A Modern Family Summer Vacation
Summertime is here. In addition to sun and fun this often means a different schedule than during the school year for divorced families, especially for those with school-aged children.
When I work with families on their Parenting Plan, one of the things I address is whether ‘summertime schedule’ will look different than ‘school year schedule.’ Even for people without school-aged children, summertime at the very least means discussing vacation time spent with each parent.
Like all other aspects of the Parenting Plan, vacation planning works best when there is communication and compromise. What does that look like? Once again, I turn to our thoroughly Modern Family to show us how it can work:
The ink was barely dry on the Modern Family divorce papers when it was time to plan summer vacation. Modern Family Dad and Modern Family Mom had been very thoughtful in their Parenting Plan and while feelings were still raw, they anticipated no problems in their first co-parenting foray. What could go wrong? They had executed such a thoughtful Parenting Plan!!
Modern Family Dad knew exactly what he wanted his first post-divorce vacation to be with Modern Family Kids. Being the ♪son of a son of a sailor♪ he had always wanted to take his kids on a sailing trip, something Modern Family Mom wasn’t interested in. Now was finally the perfect time! He researched his options and found the perfect boat, itinerary and location – there was only one snag. The week he chose conflicted with another aspect of their Parenting Plan. See, Modern Family Mom loves her birthday and their Parenting Plan included a provision that the children are to spend the day with Modern Family Mom on her birthday. And Modern Family Mom’s birthday happened to fall during the time Modern Family Dad wanted to take Modern Family kids sailing. Now what?
Modern Family Dad had an idea, but it was going to require communication and compromise on the part of both him and Modern Family Mom. Would it work?
Modern Family Dad called Modern Family Mom and proposed his plan. He suggested to sail with the kids during his chosen week and then pay to fly Modern Family Mom to a resort along their itinerary route at the end of the week. His plan was to dock the boat and drop off Modern Family Kids so they could spend her birthday weekend with Modern Family Mom, thus ensuring that both parents got quality time with the kids, Modern Family Dad got his dream sailing trip and the birthday provision of the Parenting Plan was honored. Needless to say Modern Family Mom said yes (who wouldn’t say yes to a free vacation!) and the kids had a fantastic summer vacation experience as well as the opportunity to see their parents working together.
There are many considerations to successful vacation planning under your new family structure – here are just a few:
And, as our thoroughly Modern Familyshows us, even with good planning and a clear Parenting Plan, sometimes you just need to be flexible and communicative in order to maximize opportunities and do what is best for YOUR family.