School is often a blessing in disguise because the institution of learning keeps our children out of harm’s way while we’re off at work or perhaps even irresponsibly gallivanting in an effort to maintain that elusive social life. That’s why summer vacation–even for happily married couples–can present a difficult conundrum. There are only so many activities that keep our kids preoccupied without enormous expenditure, and coordinating between them is that much harder when you’re on your own. So you’re a divorced parent: here are a few of the best tips for how to spend time with your kids or keep them busy on their own during the summer months.
Since your kids are already around, this is the best period of time during which to allocate your vacation weeks. Whether you spend the time at home, explore an exotic location, or walk down the street staring at the birds, this is a good chance to experience new things with your kids. Summer months present a good opportunity for overnight camping excursions, and if they’re in need of exercise because of the sedentary 2000s lifestyle of video games and mobile phones, then hiking is a great choice.
If you still have to be at work every day and can’t leave the kids at home, then send them off to an actual summer camp or find other parents around the neighborhood who have the same problem. It shouldn’t be too much of a struggle to find like-minded adults who need some time with (or without) their kids, so work together to brainstorm new options and take turns with the neighborhood kids. Just because you might not have a spouse doesn’t mean that no help is available.
Don’t be as rigid as society says you need to be. Kids like to do things their own way, and the chance to provide them with options and choices shouldn’t be missed. This is a good time to reacquaint yourself with the new hobbies, likes, and dislikes that your children have accumulated over the past year. If they feel fine having a movie marathon or sitting around playing video games for a few hours, then let them have at it. Try to include yourself every once in awhile. Don’t let them go too far overboard, but don’t stop them.
One of the most important things you may need to constantly remind yourself of while you brave the summer months with your kids is this: maintain a positive attitude, and be careful what you say–especially when someone mentions your ex-spouse. It’s never a good idea to be critical of the other parent in front of the kids, and what you say has a tendency to make its way into unfriendly territory. Don’t start any confrontations for no good reason, and keep everyone calm.