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How to get through this summer’s parenting time (which won’t be like any other)

by | May 8, 2020 | Children In Divorce, Parenting Plans |

If you’re a divorced parent under a standard decree in Texas, you already should have your summer vacation plan together. We covered the complexities of summer parenting time in a blog article around this time last year, and emphasized the importance of parents getting on the same page.

This summer, though, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in the works, providing challenges for both moms and dads. (And with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we want to wish all the moms out there a happy holiday … and to remind all of you to remember your moms!)

The summer camps you were planning on for your kids may be canceled entirely or may be going online. The travel plans you were making might now be disrupted by the need to practice social distancing. Every summer presents its challenges for parents who are balancing work schedules with making time for their kids, but this summer is like nothing we’ve ever experienced.

There’s a fascinating article that recently posted on Quartz covering summer travel, with a tidy summary in its title: This year’s summer vacation will be local, outdoors, and subject to cancellation.

It speaks to the need to be flexible while also not trying to be particularly ambitious about what you try to do. In Texas, camping in state parks is allowed (at the time we’re writing this), and that’s a possible avenue if you want to get away without getting on a plane or a cruise ship. It’s important to plan ahead and see what’s open and closed before you charge forward with any plans.

It’s also important to maintain caution when you do and don’t have your kids, even if things might be more open in your part of Texas or wherever else you might be journeying to over the summer. We’re still learning about coronavirus and we don’t yet have a vaccine for it, and even if social distancing isn’t required by summer, it’s possible that spikes in cases could lead to it being implanted once again. Wearing masks, keeping a six-foot distance from others, and frequent handwashing are going to be good ideas throughout the summer.

You want to be especially careful around your elderly relatives. As we know, the disease has been particularly tough on older individuals, and even if you don’t think you’re carrying coronavirus, the best way for us to beat this is for everyone to exercise caution. While it might seem extreme to assume that you have it and acting accordingly, that’s the thought process behind mask-wearing: It’s more to protect others from you than to protect yourself from others.

Because summer camps will largely be online, or will rely on parents to help guide kids through activities, it’s going to be a continuation of what you’re doing right now to help them through the school year.