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If you’re newly divorced and have joint custody of your kids, you’re going through a big adjustment. The structure of the school year can be helpful for single parents like you since it gives you some help keeping your kids safe and well-supported.

The problem is that summer is coming soon. With the beginning of the school year, that structure that’s helped you raise your children by yourself will go away. You’ll need to adapt to a different routine to give your children the attention they deserve while still handling your other responsibilities. Here’s what you can do to prepare for your first summer as a single parent.

Set a Schedule ASAP

Before doing anything else, you need to set up a schedule for the summer. If you share custody with your children’s other parent, your parenting schedules will almost certainly need to change during summer break. For instance, one of you may want to take the kids on vacation. On the other hand, your parenting partner may not be able to supervise them appropriately during the day. Either way, you should set up a new, summer-appropriate parenting plan.

Do this sooner rather than later. It’s much easier to plan for the future when you have a schedule in place. It also gives your kids more time to prepare for how their lives will change when school ends.

Keep Your Child’s Best Interests in Mind

When setting up a schedule, make sure you’re thinking about your kid’s preferences and needs. Even if you love having them nearby, you shouldn’t try to prevent them from going on vacation with a responsible co-parent. Ask your kids about how they’d prefer to spend their break and keep their opinions in mind when you’re making major scheduling decisions.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

As a single parent, you’re doing twice as much work caring for your kids. You don’t have to do it alone, though. Reach out to friends, family, childcare facilities, and your kids’ teachers for help. They can help you fill gaps in your childcare schedule and find programs to keep your children entertained.

Be Flexible

Summer is also a time to be flexible. Even the best schedule isn’t infallible. Be ready to change plans if your co-parent needs more or less time with the children. As long as both you and your co-parent are acting in good faith, giving each other some flexibility can make your summer as a single parent go much more smoothly.

Make This Summer Great for Your Kids and Yourself

Being a single parent isn’t easy, but it’s worthwhile. By setting up a schedule in advance, thinking about your kids’ needs, asking for help, and being flexible, you can ensure that you succeed at parenting during the break just like you do during the school year.

If you need help setting up a parenting plan, you can reach out to the experts at Viola Law Firm, P.C. They have the knowledge and experience to help you write a parenting plan that works, no matter what your child custody situation may be. Get in touch today to start the process.