The relief summer brings from the rush and press of the school year feels about like the cool breeze that sweeps over you as you sit on your front porch and drink that cold, sweet tea. Or mint julep. Anyway. For those co-parenting, the relief can be brief because in the next phase of summer comes the planning for vacations and activities around whatever the custody agreement says. I've said it before: the priority to communicate doesn't end after a divorce. It's that time of the year where you and your ex discuss all the comings and goings involved with the kids over the course of the next few months. Here's a short checklist to help create that important conversation:
Passports - Not everyone will need this reminder, but it's here.
Emergency Contacts -Update your emergency contacts and have a plan in mind in case, heaven forbid, something happens.
Allergies - This one is pretty simple. Be sure you all have the needed information and treatment of any known or new allergies.
Incidents - Whether it be injuries or sibling issues, the past year has possibly had some sort of incident that might need to be considered during the time off and planning vacations and activities. Perhaps one child isn't a strong swimmer, so a vacation centered around water might not be the best option. Your family can plan ahead to avoid some conflicts and meet needs just by evaluating activities and events, accidents and illnesses, that have been a part of the past months and years.
Family Visits - It's a good idea to let the other parent know who the kids will be seeing and spending time with during the summer. Maybe there's one family member who will trash talk the ex and you need to discuss how you'll all handle it or maybe the other parent never felt comfortable with the kids being around your cousin. Fears and concerns need to be acknowledge and discussed.
These all seem like fairly negative items on a list, but they need to be addressed in order for your family to have peace of mind and get on with the important aspects of planning-- like which bathing suits to pack and which restaurants must be visited. Get the discussion going and have a fantastic summer!