Without a doubt, the teenage years are some of the most challenging for the child and the parents. All of the changes that happen during this time often help shape what kind of adult one will become. Most parents, whether here in Michigan or elsewhere, do what they can to provide the appropriate guidance and patience to help their teens through it.
Accomplishing this task presents a challenge for married parents. You may imagine how it will work once you and your future former spouse finalize your divorce. The only way all of you may make it through is if you and the other parent put aside your personal issues with each other and focus on your teen.
Keeping up with the changes
Fluctuating hormones, bids for independence, pleas for help, the need for trust and more make the teenage years a time of rapid changes. It can be difficult to keep up with what is going on with your teenager since you don't have daily, in-person interactions as a co-parent. You already knew that you would safeguard your time with your child now that you face divorce, but with the added stressors of the teenage years, you need more than ever to know what is going on with your child.
Your teenager will want you to trust in him or her and will more than likely demand greater independence as time moves on. You would consider yourself lucky if your teenager continues to tell you how he or she is doing, let you in on what he or she is doing and with whom he or she is doing it. This happens under the best of circumstances, but when a teenager with raging hormones must split his or her time between parents, the situation can get a bit dicey at times.
Working together is crucial
Communication is essential between you and the other parent. This may be the only way that you can keep up with the changes, and vice versa. You need to know if your teen is having issues that require your attention when with you. You and the other parent could each try to keep in touch with your teen while he or she is with the other parent. However, anyone who has ever had a teenager in the house knows that it can sometimes be easier to break into a bank vault in broad daylight than to get information out of a teenager.
For this reason, you and the other parent may want to agree to keep the lines of communication open between each other. You do not have to talk about other aspects of your personal life unless it has bearing on your child. You just need to work to make sure that you can be there for your teen despite your divorce. Your parenting plan can help guide the two of you through this time in your child's life.