. . . and they all lived happily ever after,” says Dad to his little princess closing her favourite story book. “Goodnight sweetheart, see you in the morning.” “Night Daddy – I love you”. Mum kisses her darling boy as she tucks him into bed. “Love you darling boy – see you in the morning.” “Love you Mummy – see you in the morning” – the next morning Daddy’s little princess pulls the blankets over her head and tells Daddy quite forcefully what she thinks of his early mornings and mummy’s darling boy slings his backpack over his shoulder, grabs an apple and grunts on his way out the door. Whaaaa? Last night little princess and darling boy, this morning grumpy uncommunicative teenagers? Well to the parents at any rate, change happened at that pace.
Adolescence is tough on kids and tougher on parents from an intact household. Its even tougher when parenting is from separate homes.
Following family breakdown , teenagers need the same as they needed before. A secure emotional base. More than one in three teenagers surveyed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies did not want to be asked to make major decisions –about where they lived – in most cases, this was because they wanted to avoid having to “choose” between parents.
The study also found that teenagers sought flexibility in their arrangements, being able to move between households on their own schedules. Teenagers living in equal care arrangements reported the greatest ease in being able to see each parent and manage this with their myriad other commitments such as doing schoolwork, playing sport and seeing their friends.
Managing parental conflict caused immense stress for the surveyed teenagers. Teenagers are very aware of conflict between their parents just as do younger children, and they manage better when parents are able to minimise conflict. Teenagers tend not to blame themselves for the conflict as do younger children but they tend to leave home earlier than their friends from low conflict homes.
The message for separated parents of adolescents is the same as for parents of younger children – keep the conflict low and importantly keep the children out of communications between you and your ex. Always
Don’t rely on your teenager to be the messenger. Teenagers get really stressed by this and even more stressed at the frustration of the other if the message goes astray or the answer is not what the parent wanted to hear. Teenagers who have the highest risk for mental problems are those asked to be the communication channel between the parents, and the stress they feel at being the communication channel adds a burden they often find too much to bear.
Direct parental communication whenever possible is the answer, because even an apparently harmless message can cause stress for the teenager
Shielding your teenager from stress allows him/her to focus on their school work, their friends and their sports and other activities. Communicating with teenagers is learning a whole new language [“Dad you are such a dinosaur” – “Oh Mum – you are so annoying” – what happened to being Daddy’s princess and Mummy’s darling boy?] Many parents are finding email a clearer way of getting the messages to the other parent adn some use parenting web sites, offering a secure site where emails can be tracked on kept on topic. The emails can be printed but cannot be changed using one of these sites 
Establishing a direct line of communication with the other parent is key, because your ex is not their ex and you wouldn’t want to be uncool now, would you?
 AIFS Parental Separation from an Adolsecent perspective CFCA paper#5
 Talking parents.com – our children.com.au