Although a marriage may have dissolved between two people, their role as parents has not. In fact, it’s important that parents learn how to stay calm and civil for the sake of their children, especially teens, even after a heated divorce. This article will share some tips on how to parent teens and children after the divorce is final.
One important point to remember is that although divorced parents might disagree about a variety of topics, they should find a way to agree on how they will team up for the sake of their teen. Here are some tips to consider when co-parenting your teen:
Teens need stability to anchor them during times of stress. Divorce can easily be a time of upheaval. However, if you and the other parent can make it work so that your teen’s schedule remains the same, this will support their emotional stability. Furthermore, when parents are consistent in the way they relate to their children, including in the way they discipline and reward their children, it can keep life feeling familiar. Another way to stay consistent is to continue with the same schedules for bedtime, meals, and school. When life feels consistent, children and teens feel safe.
Think long-term if you need to schedule visits between you and the other parent. As children mature, they will have various needs that will change over time. For instance, when young boys become adolescents, it might be worthwhile for them to spend more time with their fathers. At the same time, female adolescents might want to spend time with their mother or father, depending upon their temperament. Of course, when to schedule visit depends upon the availability, ability, and willingness of each parent. Yet, parents can develop a co-parenting plan so that visits are planned out and take into consideration the fluctuating needs of the children.
Take a parenting class. These classes can help parents understand how to best parent teens after a separation. The Los Angeles Family Court Services has a list of parenting classes for each area of Los Angeles County. You can find that list here. Parents can also contact their local YMCA or YWCA, youth agencies, community agencies, and religious groups to find classes that can assist with co-parenting. Plus, because of the diversity of Los Angeles, many agencies will offer these classes in other languages.
Remind your teen that you love them. No matter what’s going on between you and your ex-spouse, teens should be reminded that they are loved. It’s essential that children and teens know that they are not the cause of the divorce, and what they really need to know is that they will be loved and accepted by both parents regardless of what happens.
Teens are at a vulnerable stage in life. And all children, regardless of their age, tend to internalize the image of their mother and father. Divorces can bring the worst out in a parent, but that’s exactly what each mother and father should work hard at preventing.