As many Georgia parents have experienced, parenting a teenager can be a delicate and complicated endeavor. Adolescence is a period for kids to figure out who they are, and that often comes with struggles with their parents. Dealing with a divorce on top of this can make parenting a teenager quite challenging. Having to co-parent with an ex-spouse can bring on further complications. However, there are things that parents can do together, even after divorce, to successfully parent their teenagers.
When parents are first negotiating child custody agreements, some of the challenges they will face parenting their teenagers might not be so obvious. That's why flexibility with the parenting plan is necessary to continue supporting and strengthening their relationship with their child. Teenagers are at a stage in their lives where they are building their own relationships outside the family and developing their own interests. All of these compete for the time outlined in the parenting plan. Following it strictly might lead to further tension with the children.
Keeping open channels of communication between the parents and between the parents and teenagers is also important for successful co-parenting. Parents need to keep each other up to date about their children, coordinate their children's schedules and generally be honest with each other, keeping the best interest of their children at the forefront. In the same way, parents need to be open with their children as they explain situations and get to know their children, their friends and their lives. It might be tempting to give in completely to the freedom that teenagers crave, but teenagers still need consistent guidance and stable home environments to continue to grow.
With family law matters, parents may benefit from the guidance provided by a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may explain the options available to parents as they negotiate their parenting plans and help craft a plan that best works for the whole family.