Top 5 Summer Tips for Separated Parents

School’s out and with weeks of freedom ahead of them, children are excited with what the summer holidays have in store.

For parents, however, it can be a very different story.  The financial pressures of keeping children entertained, juggling work life with childcare and trying to make sure that all relatives have the opportunity to see and spend time with them can prove a demanding challenge.

If parents are separated and either bringing up children alone or with a new family, there can be an extra layer difficulty trying to satisfy the expectations of where and when children will have time with each over the summer holidays.

  1. Sharing is Caring

Neither parent can have the children all the time or just when they want.  There has to be an element of compromise. If both parents work and are able to take leave from their jobs over the summer, it would make sense that they do it at different times. Parents should consult with each other over work commitments and important dates so as to avoid conflict and potentially save money on childcare.

  1. Put the Children First

If one parent is offering to take the children away on holiday abroad for a week and the other is expecting a visit from his/her parents one day that week, what do you think the children would prefer?  However difficult, awkward or frustrating, think what the children would enjoy most.

  1. Involve the Children

Once the parents have formulated an initial plan, show it to the children and ask for their input. Children, especially those who are older, like to (and we think should) have their say. Very often, allowing the children to say what they want to happen is a great help to resolving any conflicting plans.

  1. Make Plans for Yourself

It is important that single parents make plans for themselves when they don’t have the children. Arrange lunch with a friend, book a round of golf, do some gardening or have a nap!  It’s your summer too and you have a right to enjoy it as well.

  1. Be Flexible

You know what they say about ‘best laid plans…..’ Things will change. A child might feel unwell, a trip might get cancelled or there might be an emergency.  Parents should avoid jumping to the conclusion that it is a personal attack on them (it very rarely is) and should approach changes of plan with understanding. You may not be the only one who is disappointed.

If you need help making plans for the summer holidays, do not hesitate to contact us on 023 92 481183 or email rebecca@mediation-now.co.uk for a one off session that provides structure and support for meaningful discussions and planning.