With summer camp registration well underway, not to mention decisions on how to spend summer vacation, it’s the families facing separation or divorce that often find this a really contentious time. While extracurricular activities require commitment from the kids, they also require dedicated parents in terms of time and money. One parent may value swimming lessons while the other may view hockey camp as the best activity for their child. These disagreements often divide families further.
Here are some tips for navigating this tricky issue:
- Ask the kids – figure out what activities the kids actually really love, and start from there. While mom might be pushing for the advanced level hockey team, the kid might actually prefer the local league with less pressure.
- Think of the logistics – with kids splitting their time between two households, that might make it logistically harder to get to practices, rehearsals, performances and games. Make sure you think this through before you make any decisions.
- Remember accessibility – Perhaps dad wants tennis lessons at his racquet club, but mom isn’t a member. If lessons or matches might fall during the other spouses time, both need to be able to attend and participate.
- Kids come first – if your kid really loves summer camp, then you might just have to give up some of the vacation plans that you had for the summer to give them their own time. It can be hard when you only get them part time in the first place, but remember that this is a difficult transition for the kids too, and they might need something of their own.
- Affordability – what works for your budget? Some activities are more expensive than others. Some may require travel or additional support at home that is not always feasible.