By Amy Johnson, Esq.
With summer vacation quickly approaching for Colorado schoolchildren, many co-parents are anticipating a significant change in parenting time.
Some parents need to prepare for an upcoming period of several weeks that the children will spend with the parent who primarily sees the children on weekends during the school year. Both the residential parent during the school year and the parent spending weeks with the children during the summer need to be prepared to handle this transition smoothly.
Ron Deal at FamilyLife.com offers tips for both the parents receiving the children for a long summer visit and those sending their children to the other parent for a long visit. Parents can benefit themselves and their children by practically and emotionally preparing for the transition.
For example, if you have your kids for a long stretch during the summer, avoid attempting to buy their affection with extravagant gifts, and remember to make time to spend with each child individually, without your current partner or other children around, to deepen your relationship with that child.
If you are sending your kids to the other parent, speak with the other parent ahead of time so you can help the children pack appropriate clothing for activities they might participate in, such as swimming or hiking. Maintain contact with your children periodically, but stay positive in your communications and continue to encourage a healthy relationship between the children and their other parent. Of course, remember to keep your children’s best interests in mind, and refrain from acting out to punish or frustrate the children’s other parent.
Mr. Deal suggests that both parents treat the exchange in residence as a fun, special experience so the children view this time in the same way.
Find additional tips on minimizing the difficulties that arise in summer parenting time from Mr. Deal here: http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/stepparents/multiple-home-realities/dreading-that-six-week-summer-visitation#.VUOuzflVikp.
If you need assistance managing this transition or dividing your summer parenting time with your children’s other parent, or for any of your Family Law needs, please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis.