12 Tips to co-parent teenagers from a mum who’s been there

There’s loads of suggestions available about how to co-mum or dad with young children, but a lot less for co-parenting with adolescents.

Is this mainly because, as they are older, they are anticipated to cope?

Hopefully not due to the fact possessing co-parented toddlers to teens, I can tell you that teens need just as a lot aid, if not additional.

Below is some legitimate suggestions from my own practical experience to assist if you are co-parenting your infuriatingly excellent teenagers.

And, in case you’re wondering who I am …

I’m Lucy, a solitary mum and the founder of the web page you are on. I spend my time helping other one mums embrace independence, redefine their paths and be the finest they can be, all even though being good single mums. 

You can get a lot more in-depth, personalised assist from my “You’ve Got This” Solitary Mum eCourse.


Assume NEW Emotions

If, like was the scenario in our family, the separation transpires though your kids are youthful, you could possibly count on them to be “used to it” by the time they hit their teens yrs.

And sure, they may have acknowledged becoming co-parented as their new typical, but as they expand, they will have new views on the scenario. This, in convert, will develop new issues and may possibly will need different coping mechanisms.

For case in point, as they study more about human behaviour and associations, they may possibly dilemma “why” their moms and dads partnership broke up and want age-ideal answers.

Be ready for new feelings and let your teenagers to specific them.

Have an understanding of THEIR BRAINS!

Comprehending teens is a minefield!

This is mainly because their brains are transforming and building in the course of these all-significant decades.

It also points out why your once-sweet boy or girl may perhaps convert into the Exorcist overnight (of course, I 50 % predicted to see my daughters head transform 360 levels at the supper table).

These improvements in the adolescent brain can lead to numerous issues these as their lack of ability to converse, erratic behaviour, different sleep patterns and so considerably extra.

I’m no scientist but I found The Teenage Brain by Frances E Jensen massively valuable in guiding my teens as a co-parent. Relatively than staying annoyed by their new exasperating habits, my newfound know-how authorized me to demonstrate compassion and comprehending which absolutely assisted to serene the farm.


Teens have a whole lot heading on. Even much more so if they reside in between two households.

Just about every guardian is possible to be laying down new teen policies, quite possibly diverse kinds, and this can be confusing and mind-boggling.

Pulling again on some regulations is an successful way of making them truly feel recognized. It also shows that you believe in them and that you’re on their side.

I know this goes from the grain, but I have truthfully found that leniency can be much more powerful, so very long as their security is not jeopardised in any way.

Exhibit Enjoy … NO Matter WHAT

I am as well ashamed and humiliated to share some of the dreadful thoughts I had about my teens during the most tough decades. Rather, I’ll say I normally loved them, but at times I uncovered it challenging to like them.

Still, just like toddlers, our teenagers have to have to know they are beloved, constantly.

When they are at the other parent’s household send out them a information each individual working day to notify them you adore them, even just a couple kisses. When they occur back from the other parent’s property, try out not to go into fight mode, instead present them how content you are to have them dwelling.

They may well faux to despise it, but realizing they are cherished, even when your partnership is tense, is extremely important.

Additional Ideas TO CO-Mum or dad Adolescents

GET THE TONE OF THE Discussion Appropriate

Learning “how” to communicate to your teen is paramount. If you do not get it suitable, they can clam up and I will tell you from practical experience that a silent teenager is scarier than a screaming teen.

In accordance to Beyond Blue:

“Part of supporting your youthful human being create into an independent grownup is respecting their options – delivering assistance and direction, but also place for them to do the job items out for by themselves. This means the way you converse with each other also has to improve – and this shift is normally just as difficult for parents as it is for younger individuals.”

Produce an environment in which open conversations are portion of the regime. Study to hear and display regard for whatever your teenager is telling you for the reason that it obviously matters to them.

If they need to have to converse about the other mother or father, bear in mind to retain your feelings in-verify and believe cautiously prior to responding. No youngster, regardless of what their age, will want to hear a guardian remaining terrible-mouthed.

Acknowledge THEIR Selections

As your boy or girl hits their teenage a long time, they may possibly want extra say in how they are co-parented. I have identified it worthwhile to respect this.

Residing in between households is most difficult in the teenage several years as they grow to be responsible for the logistics. Plus, tight friendship teams or romantic associations might imply they really don’t want to move from just one location to a further.

