Many times the information and advice out there for parents in Heber Springs going through a divorce focuses on how to co-parent young children. While many divorcing parents do have younger children, the techniques for dealing with younger children may not apply to teenagers. Teenagers have unique needs that need to be adequately addressed in a divorce, too.

No matter how difficult it may be, it is important for parents to talk and coordinate around certain topics when dealing with teenagers. It is important to have a consistent message surrounding employment. If a teen wants to get a job and one parent allows it and the other doesn’t, the child will be confused about how to proceed. He or she may also try to hide a job from a parent who would rather he or she focus on school work.

For many of the same reasons, it is essential that co-parents talk about and come to an agreement on permanent and semipermanent body modifications. Whether it is a haircut or a much more permanent piercing or tattoo, parents cannot give their teenage children mixed messages. Plus, if teenagers know that their parents are talking about them and coming to a consensus on their actions, even if the parents are divorced, it will provide a feeling of security.

Finally, another major area in which it is important for parents to have some consistency is electronics. While one parent may not want a teenager to bring his or her laptop or other expensive electronics to his or her other parent’s home, co-parents need to not make an electronic device a source of angst and tension for a child. It is best to allow electronics to travel freely between the homes.

Co-parenting can be difficult, but with some consistency and coordination, it need not be impossible.

Source: The Huffington Post, “7 Tips For Co-Parenting Teens,” Tara Fass, Jan. 23, 2013

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