Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Parenting Plans for Teenagers

If you are the parent of one or more teenagers, you may wonder whether your parenting plan should look any different than a parenting plan which was created for or by parents whose children are younger. Every child is unique, and teenagers are no different. The best parenting plans are those which are created by parents who take each child’s individual needs and interests into consideration as they design a plan that will work well for the entire family.

Parenting plans for younger children often emphasize stability, predictability, and routines. These things are of great importance to children, because feeling secure in their home environment enables them to learn, grow, and be successful at home, in school, and in the community. Providing a sense of security is still important as children grow into tweens and then into teenagers, but the things that parents can do to provide that security may look a bit different than they did when their children were younger. Parents of teenagers may want to include more flexibility in their parenting plans, and fewer set schedule items or routines in order to enable their teenagers sufficient freedom to choose what kinds of things they do in addition to school, such as having a job, playing sports, and spending time with friends. Of course, if there are younger children in the household, it is important to include routines and predictability which will meet their age-appropriate needs. Parenting plans which combine plenty of freedom for teenagers to decide what to do and when with firm rules and boundaries helps teenagers to feel empowered to make choices for themselves while providing clear guidance on the subject of which choices are supported by their family’s guiding principles.

Since there is likely to be a great deal of flexibility in a parenting plan for a family with teenagers, it is important that everyone is on the same page as far as which scheduling tools they will use, and how they will communicate. When selecting these things, keep in mind that scheduling tools and communication platforms are only effective if everyone in the family understands how to use them and uses them all of the time. For this reason, it is important to involve your teenagers in the decision, so that the entire family can always be on top of who is doing what, where, and when, as well as what the expectations are regarding communication.

As children grow into teenagers, their wants and needs change. Some discussions that teenagers may have with their parents involve things like dating, purchasing a car, getting a driver’s license, going to college, and other major decisions. These types of things can be troublesome for divorcing parents if they have not talked with each other about these topics ahead of time and come up with some guidelines about how they plan to proceed with these and other potential hot-button issues. The decisions to not all have to be set in stone at the time of divorce, but there should be at least some discussion about who gets to participate in helping the teenagers in the family make each of those decisions, as well as any general feelings about the ways that each parent feels about each of the issues.

If you have a question about how to design a parenting plan that will work well for your teenager and your entire family, please contact Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Parenting Plans for Teenagers
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Mississippi Divorce Attorney discusses parenting plans geared towards teenagers.

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