce coach.
Whatever weather the British summer brings us this year, make it a fun and happy time for you and your children. Happy summer holidays everyone!
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.