Posted on: 16 January 2015
If you've recently divorced and have agreed with your ex-spouse to try co-parenting, understand that you're probably going to run into some road blocks along the way. You and your ex-spouse won't always see eye-to-eye when it comes to parenting decisions, and tensions may flare from time to time. All too often, however, these situations become much worse because of poor communication. Here are three helpful communication tips that could make co-parenting a lot easier on both of you.
Start with the Right Mindset
First and foremost, always keep in mind that the purpose of all this is for the benefit of your children. This means understanding that, in order to give your child's well being the priority it deserves, strong communication with your ex needs to happen. Any time you become frustrated with your ex (maybe he was late picking your child up from school or perhaps she let your child stay up too late on a school night), approach the situation with that priority in mind.
Make Requests, Not Demands
One common cause for animosity and arguments among ex-spouses when trying to co-parent is one parent feeling like they're being told what to do or otherwise controlled by the other parent. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily avoided. One way to do this is to always state your parenting desires in the form of a request. For example, if you're annoyed that your child's mother is always letting your child eat junk food at her house, consider saying something like, "would you be willing to limit the junk food consumption to one snack per day?" Approaching it this way, rather than saying, "you need to stop feeding our child junk," will likely go over a lot better.
Maintain the Right Focus
Finally, always keep your conversations focused on your child. When things get heated, it can be easily to resurrect old marital problems and bring things up that are hurtful to revisit. Making such a quip at your ex may make you feel good for a split second, but in the long run, it's not going to do anything good for your child. If necessary, communicate your intention to only speak about matters related to your child so that your ex will keep this in mind as well. From there, you can avoid a lot of conflict. For help, talk to a professional like Valerie M Little.Share