Summer for Divorced Dads

Suggestions for divorced dads to spend time with their kids in the summer of COVID including help for kids with disabilities.

Father’s Day often marks the official beginning of summer, but the sunny season looks very different for many this year — especially since kids will be less occupied than usual.

Summer camps are closed. Daycares have restrictions. Vacations have been postponed or canceled. Many summertime activities like waterparks, movie theaters, bowling alleys, skating rinks and more are still reopening and navigating new social distancing guidelines.

For divorced dads, this summer might be even more difficult than usual. So how can they still connect with their kids despite all the changes happening in our world?

Here are some suggestions from Cordell & Cordell, which exclusively practices domestic litigation with a mission to be advisors and advocates for fathers before, during and after divorce.

It’s important for dads to step up and find creative ways to spend quality time with their children this summer, but how? Consider these ideas:

  • New outdoor activities— Any national parks nearby? Undiscovered playgrounds? Discover new activities that aren’t tied to paid recreation.
  • Explore a new hobby together— Does your local library allow you to pick up holds? Have you checked out kid cooking channels on YouTube? At-home science experiments?
  • Virtual camps or lessons— Research local businesses that may be hosting mini camps or classes via videoconferencing apps like Zoom.
  • Be intentional about staying connected— Shared custody can be challenging to begin with, not to mention in the wake of a global pandemic. Could you connect more with your child(ren) online? Perhaps schedule Zoom or FaceTime “dates?” Can you relate to the technology and apps they’re using?
  • Scheduling outings well in advance— With limited hours and/or capacity, some activities and venues may not have “walk-in” availability like usual. Be sure to do extra planning for your quality time together, such as whether you have to pre-purchase tickets online in advance.
  • Take advantage of unused PTO— With many travel plans altered, you may have some extra time off. What about a “staycation” or “fun day” with your child(ren)?

If you’re a parent or caretaker of a child with special needs, here are some resources you might find useful if you’re solo parenting during the summer: