The teen years can be tough for parents and divorce adds another layer of complication. Your older child may have difficulty adjusting to a new divorce or struggle with switching back and forth between households at this age.
Navigate these challenges and help your teen thrive with these coparenting tips for adolescence.
Be willing to bend
Your teen will need your flexibility when it comes to schedules and plans if you co-parent. Kids at this age have increased responsibilities like harder classes, more homework, sports and extracurricular activities, and after-school jobs. Stop by practice to take your teen for coffee or stay up late and watch a show of his or her choice if you struggle to spend enough time together these days.
Check in frequently
Teens should also understand that parents will work together to keep them safe and know their whereabouts. Plan a regular check-in schedule with your child and both parents so he or she understands the responsibility of remaining in touch at either household.
Get on the same page
New parenting issues will arise as your kids get older. Teens need consistency, so you and your co-parent should have a pow-wow about rules that will apply to both households. This conversation should focus not on small things like chores and phone time, but on expectations for things like dating, substance use and employment.
If your marriage ended when your teen was younger, you have had several years to build a good relationship with your co-parent but may want to brush up your technique for the teen years. If you are new to coparenting a teen, practicing these skills will help you get up to speed.