As you hit teenage years, parenting only gets more complex. If you are parenting as separated parents, you might have different opinions on what you should allow your teenagers to wear or do. Here are some tips on making your parenting work as a team.
The well-being of your child
The court looks at the well-being of the child if you bring any parenting issues to their attention. So if the way your child dresses could reasonably lead them into harm's way, then you may have some cause to compel the other parent to moderate the child's appearance. However, it's important to remember this needs to be a direct issue to their safety, not just a parent's discomfort with more sexualised clothing and makeup or inflammatory wording on t-shirts. This means your legal avenues might be limited in this scenario.
My house, my rules
It's important to remember that even if you are not comfortable with the way your child is dressing at their other parent's house you cannot directly control parenting at the other house. You can quite reasonably agree to disagree on this issue and decide that while they can dress in this way at the other house while they are at your house they need to obey your rules. This can help you to ignore some of these issues.
Especially if you don't have much experience with teenagers, it can be hard to know what the reasonable standards are for teenagers to wear these days. Many generations of children have caused their parents stress by suddenly wearing wacky clothing as teenagers. Make a point to talk to other reasonable adults before confronting your ex-spouse, particularly if you are not sure whether this is just clothing they wear at home or clothing they are wear when out and about.
As part of the initial divorce proceedings you may have gone through a mediation process. It can be useful to reinitiate the mediation process with your ex-spouse to discuss how you can manage these sorts of issues and potentially come to some compromises whether or not you have done mediation previously. This can be a good way to manage all sorts of conflicts. You can organize mediation either through a government-run Family Relationship Centre or through your family lawyers.
While it can be stressful when managing shared care with our ex-spouse, especially during the tumultuous teenage years, it's important to retain some perspective so that you can continue to have a positive relationship with your teenager.
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