Could you use some co-parenting communication tips?
It is a well-known fact that the life of a child with divorced parents is not the same as the life of those with parents who are still together. But the truth is, divorce happens much more often than in the past.
And during a divorce, it is the children who tend to suffer the most. This is why it’s the job of the parents to join forces and protect their children despite their differences and make this change bearable for their children. This, of course, is a challenge on its own.
People who go through life believing that co-parenting is simple can be mistaken. “People split for a reason and most of the time, communicating daily is a torture to them. Still, children demand for a well-established communication between their parents, that is if they want to raise them well and without deep psychological scars from the divorce.’’ – explains Sam Torres, psychology writer at edugeeksclub.com.
All that being said, co-parenting partners have it harder than parents who raise their children under one roof. This is a challenging process that can be made easier with the following co-parenting communication tips:
7 Co-Parenting Communication Tips:
1. Discuss Co-parenting Before You Finalize the Divorce
Focusing on the divorce and details such as who keeps the furniture is less important than focusing on who will be raising the children after the divorce is finalized. Many parents rush into their divorce in hopes of finalizing it quickly without talking about the issues that may come after it.
These types of conversations can be extremely hard — and avoiding them is probably the first instinct you may have during this troublesome period. However, leaving this important matter for after the divorce will make it even more complicated.
One way to make this happen the right way is by agreeing during the dispute resolution process, as to how you will resolve misunderstandings and different opinions between parents and when you’ll go to a mediator or court.
2. Find a Way to Communicate
With complicated divorces, this is harder than it sounds. Some find it hard to communicate at all and wish to stop talking to their ex altogether, but this is not an option when you need to co-parent.
If you cannot talk face-to-face or on the phone, use technology. Write text messages, share a Google calendar, or send e-mails. Your communication does not have to be direct or personal when it comes to agreeing about your children. It can be strictly professional, but it has to exist.
3. Minimize Conflict
You and your ex are together in this and you should definitely see it that way. This way, you can better agree on what steps to take with a troubled teenage child, how to respond to a bad report card or a school notice, how to take care of your child when he is sick, and more. Just try to keep yourselves both in the loop with what is going on and talk things out. This should help minimize conflict.
4. Stop Bad-mouthing Your Ex
After a divorce, you will likely have the urge to bad-mouth your ex — but, you should never, ever do this in front of your child. This is something every divorced parent must learn to avoid.
5. Keep Your Focus on the Children
Once your marriage to your ex is over, you don’t have to talk to them about anything else except your children. Keep your focus on the kids, and have conversations with your ex only if they pertain to information about your children. If you keep your communication to this level, you can minimize conflict and avoid arguments.
6. Give Up Control Over Your Ex
Right now, it is only your children that are under your control. Giving up on controlling your ex and letting go of that need is not easy. But you will have to come to accept it eventually. Your ex is no longer your business. Try not to use your children to control what your ex is up to, don’t ask too many questions, and don’t treat your children as tools for playing games.
7. Use a 10-Second Rule
No parent is perfect and every once in a while, you’ll both make mistakes. Since you are not joined together under the same roof and you both share parenting of your children from afar, mistakes are bound to happen. When it happens, use a 10-second rule.
If your ex does something wrong (such as bringing the kids to you later than the agreed time), take some time as well as a deep breath before you react. Reacting badly in front of the children is never good for them, nor is it good for your co-parenting relationship.
These co-parenting communication tips should help you transition to a healthy co-parenting relationship faster, but they won’t make the process easy. It is your job to try hard to achieve this, and you both must remember — you are in this together!
Audrey Lamp is a proactive journalist who likes to get knowledge, analyze and present fresh ideas. Her background and various interests determine her genuine passion for writing. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.