The teenage years are characterized by many significant changes. Bodies are growing and changing rapidly, and academics are getting more serious. Family relationships during the teenage years are extremely important, as kids grow into adults, assert their independence and really discover themselves. If you are going through a divorce and have teenage children, AMS Mediation can help you and your teenagers during the process. Here are helpful tips and things to avoid as you navigate your divorce:
1. Establish consistent rules in both new households: One of the biggest changes for all family members during a divorce is living in separate households. For teens, who are pushing boundaries and testing limits. It is important to discuss rules that can be applied to both households so that the teen has the structure and support they need and do not try to play one parent against the other. Rules might include curfew, screentime, and expectations related to school and chores.
2. Avoid treating your teen like your peer: During and after divorce, it can be very easy to confide in your teen, after all, they may be going through some similar issues as well. Resist the temptation to confide in your teen as a friend. Remember that you are their parent and should not place any extra emotional burden on him/her.
3. Consider working with a therapist for you and/or your teen: A therapist can be an excellent, neutral source of support for you or your teen during the divorce process and even after it is complete. A strong therapist can help you sort through the emotional difficulty associated with a divorce.
4. Think about your teen’s schedule when you determining parenting time: Determining a custody arrangement is very difficult when you have a teen. He/she has their own schedule, interests, and a friend group that is important to them. To the extent that you can, try to incorporate your teen’s preferences. This will go a long way to helping them adjust to all of the changes related to the divorce.
5. Schedule regular family time: Family dinners can be an excellent way to connect with your children and ensure that they have the opportunity to bring things up with you and check things out. We recommend family dinners at least weekly even when schedules are extra busy.
Divorce Mediation and Parenting Support Services in Minnesota
Teens may look more like adults than kids, but the fact remains that they are still your children. Taking their unique needs into account during the divorce process can be critical to how they adapt to the changes that are ahead. AMS Mediation can provide important support and assistance to you and your entire family during the process. For more information about our divorce and parenting support services, call us at 952.252.1492.