Co-Parenting With Teenagers
This is the final installment about co-parenting and shared parenting with different age groups. Here are some suggestions for making a co-parenting plan if you have teenagers.
During this time period, young adolescents start to gain independence from family. They should be encouraged in their independence and allowed to explore many extra actitivies and to develop friendships. Young adolescents will want to spend more and more time on their own activities and with their friends. They may become resentful if visitation time interferes with their social life.
It’s important to come up with a parenting plan that allows a teenager to keep their own schedule. However, young teenagers still need frequent contact with parents and their parents should guide and help with activities. Both parents can be more involved in their teenager’s life by attending activities the child is involved with.
Young adolescents may want to have a home base with one of the parents so they have more control over their lives and time with friends. Parents should take the child’s wishes into account as they set up a schedule. It’s important for the child to have frequent visits and time with both parents. Parents should have communication with each other about the child and what is going on.
During this age, children separate themselves fully from their parents and become independent. Parents should support and encourage their teenagers as they do this. However, parents also need to guide and set age appropriate limits for their child as their teenager develops.
Teenagers often become very involved in extra activities and want to spend time with friends. Parents should have a flexible parenting plan that allows the teenager ample time with both parents. Parents will want to help their child prepare for the future.
If you are setting up a co-parenting plan with teenagers, this website may be helpful: http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/afccsharedparenting.pdf