One particular of our daughters selected to reside with me total-time when she was 16. Our other daughter made the decision at 14 that she wished to improve from 7 days-on-week-off to two-weekly. Both of those these decisions yielded excellent benefits and I am happy we revered them.

Recognize that (in several circumstances) your teens know what is finest for them and enable them to test their thoughts, nevertheless disruptive it may be to your individual everyday living.

JUST GIVE … WITH NO Expectations

Boosting young adults is a enormous obligation, in particular when you have to relinquish control to one more guardian with various parenting styles.

We feel as however what we train them now will have an effect on them for the rest of their life. We get worried that if they never pull their bodyweight around the household, they will increase up to be lazy human beings who will be unemployable, push potential companions mad and ultimately stop up on your own. As a result, we are always on them to be responsible, to be tidy and to pull their bodyweight.

They see this as nagging!

Instead of often possessing anticipations from them, try exhibiting them that you are on their facet with basic gestures that will make them sense happy and liked, these types of as:

  • If they are lazing in bed all morning, rather of shouting at them to get up and tidy their space. Just take them a cuppa, give them a cuddle and inform them to loosen up if they need to have it. You may discover they are up and on it faster than you think.
  • If they are heading to movies with buddies, give them $10 for popcorn to share. Do not request for nearly anything in return. Just give. You may well find they are home on time without having the normal dramas.

Present THEM THE Advantages

If your teens are having difficulties with becoming parented by separated mothers and fathers and living involving two residences, aid them see the added benefits.

My ex-husband or wife is a lot much more calm with guidelines all over our teens social lifestyle, they have relative independence, acquiring the bus around city, grabbing consider-aways and keeping at pals. Nevertheless, when they occur to mine, I like to know wherever they are and will travel them close to, choose them up late from functions and feed them nutritious, home-cooked food.

Neither parenting type is correct or erroneous, just unique, and you can translate it again to your teens as them getting the ideal of the two worlds.



Teens alter so rapidly. Just one moment they are as sweet as pie laughing at all your jokes and subsequent, they are grunting, eye-rolling and are almost unrecognisable. Only to improve again once again a yr or so later.

As a result, be flexible with the boundaries you set for them. What labored when they were 15 is very likely not to perform when they are 16.

Permit them know you see them and you understand their desires so you are altering boundaries according to their behaviour and their circumstance as co-parented small children.

Challenging, speedy, set guidelines really do not normally perform with our rapid-growing, transient teenager


It’s not usually effortless, or even attainable, to get the job done with the other mum or dad but if you are on the very same web page as mom and dad, it is a reward for your teenage children.

Remember, our teens are receiving super-clever and will participate in their mother and father off versus each individual other, which is an uncomplicated activity if claimed dad and mom are not on talking terms.

If you are unable to work alongside one another, be conscious of how your ex is parenting and test to enhance and stability out their parenting design with your own to make lifetime as effortless as possible for your teenager.

For case in point, my ex was pretty lenient which meant I couldn’t be a strict as I would have favored as it was way too challenging on my daughters to handle the extremes involving properties.

BE A Purpose Model

No matter whether we like it or not, we are always position versions to our youngsters. Terrifying considered, I know.

As your teens enter their personal associations, no matter if intimate or friendships, they discover values from both their mom and dad.

These involves all the things from conversation, operate ethic, use of alcohol, coping mechanisms and how considerably we regard and really like ourselves.

Bear in mind, you are becoming watched and your conduct may be mirrored by your no-so-mini-me’s.

Check out FOR Pink FLAGS

When your teen is living amongst two residences and is exhibiting usual moody teen conduct it could be hard to location indications of really serious nervousness or melancholy.

According to HealthDirect:

“One in 4 younger individuals are afflicted by mental health and fitness issues and ailments.”

You know your teen greatest, but just some indications that could possibly advise they are frustrated include:

  • Turning into socially withdrawn
  • Not sleeping or having adequately
  • Indications of alcoholic beverages or drug use
  • Loss of interest in pals and actions they when liked

If you are anxious, communicate to the other parent and/or your teenager’s university. They will be capable to consider note of his/her conduct when you are not about and fill in any gaps.

Don’t go away everything to chance. If you are anxious get skilled support from your GP or a charity these kinds of as Lifeline, Beyond Blue or Headspace.

More examining: Dependancy and drug points each and every dad or mum needs to know.

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