The Challenge of Co-Parenting During the Summer of COVID-19
This summer is presenting challenges that we have never faced before. With the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, our summer options are much more limited, and this is causing a lot of scheduling disruptions. For couples who are separated or divorced and co-parenting children, this season is likely to be particularly stressful as they try to balance work and their kids in the midst of numerous schedule changes.
You are likely to run into a lot of cancellations this summer. Many beaches, parks, resorts, and summer camps are closed, and many people are still apprehensive about getting on an airplane with the threat of the coronavirus still looming. This means a lot of vacations and summer activities for the children are getting canceled, which means that kids will probably be spending a lot more time at home.
At the same time, a lot of parents are heading back to the office or wherever their workplace happens to be, so they may run into a lot of challenges trying to get someone to watch the kids. In any other year, grandparents would usually make good babysitters, but this year, we need to take every precaution to protect those who are aging or infirmed. The bottom line is that in a lot of cases, just about everything they had worked out for the summer will need to be changed.
Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Cooperation
We know that these are unprecedented times, and they are hard on everybody. No one asked for this pandemic, and this is not anybody’s fault (or at least it’s not the fault of the other parent or anyone in your immediate circle). This situation calls for patience, flexibility, and a lot of grace.
As you deal with the difficulties of co-parenting in the midst of a global pandemic, this would be a good time for parents who are having scheduling challenges to extend an olive branch to each other and work together. By being flexible and working together now, it can go a long way toward building a stronger relationship in which effective communication is a centerpiece.
Communicate with the other parent, be open and honest about the issues you are facing, and try to come up with a workable alternative for the summer months and even into the fall (in the event that we face a second wave of this virus). Get creative.
This situation is far from ideal for everyone involved, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make something good come out of it. Perhaps a change in your regular summer routine is an opportunity to start something new that could eventually become a family tradition. You never know what might come out of this if you innovate and maintain a positive attitude.
Falmouth Mediation is Here to Help
During the summer of COVID-19, co-parents should work together as much as possible to resolve scheduling difficulties. If you are unable to do it successfully on your own, however, help is just a phone call or email away. At Falmouth Mediation, I have helped numerous couples with creative co-parenting solutions over the years, and I am available to serve your needs.
I am currently offering extended hours to accommodate major scheduling changes. I provide virtual mediation via teleconferencing or videoconferencing, whichever you prefer. For more information or to schedule a free, no-obligation, private, confidential consultation visit FalmouthMediation.com or call 508-566-4159.