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How to Get Ready for Summer as a Single Dad in 2020

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

Summer vacation parenting time tips for single fathersWhether you are currently going through divorce, were recently divorced, or have been a single father for some time, you’ve probably struggled with the events that have affected our lives in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our personal and professional lives due to stay-at-home orders, economic difficulties, and school closures. Now, just as summer vacation is about to begin for many children, the wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country has led to outbreaks of violence and curfews in many cities. Whether you had made plans for the summer with your kids or were simply planning to enjoy spending time with them, events may be throwing everything into confusion, and you may be unsure about how to proceed.

Depending on your parenting agreement, you may have more time with your kids over the summer, and you will want to make the most of your parenting time during these months. Here are a few tips to follow as you make your summer plans:

  1. Find ways to show solidarity - Your kids may express a desire to participate in protests, or they may want to do what they can to express and share their beliefs and opinions. While it may be appropriate to take older children to protests or demonstrations, you should be sure to discuss this with the other parent first to address any safety concerns. You will also want to have a plan for staying together, avoiding any violence, and getting home safely. As an alternative, you could work with your kids to find ways you can show support from home, such as posting pictures or videos on social media, writing messages in chalk on your sidewalk, or donating to causes you believe in.

  2. Come up with activities you can do together - For both you and your children, the summer may be an opportunity to relax. However, this doesn’t mean everyone should spend all day watching TV, playing video games, or using cell phones and tablets. While you can certainly enjoy some down time looking at screens, you can also find ways to enjoy your time together around the house. This may include playing games or making crafts, or you could work on projects such as improvements to your home or building a treehouse, doghouse, or birdhouse.

  3. Have fun in the kitchen - The summer offers a good chance for both you and your kids to build your cooking skills. They can enjoy helping you prepare regular meals or even cooking meals on their own, and you can also make sure they participate in cleaning up afterward. The extra time you may have at home together also offers a good opportunity to work together with them to make treats such as cookies or brownies, or you could come up with fun ways to decorate cakes or other desserts.

  4. Enjoy time outside - In addition to indoor activities, it can be good to get out of the home and enjoy the fresh air. However, ongoing concerns about coronavirus infections may limit the activities you can participate in. Rather than going to an amusement park, playgrounds, street fairs and festivals, or other crowded public places, you may want to find more secluded areas, such as parks or forest preserves with hiking trails. When in public, it is still a good idea to wear a facemask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.

  5. Focus on quality time - Whatever you do, you’ll want to get enjoyment out of spending family time together. As a divorced dad, the time you have with your children is often limited, and any time you do have is precious. Valuing the ability to be close to your children, making sure you understand their needs and concerns, and showing them how much you love them will help you make sure you have a summer to remember.

If you’re still working out your parenting arrangements during your divorce, or if you want to update these arrangements due to changes you have experienced in your lives during the events of 2020, you will want to work closely with an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer can make sure you understand your rights and legal options, and they can help you determine the best steps to take to ensure your children’s best interests are protected.

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