Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Parenting teenagers can be a challenge, especially after divorce

Being a teenager is an unsettling time in your child's life. Changes come at lightning speed, and being in the limbo land between a child and an adult can present certain challenges. That's just how the teenager feels. When it comes to parents, balancing being a parent and letting a teen become who he or she is going to be can be challenging as well.

This balancing act is difficult enough for married parents, but when the parents are divorced and may not share information, you may need to make modifications to your parenting schedule and styles in order to continue raising a child through the teen years as co-parents.

Stay connected

As parents, each of you needs to remain connected to your teen and each other. Your teen may need more access to each of you. Emotions often run high during this part of your child's life, and having two sets of shoulders to lean on could make all the difference.

Moreover, you may need to make changes to your time with your teen since his or her interests may require more time. For instance, extracurricular activities and hobbies often pick up during this time, along with the desire to spend more time with friends. This doesn't mean that your child doesn't want to be with you; it just means that he or she wants more independence.

Encourage independence and foster trust

Teenagers need some leeway to grow into the adults they will become. This means that you and the other parent will need to let go some, in order to give your teen some independence. No, this is not encouraging you to give your teen a license to run free without any limitations. What it does mean is allowing him or her to make some decisions and enjoy some autonomy.

You need to trust that the work you and the other parent have done thus far has stuck. This may cause both of you some trepidation, so staying in touch and checking in with each other and your teen needs to continue. You need to trust that your teen will make the right choices, and at the same time, your teen needs to trust that each of you will be there when he or she needs you.

You and the other parent may want to make sure you are on the same page since disparity between households could cause issues that devolve into unnecessary and harmful conflict and consequences. If necessary, you may need to make adjustments to your existing parenting plan to accommodate your growing child.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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