As we head into the final weeks of summer, it’s not unusual for a parent or child to get a case of the “end of summer blues.” The lazy days of July and August are about to morph into hectic back to work and school schedules. This transition can be particularly challenging for families of divorce, in which parent-child time may become more limited.
7 tips for divorced and blended families:
- Communicate with your kids and make sure to LISTEN
- Invite kids to help with planning fun activities (but skip the nagging details)
- If they’re sad, let them express it
- If they’re stressed about starting a new school, e.g., talk with them about it
- Plan ahead
- Make a list and have the kids participate
- Schedule play dates with school friends
- Pick a date for back-to-school shopping
- Make it an event
- Add a fun activity – dinner out at a favorite place, a trip to a local ice cream shop
- Roll back the schedule
- Move bedtimes back 10-15 min per night
- Start to decrease screen time…according to today.com “there are new tools making it easier for kids to transition to less play time online. The app Finny breaks up constant screen time allowing parents to balance their child’s mobile experience between fun and education.”
- Have an end of summer party or bbq and make it an event – celebrating the start of something new can also be fun!
- Sign kids up for extra-curricular activities so they have things to look forward to
- Sometimes divorced parents have issues with sign up, payments, etc. for extra-curricular activities so make sure to review procedures outlined in your divorce or paternity agreements and other orders
- Make some fall plans and take advantage of upcoming 3-day weekends like Columbus Day
- Don’t forget to schedule some “me time” for yourself. The less stress that flows over on your kids, the better.