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Post- divorce summers can be hard on kids

In many cases, Florida families who go through divorce will end up with a custody schedule in which one parent has the bulk of parenting time during the school year, while the other has a long period of visitation during the summer months. While this arrangement is usually made in an effort to give kids the chance to bond with their non-custodial parent, the end result can be stressful for everyone. It is important to monitor how kids are adjusting to summer transitions after a divorce, and to take steps to reduce stress.

One of the best ways for parents to help kids transition from one home to the other during the summer months is to create an environment of continuity between households. This can be accomplished by decorating a child's bedroom in a similar fashion in both homes, or by allowing the child to bring special items from one home to another. By creating a familiar and comfortable personal space for a child, it makes it easier for them to settle into their summer living environment.

Another way to help ease stress is to keep kids healthy and active during the summer months. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, and when parents get involved it is also a means of bonding. In addition to physical exertion, parents should also provide plenty of hugs and physical affection during visits, which can help a child feel loved and comforted.

When preparing for a long summer visit, these are just a few tips that can be implemented. For Florida parents who are able to effectively communicate after a divorce, the custodial parent can help the other parent create an environment that is familiar and comforting, which can go a long way toward reducing stress. Allowing kids to have plenty of communication with their absent parent is also important, no matter what time of year or where the child primarily resides.

Source: thenewstribune.com, "Child Sense: Divorce and the summer holidays", Priscilla Dunstan, June 15, 2015

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