The school year is starting to wind down, and that means many California parents will soon be enjoying summer visitation with their children. For parents of older kids, the summer break may be more complicated than it was in years past, as teens and tweens often have a harder time adapting to a new social scene than they did when they were younger.

To help the visitation go as smoothly as possible, experts suggest that parents be sensitive to the situation and do what they can help their kids adjust. For example, parents should try to adapt to their children’s more relaxed summer schedule when they can, staying up late on a night or two just to spend time with them. They should also maintain communication with the other parent and encourage their child to do so. It’s unrealistic to expect teens to completely disconnect from their other life while on visitation.

Parents can make bonding easier by planning fun outings with their kids. They can also make meaningful connections by sharing personal hobbies and interests, like music, books or cooking, with them. Spontaneous experiences like a surprise trip for ice cream or to the park can also be wonderful ways for parents to enjoy quality time with their kids. Overall, experts recommend that parents remain patient with their teens as they reconnect with family or meet new people, such as a significant other or step-sibling, for the first time. Relationships take time and understanding.

Parents facing divorce may want to contact a family law attorney for advice. An attorney could provide essential guidance throughout the legal process and help negotiate agreements on child custody, child support and visitation.

Source: The Spruce, ” Summer Visitation Tips for Co-Parents of Older Kids”, Jennifer Wolf, Aug. 9, 2016