Single Parents: How do I help my kid transition into their summer visitation schedule?


32334265_s“The children in our area will be getting out of school in the next couple of weeks. I already know several kids of divorce that will be taking off the day after school is out. How do I send these kids off for the summer and let them know how much we will miss them?” (A children’s pastor)

Many children of divorce have people disappearing from their lives all the time. As a single parent when you have an opportunity to “send them off” and tell them goodbye, seize the opportunity with gusto.

Kids need to be able to depend on people telling them goodbye. They need to know you will be waiting for them at the end of summer or in two or three weeks when they return from the other parent’s home.

Tips for send-offs for the single parent

  • Talk to each child personally if time allows. Tell them how much they will be missed while they are gone.
  • Find out if it is okay with the other parent if you text the children every so often. Remember if the other parent is far away, that this is their time with their child. Don’t be a pest with texts and calls.
  • Reassure your child that things will be just like they left them when they left. Some children get attached to their physical surroundings so whether you realize it or not they may be attached to their “stuff.” My child, when he went across town to spend a couple of weeks with dad, put his things in a certain order. And oh boy, if I even touched anything he knew it. He didn’t want me to vacuum or dust.
  • Assure your child that you will be waiting on them to return.
  • Don’t tell the child all the activities they are going to miss over the summer months at church and other places.
  • Keep in mind your child is going to be spending time at their other home. While it might not seem like they have another home, they do even if it is only for a few weeks. The child may be worried about leaving you.  But let’s get real; this person they will spend the summer with is their other parent. Your children have a right to get excited about it.
  • Don’t nag your child about what the other home is like. Reassure them while you will miss them, that you are going to rest, clean your house, or what other plans you might have while they are gone. Please don’t send them off on a guilt trip. This is not about you but your children enjoying and getting a little closer to the other parent.

Keep your goodbyes and send off light and joyful. Send them off with a prayer or a couple of scriptures and especially a big hug. It might be best to do this before the other parent arrives or at home before you put them on a plane.  Whatever you do, make sure you keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart.


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on May 27, 2015.

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One thought on “Single Parents: How do I help my kid transition into their summer visitation schedule?

  1. Pingback: DC4K » Question of the week: How can single parents overcome unique summertime problems?

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