How To Get More Parenting Time with Your Kids Over The Summer

how to get more parenting time with your children over the summerSummer vacation is in full swing, and as a co-parent, you might be wondering how to use this relaxed time of year to spend more time with your children. Is getting more parenting time a realistic goal, especially when it’s a bit on the fly?

For most co-parents, the answer is yes. Try these simple strategies to make a temporary adjustment to your summertime parenting plan and squeeze in more sun and fun with your kids.

Communicate with the Other Parent

Open, respectful conversations with your ex can go a long way. Discuss your desire for more summer parenting time with the kids and provide concrete ways to make this happen. Does your ex have increased work hours or plans with friends over the summer? Offering to take the children for an extra night here and there may help to ease your ex’s stress levels and make saying yes to your request a lot easier.

Take on Extra Responsibilities

Offer to handle more pickups and drop-offs for activities like sports or day camp. This allows for additional one-on-one time with your children. Discuss with your ex if you could add on an occasional trip to the ice cream stand or a quick visit to the park.

Plan Special Events

Is there a concert or sporting event coming up that you know your kids will love, or a family reunion that falls outside your regular parenting schedule? Discuss with your ex how to work in a special event or two into your plans for the remainder of summer. If you take the kids for an extra night or even weekend for the special event, your ex may be able to use that “kid-free” time to make their own plans. Try to give as much advance notice as possible for this kind of request.

Organize Mini-Vacations

Short trips, such as weekends at a nearby beach or theme park, can be a great way to spend quality time with your children. If it’s already your weekend to have the kids, negotiate a few extra hours or overnight to ensure you can get an early start for maximum fun or arrive home a little later.

Go Virtual

If extra in-person time just isn’t possible, try using FaceTime or Skype to stay connected. Regular virtual check-ins can help maintain your bond. Just a few minutes before your children go to bed on FaceTime or Skype can mean all the difference to them if they are missing you and vice versa! Again, be respectful of your ex’s time as well as your kids’ mealtimes and bedtimes.

Get Any Parenting Changes In Writing

Whatever temporary adjustments your ex agrees to, get these changes in writing! Any changes to your parenting plan should be documented. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure both parties are on the same page.

Remember, the goal is to keep the focus on what’s best for your children. Avoid conflicts and strive to maintain a peaceful and supportive environment.

Read More: Surviving Summer When You Have a High Conflict Co-Parent

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