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Making summer visitation easier for kids

Children love summer vacation, when the pressure of school is gone and they have months to do whatever they want. It's a carefree, fun time that most adults look back on fondly. As a parent, you want your child to have those same great experiences.

However, if you and your ex have split up, summer can also be complicated for kids because it can be a time when schedules change significantly. Some parents have a visitation schedule that sends the child to live with the other parent extensively in the summer, when it's easier to be farther from school. For kids, this may be upsetting and emotional, but there are things you can do to make it easier.

First off, always be positive about the change. You may not be thrilled that your son or daughter is living with your ex, but you don't want to let that show.

Additionally, talk to the child about how you'll keep in touch. This could include letters, phone calls, Skype dates and more.

For parents who are going to have the child move in, it's important that the child has some space. If possible, you want him or her to have a personal bedroom. It can be hard for kids to adjust to living in a new home, but having their own room makes them feel more comfortable.

Don't make all changes to routines or schedules right away. Ask the child what he or she is used to and then make any changes slowly so that they're not upsetting. Remember that stress is greatest at the beginning.

As you do all of this, be sure you know exactly what your visitation and custody plan allows in Tennessee.

Source: The Hays Daily News, "Parents can ease summer visitation for children," Linda K. Beech, May 18, 2016

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