Summer can be an excellent time for kids and parents to spend quality time together and reconnect. This time can be especially important for parents who share placement time during the school year. However, depending on your situation, determining the best ways to strike a balance may be complicated. The good news is that you can take steps to help make placement time work. Here are some tips for sharing placement time during summer break:
Get on the Same Page
When your kids are small, their summer routines may not change very much. However, once they reach school age, there may be issues with day camp programs, summer camps, and time with grandparents and other relatives to consider. You may also want to take them on vacations. You and your ex will have to determine how to ensure you get placement time while supporting your children’s summer activities.
It may help to set up a time with your former spouse to review your and your kids’ summer plans. By getting on the same page beforehand, you may be able to avoid conflict and interrupting everyone’s plans and routines. It may also help to check in throughout the summer and coordinate those plans with your ex. The idea is to communicate and do what you can to work together for the sake of your children.
Be Flexible When Possible
When creating your placement time schedule, you may have done all you could to plan for various events. However, no matter how much thought you put into it, no placement schedule can anticipate everything. For instance, you may have your kids on a designated weekend when they get a chance to go to a sleepover or a trip with a friend to a theme park. Likewise, your family may decide to come to visit from out of town when your children are supposed to be with your ex. There is always a chance something could change unexpectedly. While you and your ex may not be able to accommodate one another all the time, it may be in everyone’s best interest to be flexible when possible.
Remember that it’s Not a Competition
Sometimes when parents share placement time, they may feel like they have to outdo one another when it comes to having fun. While lavish, fun-filled vacations and activities can be great, they are not a substitute for being there as a parent throughout the year. You and your ex are not competing for your kids’ affection. Your children love you both and want your time and attention above everything else. Remembering that summer break is not a competition may help you focus on what’s really important—spending quality time together.
Let Your Kids Be Kids
Summer break is there for kids to enjoy themselves and have fun. The last thing they need is to be concerned about their parents disagreeing or feeling left out. You may be sad and miss your kids when they are off for an extended period with your ex. However, it’s important to realize that your children are always observing you. They notice when you are upset and may not know how to interpret your reactions. You don’t want them to feel guilty or responsible for your emotional well-being.
You can help by maintaining appropriate boundaries and refraining from discussing your feelings about not having placement time together with or around your kids. Absolutely seek support and confide in friends and loved ones about this subject. Just keep your kids out of it. In other words, let your kids enjoy their time away from school and with you without having to consider how their parents are managing placement time.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Family Law Attorney
Wisconsin Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law is an attorney and Mediator with the experience you need to help you with your Wisconsin custodial and divorce matter. If you have a family law case in Metro Milwaukee, Waukesha, or Brookfield, please contact us today and let us take a “first look” at your situation.