As the summer months approach in Pennsylvania, it is important for divorced or separated couples who have young children to plan for successful co-parenting during their children’s break from school. Parents who try to work together and show respect for each other are much likelier to prevent their children from experiencing stress when they go between homes. There are several things they can do to make the summer more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Revisit the parenting plan, and be flexible
A parenting plan that works well during the school year might not work as well during the summer months. Parents should take time to look at the parenting plan and determine if they need to make changes to reflect their respective work schedules. As children grow older, reviewing the parenting plan is also a good idea to make room for the children to explore their own interests. Both parents should have the opportunity to take their children on a vacation during the summer. The parents might alternate who has priority to choose the vacation dates and notify the other parent by a certain date to avoid potential conflicts.
Show mutual respect
Parents should avoid talking badly about each other in front of or to their children. It is stressful for children to have to deal with their parents’ emotional conflicts. Showing respect to the other parent and being willing to cooperate and communicate also allows people to model good social behavior for their children while building positive relationships with them.
The key to successful co-parenting during the summer months is being willing to communicate and work with each other for the best interests of the children. Parents who are unable to resolve a disagreement about parenting time during the summer months may want to consider talking to an attorney about a modification of the plan. It is also possible that working with a mediator might allow the parents to work through the issue and come to a mutual agreement that benefits both themselves and their children.