How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood This month, read the top 6 tips on enjoying your summer as a single dad with your wonderful kiddos….. Read more.
It’s Summertime and the Living Can be Easy and Fun for
The old song goes, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” But,
the living isn’t always easy if you’re a single dad taking care of your kids
during the summer. Summertime can present unique and annoying challenges for single fathers and their children. It takes some planning to face these
challenges, reduce stress, and avoid any family strife.
Summer should be fun. The kids are out of school, the
weather is warm, and there are opportunities for all sorts of play. But, the
summer is also a time when you need to coordinate your schedule with the kids,
and you need to plan activities that will be both time-consuming and enjoyable.
Here are a few factors to consider before summer kicks in,
and the kids are bouncing off the walls as you try to figure out how to occupy
their time with fun and rewarding activities.
- Consider the ex. Single dads must
always make sure they have coordination with the other parent. They need
to stick to the custody agreement, show up when they are supposed, bring
the kids back at the right time, and let the ex know if the schedule
changes. You definitely don’t want to anger her, violate the agreement,
bring lawyers into the mix, and upset the kids.
- Create structure and use schedules.
Children are used to schedules – they rely on them all throughout the
school year. Sure, it’s fine to have a few unscheduled days or impromptu
events, but creating a basic schedule and having a basic structure for the
summer will make life much easier. You need to set times for naps and
learning while setting limits on video games and television.
- Adjust your lifestyle. If you have
an adult lifestyle – girlfriend(s), partying, poker nights with the guys –
you need to understand that this may have to be adjusted for the summer.
Since the kids are out of school, they will probably be spending more time
with you. You don’t have to give up your adult fun altogether – you just
need to realize that some of the fun may have to be curtailed for a few
- Set limits on their friends. Of
course you want them to see their friends – that’s what summers are for.
But you may have to set limits on how often friends are over, how often
they go to a friend’s house, and how often they have sleepovers. If you
allow sleepovers, it is important to speak with the parents to find out
allergy information, health problems, and other essential information.
- Take a vacation. Summers are also
for family vacations. It doesn’t have to be at a fancy resort, or across
the country. Somewhere that is fun for you and the kids – whether it is
100 miles or 1000 miles away – works just fine.
- Compassion goes a long way. Be
understanding of your kids’ needs – they are people, too! If they are
bored, help them find something to do. If they want to go to mom’s house
for the night, check and see if it’s possible. If they really want an ice
cream cone after dinner, hop in the car and go to the nearest ice cream
Summer is the season for fun; it’s also a time to get to
know your kids and let them get to know just what a great dad you are. Yes,
with a little planning, single dads can make the summer a time of easy and fun
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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”