Teens, teens, teens . . . and all the things they do. When a child is under age three, it is so important for that child to bond with a parent. That is why we might use a 2-2-3 possession schedule with a child under three. For children over the age of three, the adolescent years, it important for parents to be involved in all the activities and to each be a parent. This is why he Standard Possession Order works so well or the Week on Week off possession schedule. But once we get into the teen years, the 13 and plus (with it getting worse as they get older) it is good to remember that they are developing their independence and will become far more socially active. Their friends are all important. The sleep overs. The parties. The hanging out. So remember, as a parent, although you may have a possession order that says that you have the RIGHT of possession, be mindful of your child’s growing emotional adult needs. Flexibility is the order of the day. Strictly imposing the possession schedule upon a child who so desires to go to a friend’s birthday party, or family member event on the opposite side, or the after game party, may cause the parent some down the road resentment.
Note, when a child reaches an mature age such that they are in a position to govern much of their own affairs, the Court may (that is a may) allow the child to set their own possession schedule. In Collin County, Texas there is a thing called the Henderson Rule. It means, a child 15 or over may in some regards set their own possession schedule.
Remember, the child will adult. Sooner than you expect. They have long memories. Bottom line, let a kid be a kid.