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Co-Parenting Tips for Summer Break

5 tips to help co-parents successfully navigate summer break with the kids. 

Even for co-parents with a great parenting plan, custody schedule, and healthy relationship, summer break can present new challenges. During the summer months, schedules and routines tend to change drastically for kids, making some adjustment necessary for parents. Here are 5 tips to help you co-parent successfully this summer:
 
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1. Check-in with your kids 

Does your child plan to participate in any summer camps or perhaps get a summer job? It’s important to check-in with your kids before summer begins to see what they would like to do during their break.  

As your children get older, it’s likely that they will want more of a say in their summer plans, and allowing them to be a part of the process is actually beneficial to their growth and development.  

This doesn’t mean your child has to participate in every single thing they wish to over the summer, but this at least gives you and your co-parent a place to start planning and coordinating.    

2. Discuss summer activities   

Once you and your co-parent know what your child’s ideal summer plans are, you can discuss what is reasonable for both parents. This discussion should also include any summer vacations that either parent plans to take with the kids.  

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If your relationship allows, it’s beneficial for both parents to come to an agreement on all summer activities that your child will be involved in. If you are having a hard time coming up with activities or plans, check out our article on Summer Activities for Every Budget.  
Once everything is nailed down, you and your co-parent can keep track of activities with our Shared Calendar feature. This TalkingParents tool makes it easy to create single events for things like summer camps or vacations.  

3. Review your custody schedule 

Whether you’re planning to stick to your regular custody schedule, or form one specifically for the summer months, it’s a good idea to review it. For example, if you normally alternate weeks with your co-parent, a summer vacation or camp might impact this arrangement.  
For this reason, some co-parents choose to adopt a more flexible custody schedule over the summer. Others plan the custody schedule around special circumstances in advance. Our Shared Calendar feature can also be used to manage your custody schedule and keep track of transition days.  
Learn more about how to form a summer custody arrangement in our article called Summer Visitation Schedule.  

4. Plan for summer expenses  

Now that you have a good idea of what your child will be doing over the summer, and when they will be in your care, it’s time to plan for related costs. You and your co-parent should take some time to work out any shared expenses, as well as those you are each paying for on your own. 
TalkingParents offers the Accountable Payments feature, designed specifically for shared parenting expenses. This tool gives you and your co-parent an easy and secure way to make payment requests and send or receive money. All requests and payments are timestamped. 

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5. Agree on summer routines 

Keeping routines consistent between households can actually be even more important during summer break, when children are out of school and tend to have less structure in their lives. It can be beneficial for co-parents to form some general rules and guidelines surrounding the following: 

  • Bedtimes/wakeup times  
  • Eating habits or diet 
  • Physical activity  
  • Screen time
  • Chores  
Consistency in co-parenting is key, no matter what time of year it is. You and your co-parent can use our Info Library feature to document agreements like this, making it easy for both parents to reference later.  

Communicate about summer break 

The most important thing is to communicate with your co-parent about summer break and form a plan ahead of time. Having these discussions up front will reduce potential conflict and stress once summer begins. It will also help ensure that your child has the best summer break possible.

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