Divorced parents in Illinois may have to consider several factors when it comes to co-parenting a teenager. Divorce can be especially hard on teens, who are already struggling with the changes that come with growing from a child to an adult. However, there are ways parents can make the transition easier.
Being flexible with scheduling is the first thing a divorced parent can do to help their teen cope. The average teen already has to juggle spending time with his or her friends, education and possibly work. Forcing a teen to adhere to a strict schedule for family time can be an additional source of stress.
Constant communication is another way divorced parents can help their teen. Communication is always key when it comes to successful parenting, but it is especially vital when parents are living separately. For example, a parent should never assume the other parent knows a teenager’s friends. Teenagers are easily influenced by the peers they surround themselves with. If one of the teen’s friends appears to be trouble, the parents should talk to each other about it. Staying on the same page where friends are concerned can prevent a teen from engaging in risky behavior.
When it comes to the stormy issue of child custody, it is important to remember that providing stability is key when it comes to keeping a teenager safe. Teens who have stable, predictable lives are generally less likely to engage in unsafe experimentation as a way to relieve stress.
A parent who is planning on getting divorced may want to reach out to a family law attorney with a background in child custody. An attorney could help a parent in many ways, such as coming up with a plan that deals with the allocation of parental responsibilities.