Divorced California parents who are going through the struggles of co-parenting their teenager should be aware of a few tips that will make things easier for their child. Divorce is difficult for many teenagers, who are already struggling with their own trials as they go through the changes associated with adolescence.
First, a divorced parent should make sure he or she never makes assumptions about what the other parent knows. For example, it is potentially dangerous to assume the child’s other parent knows all of his or her friends. It is of utmost importance that each parent knows who is in the child’s life, as friends are easily able to influence a teenager.
Parents should also make sure they do not provide inconsistent guidance. When a teen has a predictable, reliable life, he or she will be less likely to experiment in unsafe ways. When both parents work together to provide a teen with stability and consistent guidance, the teen will often respond by being easier to manage and less likely to take risks. Teens can easily take advantage of their parents’ lack of cohesive parenting by learning how to lie, manipulate and criticize.
Both parents should also make sure they never stop communicating with one another about the life of their teenager. It can be easy to assume the other parent is aware of everything in a teenager’s life, resulting in a communication breakdown. This can give a teenager an easy way to get away with risky behaviors.
Parents who are facing a divorce should consider working with an attorney with experience in child custody. An attorney with experience in custody may be able to help the parents come to a decision that is in the child’s best interests. A lawyer may also be able to help parents formulate a co-parenting plan.