Many parents think it is easy to create a parenting plan for teenage children. In some ways, it can be simpler than making a plan for younger kids, but it is far from easy. In some cases, it may actually be even more complicated.
Most teens have more social needs (and associated events) than younger children. They are also discovering their independence and appreciate parenting plans that take their activities into account. Below are three other factors for parents to consider.
Plan for flexibility
Teenagers are busy people. They are developing outside relationships, exploring their interests and learning how to become a healthy adult. Ensuring that your plan is flexible enough to accommodate these milestones is critical to the well-being of your children.
Plan for changing needs
Adolescence lasts only a few years, but your teen will likely undergo many changes in that short period. In addition to immediate flexibility, consider adding a clause to your plan that provides for your child’s changing needs and lifestyle. Many parents in Ashburn and Brambleton include specific times or dates to reevaluate and possibly modify their arrangements.
Plan for parental involvement
Whether you get along with your co-parent or not, remember that your young adult needs you both in their life. Children of all ages benefit from the guidance and support each parent provides. Make sure your parenting plan allows both parents to participate in your teen’s life.
A thoughtful plan adds support and consistency to your teenager’s life. You can start making your plan before or during your divorce. However, you might consider becoming familiar with Virginia child custody and visitation laws to ensure your parenting plan is compliant.