It is common for children of divorced parents to spend more time with their non-custodial parent during the long summer months. While this can be a great chance for your child to spend quality time with their other parent, it can also be a source of anxiety and stress on the parent with primary custody, and in some cases the child as well.
Listed below are some tips on how to handle long summer visitations.
When your child is preparing to go away for summer visitation, do some advance planning that will help you feel comfortable with the vacation or the trip. Find out where your child is going and get the contact information. Ask questions so you know what the plan is. If your child will be traveling, get the details of the itinerary.
Make sure your ex understands your child’s capabilities when it comes to swimming, hiking, or other activities. If your child is going to another state to stay with your ex, find out who will provide child care while your ex is at work.
Stay in Touch
If your child is in elementary school, this might be a good time to get him a cell phone. That way, you can reach him directly without having to go through your ex and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you can call at any time. Stay in touch, but don’t call several times a day. You have to let go a little and let your child and ex have time together without you involved.
Find out if your child will have internet access. If so, set up an IM or Skype account so you can reach each other that way. If not, you could send your child with some stamps and stationery so he could send you a note or a drawing.
Help your child pack for the time away. Make sure all essentials are included, including
- prescription medications,
- rubber bands for braces,
- summer reading requirements,
- special stuffed animals,
- favorite toys,
- clothing appropriate for the weather,
- and personal care items.
If your child will be traveling, don’t assume your ex will think to pack children’s pain reliever, dental floss, water shoes, or other important items. Talk with your ex about making sure your child follows her routine and takes her meds, brushes her teeth, wears sunscreen, and so on.
Prepare Your Child
Depending on the age of your child and whether he has been away from you before, this could be a difficult separation. Remind him he is going to be with the other parent who loves him and is so excited to be able to spend time with him.Tell him you’ll miss him and he’ll miss you, but you’ll be together again very soon.
Do not dwell on how hard the separation will be for you. That is not your child’s burden to carry. Instead, give him permission to enjoy himself and have fun. Be happy he is about to have this experience.
Additionally, you will want to ensure your child feels like they are able to reach out to you at any time while they are away. Even if they are thrilled to spend time with their other parent, it is not unusal for a child to take time to adapt to an environment outside of their day-to-day home. Encourage your child to make the most out of their time with the other parent to help ease any anxiety or stress they may be feeling.
Having a strong co-parenting relationship can help to make summer vacation a breeze for your child. Both separated parents should come together to help their children enjoy the time they get on summer break. If your divorce agreement does not include visitation schedules with extended periods of visitation during summer, you may be able to make an amendment to your child custody. Schedule an appointment with one of our divorce lawyers today to learn more about how you can get a custody schedule that fits your child’s needs.
Experienced Family Law Attorney in Houston, TX
At Renken Law Firm, we work with our clients to help them navigate the divorce process. We understand how complicated and emotionally draining this experience can be, this is why we work with you every step of the way. Contact our law office to explore your options for traditional marriage divorce and common law divorce, and find out how we can help you resolve any legal problems you are currently facing.