As summer vacation time approaches, many divorced Maryland parents may worry about the impact of less structured days on their carefully constructed co-parenting plan. This time of year can be full of fun for any family, and with proactive planning, clear communication and respect, two-household families can look forward to a successful summer ahead. Experts offer advice to divorced parents who share parenting to make their summer the best it can be for everyone involved.
Communication and planning are important
As with any other time of year, co-parents are smart to work together on summer vacation plans. If they are on the same page, their children are more likely to feel secure and relaxed. As unexpected events may arise more often during the summer, it is best if parents can figure out as much as possible beforehand and relay any unexpected developments to the other parent as soon as they come up. Parents may find a revisiting of their parenting plan especially helpful as their children age, as older children likely have more of their own interests and activities to work around. Once parents have decided on a summer parenting plan, it is important to discuss the details with the children to let them know what to expect ahead.
Mutual respect will help parents and kids
Divorced parents are also wise to agree on healthy boundaries at each home, especially during the summer months that are usually less structured. Parents should also be sure to maintain mutual respect, including avoiding negative talk about the other parent. One expert explains the importance of having unconditional positive regard for the other parent; this means assuming the other parent is doing his or her best at all times. Maintaining mutual respect will help children and parents alike feel calmer and more connected.
Finally, those who are co-parenting should remember to look at the big picture, and keep in mind that, although they may disagree at times over summer plans, the season is temporary. Routines will change again in the fall. Most importantly, like all parents, divorced parents need only think first about what matters most to keeping their kids happy and healthy and follow a path that will help that happen. Experienced family law attorneys are available to help divorcing Maryland parents negotiate a parenting plan — often, a particularly emotional aspect of divorce.