Co-parenting with your ex can be challenging for both the parents and the children. In some cases, there has been domestic violence or substance abuse that would make joint custody especially difficult. However, in most cases, there are ways to co-parent amicably that will be beneficial for everyone involved…
Co-parenting with Your Ex: Improving Communication
Communication Challenges of Co-parenting with Your Ex
Having different schedules, different homes, and other relationships and marriages can make co-parenting with your ex difficult. You will also likely have strong feelings of anger, disappointment and resentment towards your ex. Although it may be difficult, you must work past those for the sake of your children. This could help your child’s well-being, stability and happiness.
In order to keep your emotions about your ex out of your co-parenting, you will likely need to address them elsewhere. Find a therapist, counselor, or a friend to vent to, or relieve stress through exercise. While it will be difficult, remember that you are doing this for your children.
Better Communication While Co-parenting with Your Ex
Since you will be co-parenting with your ex for your child’s entire childhood, forming good communication habits will be important. By making these guidelines early on, your communication may get easier over time.
To start, listen and show restraint. Even if you don’t agree with them, let your ex express his or her opinions. Try not to overreact to anything that they say. Overtime, this may get easier. Instead of making demands, try making requests. For example, replace “Do this” with “Would you be willing to…?” This could help keep your ex from building up walls against you.
Keep Children Out of the Middle
Don’t get your children involved as the middleman. Talking negatively about your ex to your child may be harmful to your child’s relationship with their other parent. Your child deserves to have a relationship with their other parent without having your emotions thrown in. You certainly don’t want to make them have to take sides, as that isn’t fair to them.
Also, don’t send negative messages to your ex through your children. Handle all issues with your ex directly. When communicating, it may help to speak to your ex like you are in a business meeting. In this case, you are in the business of co-parenting your child. As you would in business, be respectful and cordial.
If you find that communicating with your ex gets to be too difficult…
…find some quick and easy ways to relieve stress. Co-parenting with your ex may always be difficult. Start by taking steps to improve your communication can go a long way.