Many parents discover after a divorce that it can be difficult to successfully parent a teenager. The reason why many teenagers have a difficult time in the wake of their parent’s divorce is that much like separated spouses, teenagers also must rebuild their lives. Additionally, learning to parent a teenager whose freedom is increasing can be particularly challenging.
The following will review several strategies that you can follow as a divorced parent to make co-parenting a teenager after a divorce much easier.
Not Sharing Enough Details About the Teen
Many parents view being a teenager as the last step before a child is entirely responsible for him or herself. Sometimes, however, parents begin to believe that the teenager is more independent than they actually are. As a result, many parents stop sharing important details about the child between each other.
By failing to regularly communicate important details about the teenager with your former spouse, there is a risk that you might miss out on important things that you should know about the teenager’s life.
Using Your Teenager as a Messenger
Due to the pain and stress associated with the divorce, many parents begin to rely on teenagers to share certain information and relay messages to the other parent. Not only does this place the teenager in a particularly stressful position, there is also a risk that the teenager might not deliver the message. Always communicate directly with your ex, especially on important issues involving your family.
Maintaining Too Strict a Parenting Schedule
Trying to enforce a parenting schedule that is too strict can result in a substantial amount of stress being placed on you, your former spouse, and your teenager. Instead, it is important to realize that as you work on handling the divorce, your child is also handling a number of complex life issues, including maintaining a social life, pursuing an education, and sometimes even working a job. It is a much better approach to remain flexible.
Inconsistent Parenting Guidelines
Regardless of how independent your teenager is, it is still critical to follow guidelines regarding their life and what you expect from them. By creating consistent parenting guidelines and implementing them in cooperation with the other parent, your teenager will have a better idea of what is expected from him or her on a daily basis. When inconsistent parenting guidelines exist, teenagers can learn to take advantage of the situation by playing parents against each other.
Going off of Assumptions
Making assumptions can result in a number of obstacles when it comes to co-parenting a teenager. One of the most common assumptions made by parents in this situation is that a child’s other parent knows the teenager’s friends even if you do not know them yourself. Friends play a pivotal role in a teenager’s life and it is important that you approve of the people with whom your teenager spends time.
Speak with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
There are a number of unanticipated changes that can arise during the divorce process.
If you are navigating this process and in need of an experienced attorney, you should not hesitate to contact with Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.