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3 co-parenting tips if you have teens

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Family Law

Navigating co-parenting can become increasingly complex as children grow into their teenage years. Teenagers are dealing with developmental changes and challenges, and effective co-parenting strategies may require some changes from what worked when they were younger.

Consider these several ways to make co-parenting easier when you have teens.

1. Embrace open and frequent communication

Communication is critical in co-parenting, especially with teenagers forming their opinions and preferences. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your co-parent, as well as between you and your teen. Listen to their wishes regarding scheduling, activities and life decisions, ensuring their voice is heard in both households.

2. Maintain consistency

Consistency between households is crucial for providing stability for your teen. Try to align on critical rules and expectations, like curfews, homework and screen time. This helps your teen understand what is expected of them, regardless of which parent they are with.

3. Respect their social life

Teenagers are increasingly focused on their social lives and activities. Be flexible and understanding about their schedules. This might mean adjusting visitation schedules to accommodate their plans. Showing respect for their social life demonstrates that you acknowledge their growing independence and social needs.

Work together on major decisions

Significant decisions about your teen’s life, such as education, health care and driving, should be made jointly. This unified approach fosters a sense of stability and security for your teen and ensures that both parents are actively involved in the essential aspects of their child’s life.

Avoid conflict in front of your teen

It’s critical to avoid exposing your teen to conflicts between you and your co-parent. Teens are more discerning and can be deeply affected by parental conflict. Strive to resolve disagreements privately and present a united front on decisions affecting them.

Support their relationship with the other parent

Encourage and support your teen’s relationship with the other parent. Avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your teen, as this can create tension and loyalty conflicts for them.

As your teen matures, the terms of the co-parenting plan may need to be adjusted. Handling this right away can ensure that everyone is on the page, which will reduce the stress in the parenting arrangement and enhance the chance of co-parenting success.