With summer drawing nearer every day, kids are itching to get out of school. And parents are busy planning for how they will take care of their children after school is out. They might even be looking forward to some time off with their family as well.
All of this excitement can quickly turn into an obstacle for divorced parents. Here are some of the most common challenges that parents might face during the summertime.
Financial strains from childcare costs
When kids are not in school for most of the day, parents might have to find alternative childcare options while they are at work. This could involve:
- A daycare or nanny service
- Summer camp options
- Assistance from family or friends
Most of the time, summer childcare costs money. And that can stretch someone's finances, especially if they are now a single parent after a divorce.
Summertime could also mean an increase in food or entertainment costs for the family.
Potential disputes over decisions with an ex-spouse
In addition to the financial aspect, finding summer childcare options can become more difficult if parents disagree.
In Georgia, parents with joint custody often have to make significant decisions regarding their children together. And those decisions include any form of childcare, from who they choose as a nanny to which summer camp their child should attend.
Taking family vacations
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. However, things can quickly become complicated when one or both parents want to bring their child on vacation.
This is a common and frustrating issue that divorced parents deal with during the summer. Parents do not want to sacrifice time with their children but planning a vacation might require parents to temporarily renegotiate their parenting schedules or plans.
How can parents effectively handle these challenges?
There are a few essential tips that can help parents manage these summertime challenges.
- Create and agree on a budget: If parents take the time to negotiate a reasonable summer budget, they can help ease their financial stress during the summer months when the kids are home. It can also reduce the feeling of competition between parents.
- Plan ahead: This applies to nearly everything during the summertime. Planning vacations, activities or childcare alternatives long before school lets out can give parents time to discuss the matters without worrying.
- Put the kids first: Even if parents run into a dispute while planning for the summer, prioritizing what their children might want or need can help them reach a compromise.
Summer can be hard after a divorce but planning in advance can help parents eliminate those challenges and enjoy their summer just as much as their children do.