Separations and divorces are never pleasant, especially if children are part of the complex equation. It has been seen so often that the bitterness between ex-partners ends up affecting their kids. Sometimes, one of the parents – in order to make up for the lack of time – overcompensates during the time their kids visit them. This not only creates problems for the other parent – who takes care of the kids most of the time – but also encourages bad habits in the kids. For example, during a weekly visit, a dad may allow his sixteen-year-old to drive his car without adult supervision or buy an expensive gadget for his thirteen-year-old to overcompensate for the time they are away from each other. However, he forgets that this is exactly how parents spoil teenagers. The damage does not stop there. When a parent is hell bent to spoil his/her kids, it’s the other one who has to bear the brunt of their teens’ tantrums and unnecessary demands.
To avoid this from happening, the estranged partners have to come up with an effective parenting plan to bring up their children as responsible adults.
- The first thing parents need to come to terms with is their resentment towards each other. They may not be a couple anymore, but their duties as parents bind them in an understanding to work together for the benefit of their children. They should sit together and discuss how overspending and overdoing for their kids is damaging them.
- Having a proper structure at both homes – dad’s and mom’s – is essential for the emotional and personality development of the kids. This applies particularly to teens who may manipulate the differences between parents.
- The structure and rules at both homes should be in sync so that the kids do not have any confusion about it. For example, if there is a rule on having no cell phones at the dinner table, then the rule should apply to the teen at both the mom’s and dad’s houses. Giving leverage to the teen at one place will not accomplish the goal of parenting in the long run.
- Do not dump all the responsibilities on one parent. Your responsibilities may have been finished towards each other, but as parents the responsibilities remain the same. So this will be extremely unfair to pressure one parent with all the duties and responsibilities.
Teenagers spoiled by parents will most probably face difficult time to cope with the professional and personal relations in adult life. Therefore it’s up to the parents, no matter how estranged they are, to cooperate with each other in bringing up a stable and responsible teen.