I came across a great article at the Divorce Saloon concerning how parents with teenagers can help their children deal with divorce. Towards the bottom of the article the author, Brenda Monteau, provides these five tips:
1) Set boundaries. Just because you are divorced doesn’t mean that you allow your teen to do whatever he or she wants. Don’t let your guilt of “breaking up the family” get in the way of parenting. Just because teens are older than younger kids doesn’t mean they don’t need boundaries, or that they don’t need their parents to act like parents.
2. Consider family counseling: It could benefit teens a lot if both parents would cooperate long enough to submit to family counseling, post-divorce. Having that third party who can listen to all sides and suggest tips and strategies for dealing with the transition will be good for everyone in the family.
3. Use technology to your advantage: Non-custodial parent can get plugged in to technology in order to maintain a relationship with their teen. Actually even custodial parents may find that the teen’s busy schedule and theirs does not provide enough one-on-one time. So use cell phones, social networking, skype and even GPS technologies to keep in touch and keep close. Sending a simple text, “luv u” takes less than a minute and can make a big difference in your teen’s day.
4. Don’t commit “parental alienation”: Sometimes parents are so angry with each other, they bring the children into it and badmouth the other parent so much, that they end up alienating the child’s affection for the other parent. First of all, in most if not all states, this can cause you to lose custody. So don’t do it. But why add stress and toxicity to an already difficult situation for your teen? The divorce is hard enough. It is a tough adjustment. Now you are saying stuff in front of the child that confuses his or her relationship with the other parent. You do this to win favor with the child and to somehow reduce your grief. But it is selfish. It damages the child. Don’t do it.
5. Stay in touch with your teen’s school and other social networks:Again, just because your teen is a bit older doesn’t mean you tune out as a parent and you don’t know what is going on with them socially. You are a parent whether you are divorced or not. A teen is still a child and needs guidance and boundaries. One of the main areas to keep on top of is school. Make sure to stay in touch with teenagers, check on homework, speak with parents of friends and attend school functions just as if you were still married. Keep the non-custodial parent informed, by simply sending an email or text (if you don’t want to talk) about what is going on with your child at school.
If you have questions regarding divorce or child custody and you are looking to retain a Tampa Bay divorce lawyer, you may schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.