Communication is important when co-parenting, especially when both parents are living separately. Both co-parents are responsible for communication, but when one parent gets off-track and heads towards conflict, it can be difficult for the other to not follow. Reduce the chances of sparking conflict by agreeing to a few communication guidelines (Boyan & Termini, 2009).
Tips on How to Develop New Communication Skills with Your Co-Parent
1.) Agree on a method of communication (Text, Phone calls, E-mails, or Web-based forums)
2.) Discuss the frequency of communication: Usually once a week is fine unless there is an emergency or other special situation.
3.) Select appropriate issues for discussion such as your child’s health, your child’s school performance, your child’s extracurricular activities, time management problems, and changes to the schedule.
4.) Use a respectful tone
5.) Avoid negative body language such as rolling of the eyes, giving disapproving looks, or having an aggressive body stance
6.) Select your words with care. Try to avoid words that criticize, blame, accuse, interrogate, command, or demand.
Citation: Boyan, S. B., & Termini, A. M. (2009). Crossroads of Parenting and Divorce: 5 Steps to Prevent Divorce Abuse. Active Parenting Publishers.
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