Teens Tips with Alicia Drummond Teen Tips Logo info@teentips.co.uk 07957418126

for educators & parents

Teen Tips on Parenting After Separation or Divorce

The most important thing to remember about parenting after parting is that if you are ok with each other then your children will be ok too.  It can be extremely difficult to negotiate shared custody arrangements and make decisions about the wellbeing of children with someone you would really like to move away from.  However, your children love and need both of you and they have a right to be allowed to spend time with both of you.

If you can develop a relationship with one another that recognises that you both have an equally important role in your children’s lives and that it is in their best interest for you to show each other respect by working together you help them to:-

Feel secure

When confident of the love of both parents, children adjust more quickly to divorce and have better self-esteem.

Benefit from consistency

Co-parenting fosters similar rules, discipline, and rewards between households, so children know what to expect, and what’s expected of them and as a result they feel safer.

Better understanding of problem solving

Children who see their parents continuing to work together are more likely to learn how to effectively and peacefully solve problems themselves.

Have a healthy example to follow

By cooperating with the other parent, you are establishing a life pattern your children can carry into the future.

Where a relationship has become deeply embittered it can be easy to use children as a vehicle to hurt one another.  When we do this we cause them immense distress and may affect their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships as they reach adulthood.

At some level you have to decide whether you hate your ex partner more than you love your children.   

The fact that you have children together means that you are bound to one another for life.  In the early days of parting it is normal to feel a range of intense emotions but these will pass and long after the hurt of parting has faded you will have to co-parent.  The less damage that is done in these early days the easier the future will be for you and, more importantly, for your children.

Many children think that the breakdown of your relationship is their fault.  Explain that it isn’t without blaming your partner. When we do this they realise that they are more important than the conflict that ended your relationship.  It also stops them thinking that they have the power/responsibility to “fix” your relationship.

Here are a few rules that others have agreed upon and found helpful in helping them parent after parting:-

  1. Allow and encourage your children to love your ex partner
  2. Encourage them to spend time with both of you
  3. Explain to them that your parting is not their fault
  4. Talk about your ex partner with respect
  5. Don’t argue in front of them
  6. Do not ask your children to take sides
  7. Do not ask your children to be the messenger between you.
  8. Never give your children the message that they have to choose between you
  9. Do not expect your children to take care of you – find support elsewhere to help you deal with your feelings
  10. Recognise that school plays a stabilising role whilst home is changing – inform the school of what is going on.
  11. Be flexible where it is in the best interest of the children.

You may never like your ex but if you can treat them with respect – as you would a business partner with whom you share a valuable asset – you help your children feel secure.  Your ex will push your buttons and you theirs – maintain your dignity for the sake of your children.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Eager for more? Sign up to our newsletter and keep up to date with our latest podcasts, films and blog posts on adolescent mental health.

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date on our latest insights, guidance and tips

Other resources you might be interested in:

Help Your Child Stay Mentally Healthy

With so much in the news about children and adolescents experiencing mental health difficulties, we thought you might like to read our recommendations for helping them stay mentally well.


Being bullied can be devastating but why do people bully others and who gets bullied?  Alicia looks at bullying from all angles and gives you strategies to help if your child is either being bullied or bullying.

Mental Health Blog Post

Alicia has written a special blog post explaining mental health and mental illness, how to spot the signs of mental distress and what to do to help. She’s also recorded it as a podcast here on our Resources page – do have a listen.

Ask The Head

Got a burning question you’d love to ask your Head but daren’t? Now’s your chance as we collaborate on a podcast with former Head, Peter Hopkinson. With 30 years in education and 17 years as a Head, there’s not a lot he doesn’t know and he’s kindly agreed to answer your questions and give advice.

Teen Tips on Transition to Senior School

Moving to senior school is a big change not only for children but for parents and carers too. As they strive for more independence, how should your parenting role change? How can you continue to support them without being overbearing?

Teen Tips on Starting University

Leaving the security of home for university, where your child might not know anyone is a huge step and, naturally, they may be feeling apprehensive. Read Alicia’s top tips to help you support your child.

Tips for Exam Results Day

If your teens exam results are not what they wanted, you might need some strategies to help them cope with the disappointment and find a way forwards.

Top Ten Tips for Surviving the Summer Holidays

The holidays are back and with it comes the long awaited freedom your child’s been yearning for. Whilst this can be an exciting time, it might be a little daunting for you. We share our top ten tips to help your family have a great summer.

Teens & Body Image

Helping your children develop a positive body image is perhaps more difficult now than it has ever been in this “compare and despair” culture, fuelled as it is by social media. We share tips on helping your child develop a healthy body image.

Top Tips For Hosting A Teenage Party

Is your teen desperate to host a party or gathering with their friends? Don’t stress – we’ve put together some Top Tips to help you plan and manage the party so you can provide the right environment for a happy event.

Teen Tips on Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A condition affecting 2% of the population, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be deeply distressing and debilitating for young people. We give you examples of the most common obsessions and compulsions and share advice on how to help.

Teen Tips on Revision

We all know how easy it is to keep putting off tasks that bore us. The same resistance is felt by many children at revision time. Find out how to help them break things down and crack on.

Teen Tips on Exam Stress

The pressure to perform has never been so great as it is today and, alarmingly, statistics show that rates of self harm and suicide peak in the exam season. Find out how to support your child and bring a sense of balance to the exam process.

Welcome to our New Website

After a couple of months planning, we are delighted to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website.