School’s out for the summer. That means it’s time for family vacations. Unfortunately, that often means stress for parents and children. The following tips may help the parents avoid conflict and allow the children to have a better vacation.
To try to avoid the stress of summer vacation, consider the following tips:
- Plan your trips well in advance. Don’t wait until the summer has begun to start discussing summer vacation plans. Many disagreement and conflicts can be avoided simply by planning your trips in advance. In Florida, a standard Parenting Plan, sets deadline for the notification of travel plans. Try to give more notice than the Parenting Plan requires.
- Tell the other parent of your trip details. Notification goes hand in hand with planning. If you’ve planned a trip, tell the other parent about it as soon as possible. I always tell clients to confirm any plans you make with the other parent by email. That way, both parents know that there is evidence of the notification and the agreement.
- Make a checklist. Make sure you have what you need. Include things like medication, insurance information, favorite toys and passports (for international travel).
- Don’t make vacations a competition. Typically, children just want to be with their parents and have fun. Don’t turn your choice of activity or destination into a competition with the other parent. This can cause a child to have less fun with one parent so that they do not feel like they are disappointing the other parent.
- Tell your children about your plans. Both parents telling their child together about the vacation plans will help the child understand that the parents come up with these plans together. Tell your children that they will have fun with the other parent and that that make you happy as well.