The biggest challenge in parenting teenagers during divorce is working out a visitation schedule. Teenagers are busy with friends, loads of homework, sports, and sometimes jobs. You want to give your teen room in their lives for all the new responsibilities they have, yet you still need to lay some ground rules to make sure that the other parent stays involved in your child's life. So how can all that be accomplished? Read on…..
- Make room for the teen’s schedule. Realize that sometimes you’ll need to attend a school event to support your teen and not really get to spend time with them. Or maybe you’ll need to switch evenings or weekends with your ex- if your teen works. If you’re only able to grab a dinner with them, that may have to suffice from time to time.
- Set rules about family functions and minimum required time with you. Teens need to remember they are still part of the family and their attendance at holiday gatherings, important birthdays or other events is sometimes required. Attendance at every family gathering might be excessive, and there are probably a few other family members that feel the same way and do not always attend. Remember when you and your ex- were together that you more than likely didn’t tell your teen they could skip dance class or not hang out with friends because you wanted to spend time with them.
- Understand that your time as a disciplinarian is waning and their time as an adult is increasing. In a few years, your parenting time will be greatly reduced as your teen heads off to college or moves away. Your teen is moving into a phase where the two of you will have more in common with each other as adults and discipline will no longer be effective.
- Find ways to stay connected if you’re not with your teen. Use social media and text messaging if you have to. Phone calls are still great, although many teens abhor talking on the phone and favor texting. Even if you simply send funny pictures to them of what you are doing without them, it reminds them that you care and are interested in their lives.
Getting Legal Help
The experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorneys at Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP can help you navigate your divorce and child custody issues with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 455-5200 or email us at info@DivorceWithRespect.com.