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Mistakes divorced parents should avoid with teens

Raising a teen can be challenging even during the best of times. However, divorced parents in Maryland may have some extra hurdles to clear. As children turn into teens, co-parents might feel like they are nearly at the end of a long road and ease up on their communication with one another. This can be a mistake.

Exes should keep talking to each other about what their teen is dealing with. They shouldn't make assumptions about what the other parent knows. For example, a parent who has not met a teen's friends may assume that the other parent has, but this might not be the case. Another mistake is starting to use the teen to take messages back and forth instead of communicating with one another. This is not a reliable method of communication, and it can backfire by placing the teen in the middle or giving the teenager too much power.

Parents do need to learn to be more flexible at this time. The previously effective parenting schedule may no longer be appropriate now that the teen is becoming more independent. However, parents should still strive to provide consistency and stability. This is particularly important if the teen's home life with the other parent is less than stable.

Other co-parenting challenges may arise as well. For example, some teens may decide they no longer want to go on living with the custodial parent or that they do not want to visit the other parent. In most cases, the teen should be encouraged to maintain a relationship with both parents. However, there might be circumstances in which parents and their children might want to review the custody and visitation arrangement and consider a custody agreement modification. An attorney can help with this process.

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