Parents and kids alike enjoy taking summer vacations where lifelong memories can be made. After a divorce, only one parent typically accompanies the kids on these trips, which can become a source of frustration for the parent left behind.
It's perfectly natural for one parent to feel left out of the fun times their kids are experiencing. Hearing their squeals of delight at visiting Disney or seeing the wonder and awe on their faces at their first glimpse of the ocean can't be recreated.
But, it may be shared with the co-parent. The vacationing parent has to be careful not to appear to rub what the at-home parent is missing in his or her face. But with a little forethought and finesse, sharing these precious memories can bridge the post-divorce gap.
Tips for sharing vacation memories
Let the kids share what they want with their other parent. Older children in particular might enjoy making their own vacation scrapbooks or photo journals to present. They should also be encouraged to communicate with their other parent during the vacation to keep him or her in the loop.
But vacationing parents can be proactive at capturing important moments on video to share. Also, if the child does or says something sweet or funny, make a physical note of it so it doesn't get forgotten.
Ask the kids each day what their favorite moment or activity was. Inquire as to whether they learned anything interesting and what they are most looking forward to the following day.
Keep in mind, too, that while you would appreciate this effort being reciprocated, it might not be. Resolve to be the bigger person and know that by sharing these memories, it will enhance your children's own memories in a unique and tangible way.
Are you struggling with your co-parenting relationship?
Keep in mind that co-parenting relationships are fluid and dynamic, and what worked before may no longer be feasible. At some future point, you may need to revisit the co-parenting agreement in the Atlanta family law courts.