Positive Communication with Your Co-Parent
It doesn’t matter if you are separating, divorcing or even an intact family having to tackle tough discussions with a co-parent can be difficult for a lot of parents. Included in our parenting class is a section on how to communicate even during the most difficult conversations.
Even the thought of communicating with a co-parent may elicit a deep sigh. Many of you can’t imagine having a conversation with a co-parent without delving into nasty banter or button pushing. You may have tried to be rational and your co-parent is vested in letting you know everything you did wrong or how unhappy he or she is feeling both in the past and present.
It is hard to believe but many separating or divorced parents seem to enjoy the miscommunication with each other. The renewal of old angry feelings keeps the issue of who has power over whom alive and keeps that familiar connection going. Using negative strategies can make you feel strong and in a one-upmanship position over your co-parent. Sound familiar?
You can get into all of the “why’s” and “how’s” of your failed relationship, but it won’t serve any purpose in getting on with your life and getting into a position of co-parenting your children. You don’t have to resolve all of your feelings regarding your former partner in order to be an effective co-parent. But you do need to make every effort to communicate well.
Embrace the idea of good communication and keep these goals in mind when communicating with your co-parent:
1. Make clear arrangements regarding your kids.
2. Model good negotiating and problem solving for your kids.
3. Make life easy during transitioning your children between homes.
When communicating with a co-parent keep your eye on the prize. You are doing this for your kids. If your co-parent is in the habit of goading you, don’t take the bait. Develop a deaf ear and remember that you aren’t trying to make the relationship work any longer. You are working toward a new role of co-parent in the best interest of your children.
You can’t control the other parent, but you can control yourself. If things are heating up take a step back, cool off before answering the phone, change the subject and remember to stay out of the dance. Remember, your kids are listening.
Being a good co-parent sometimes requires putting on blinders. Don’t let yourself get riled up by every little thing. Some people are expert manipulators and they know just how to push your buttons, but you have a choice in how you respond. Talk to yourself, let it go, drop it and walk away. Tell yourself that this is not about your co-parent. It is about your kids.
If you would like more information on parenting, parenting classes or therapy, please contact us Parenting Class .
Kathy S. Garber R.N./B.S.N./ M.A.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Online Instructor
Certified Parenting Instructor
At Parenting Class you are being taught by a licensed marriage and family therapist with years of experience in the court systems. We offer what you need in a parenting class at a price you can afford.