As divorced families evolve so must their co-parenting plans. This is particularly true as children turn into teenagers and their Maryland parents find themselves maneuvering a different set of conflicts and concerns than when the kids were younger. At that time, parents should consider modifying their co-parenting plan to better fit the changing dynamics with teenage children.
How is parenting a teen different than parenting a young child?
As teens grow, they begin seeking independence from the family and establishing their own identity separate from that of their parents. They have their own developing social life and interests and begin forming relationships outside of their family circle. This can lead to conflicts between them and their parents, as the teenagers attempt to assert themselves. Parenting a teenager requires the parent to be understanding of these changes, patient with their teenager’s struggles and flexible.
Creating an effective co-parenting plan
When children become teenagers, co-parents might have to revisit their child custody agreement and make modifications to their parenting plan. As they do so, they should take into consideration a variety of factors involving their teenage child, including:
- the teenager’s growing independence
- the need for flexibility when it comes to scheduling parenting time, activities and other events
- the teenager’s input when it comes to making the parenting plan
- the supporting, loving, guiding role parents must continue to play in their teenager’s life
The relationship between the co-parents
The conflicts resulting from a teenager’s developmental stage can take a toll on the relationship between the parents. However, to successfully co-parent their teenager, parents who share custody must continue to work on maintaining an amicable relationship where they can talk openly and support each other when it comes to decisions regarding their teenage child.
Creating an effective parenting plan for your teenage child is important. A well-detailed plan can help you overcome many of the challenges this stage can bring.