Divorce should not overshadow kids’ summer break

Virtually every adult can remember the excitement they felt as children as summer break approached. Breaking free of long hours in class and a tightly structured schedule was something to look forward to as soon as spring arrived. While Utah kids may spend their summer break far differently than their parents did as kids, the sense of freedom and fun that comes with summer has not changed a bit from one generation to the next. For children whose parents are going through a divorce, much of their summer fun can be dampened by the divorce process and the stress it brings to the family as a whole.

For parents who wish to preserve their kids' summer from the stress of divorce, the key factor is to get them out of the house and involved in a range of activities. Engaged minds simply have less time to dwell on the fears and concerns that most kids have about their parents' divorce. In addition, spending time active and outdoors is an excellent way to dispel stress, for both parents and children.

Make an effort to spend time alone with the kids, and to ensure that your partner does the same. Children thrive in a stable environment, and the continued interaction with both parents, even if done at separate times, can go a long way toward reassuring kids that the parent/child bond will survive the end of the marriage. Take some time to research fun activities in your area, and keep kids occupied with a wide range of activities.

Utah parents who are going through a divorce often place the needs of their children at the top of their priorities. However, it can be easy to forget that in addition to a good parenting plan and well-reasoned child custody arrangement, kids also need the love and support of their parents throughout the divorce process. Summer break brings far more free time and a lack of structure for kids, which is part of the appeal. However, if not properly directed toward healthy and fun activities, kids can become overly focused on the divorce and the changes that may follow. Parents can help avoid this by ensuring that their kids are active and occupied throughout the summer months.

Source: Huffington Post, "Don't Let Your Kids Divorce the Summer," Lois Tarter, July 3, 2013

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