Communication is one of the most important aspects of co-parenting. Whether you’re speaking to your ex, about your ex, to the children or about the children, you must ensure that you’re using the proper communication methods.
A communication breakdown can make the situation unbearable for everyone. Remember these five points as you’re moving through the co-parenting process.
#1: Never use children as messengers
Children shouldn’t be asked to relay messages between their parents because the message may be relayed incorrectly. Parents should opt to speak directly to each other so all the information is provided as necessary.
#2: Always remain respectful
Both adults should remain respectful with each other. Nothing good comes from having attitudes or being sarcastic with each other. You can use this as an opportunity to model how adults should behave. When things get heated, take time to calm down so you can readdress the situation appropriately.
#3: Never use children as spies
Don’t ask your children about things that go on at your ex’s house. While providing the kids with a safe space for talking about their time at the other home is acceptable, don’t use this as an opportunity to find out what your ex is doing.
#4: Always stick to your word
Another important point to remember is to only say things you can actually do. Children count on you for consistency. If you say you’re picking them up at a certain time or that you’ll be at an event, you should keep your word.
#5: Never deprecate your co-parent
Always resist the urge to badmouth your co-parent. Even if they did things to hurt you before the divorce or after, they’re still your child’s other parent. When you speak positively about your ex, your child won’t think they have to avoid telling you good things they do with your ex.
Working out the parenting plan is an important task when you divorce. This can make a huge difference in how the co-parenting relationship works. Remember to set the parenting plan terms based on what the kids need now because you can modify the terms when those change.