Read this article if you are interested in:
- Getting some tips as to how to avoid conflict with your child’s other parent.
- Knowing two simple rules we advise our clients to accomplish this.
- Learning about the many resources available to help people who are co-parenting.
What Is Crucial To Be Mindful Of When Communicating With My Child’s Other Parent?
The most important thing is to try to remain child-focused in co-parenting cases. This can be very difficult, especially when you have a negative history with your child’s other parent, there remain power-play or control issues, or if you have reasonable ongoing concerns.
Many clients’ experiences have led us to develop a general rule: do not vent in email or text with the other parent. We have heard the advice to write a text or email and sit on it before sending. Waiting a day or two will lessen your emotions from the issue and help you stick to the essentials of what is being discussed, ideally only about your child rather than about the other person or the past relationship. This is critical.
If My Child’s Other Parent And I Do Not Have The Ability To Do This, How Can We Communicate More Effectively For The Sake Of Our Children And Our Own Wellbeing?
Resources such as books, webinars, coaches, and classes are available to help empower you to communicate better with your child’s other parent. There are co-parenting classes with psychologists who help participants as well.
Even if only one person is availing themselves of these resources, it is better than if neither does. Continuing to constantly fight and fling insults at each other is not in the child’s best interests. This is challenging in our current age, where immediate responses to communication, primarily via text message, are the norm. It is critical to remember the need to pause and respond in a way that remains child-focused, not adding further strain to the deteriorated relationship between you and their other parent with your child caught in the middle.
What Are Some Effective Ways To Minimize Potential And Ongoing Conflicts When Co-Parenting?
We have two easy rules that we give our clients who find themselves in the middle of a nightmare from their co-parenting.
- Avoid the “why.” Keep communication with the other parent limited to “who,” “what,” “when,” or “where” questions. “Why” questions are often loaded questions or invite some kind of argument. Focusing on the logistics of what needs to be discussed with the other parent will help tremendously.
- Accept that you will not agree on things. Realizing this and focusing on the issue or question will help communicate effectively and minimize potential conflicts and focus on things that are actually necessary, rather than seem necessary.
How Can I Make Decisions With My Co-Parent And Come To An Agreement About Issues That Are Important And Related To Our Child When They Are Conflict Driven?
We advise focusing on the necessities when trying to make a decision with your child’s other parent. Think of taking a highlighter and highlighting the part of the message that needs your attention and ignoring the portion that is not highlighted. Of course, this is easier said than done, but keeping it focused on what needs to be decided will do a lot to help.
It is also worthwhile to anticipate the response you expect you could get. Ask yourself if it is worth the trouble or if it is just going to get the other parent upset. For example, if you know it is your child’s other parent’s birthday, and you think to ask to take your child to a classmate’s birthday party, do you already anticipate that that other parent will get upset? Again, avoid unnecessary conflicts by thinking things through beforehand. Beyond this, keep the conversation and discussion focused on the issue at hand as much as possible, even when that other parent is geared toward conflict. Think big picture and pick your battles, or better yet, try to avoid them altogether. This can help to lessen the tension with the other parent, which will be useful when important issues need to be discussed or decided.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Co-Parenting, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Co-Parenting Laws in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (858) 225-4840 today.
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