When we address the topic of divorced parents communication, we actually should talk about communication between the two ex-partners. In the co-parenting situation, a peaceful, consistent, and purposeful communication is essential to the success of the co-parenting.
It all starts with the right mindset. Divorced parents communication is highly important as it has the highest purpose: the well-being of your children. Every time you contact your ex-partner, resolve to conduct yourself with class as your behaviour might affect the situation of your children.
Your children are the focal point in every discussion as divorced parents, no matter what. Communication is going to be a tough task. Good to remember is that it isn’t necessary to always meet in person. Exchanging information over the phone or via email could be fine for the majority of conversations.
Use the means of contact that work best for you. Main goal is to maintain a conflict-free communication. Whatever the means of communication, the following tips will help you maintain conflict-free and effective communication:
- Use a business-like tone. See your children’s well-being and healthy adjustments as your “business” and your ex-partner as your “business partner”. Act, speak and communicate with your ex-partner in a business-like fashion, as if he or she were a colleague. Use cordiality, respect, and neutrality. Be relaxed and talk slowly.
- Make requests. Instead of making statements, which can be misinterpreted as demands, try framing as much as you can as requests. Requests can begin “Would you be willing to…?” or “Can we try…?”
- Listen. The art of communication starts and ends with the art of Listening. Communicate therefore with maturity and start with listening. Even if you disagree with the other parent, convey to the other parent that you’ve understood their point of view. Listening does not signify approval, you won’t lose anything by allowing your ex-partner to voice their opinions. Divorced parents need to be able to fully understand each others concerns and needs concerning the children.
- Show restraint. Understand clearly that your relationship as divorced parents and the necessary communication with each other may be going to be necessary for the length of your children’s entire childhood—and maybe even longer. Train yourself to not overreact to your ex-partner triggers and try to neutralise the others ability to push your buttons.
- Commit to meetings consistently. Although extremely difficult in the early stages of the separation or divorce, frequent communication with your ex-partner will convey the message to your children that you and their other parent are a united front.
- Keep your conversations children-focused. You are in control over the content of your communication. Always make sure that the discussions only cover topics about the needs of the children, never let a discussion with your ex-partner be about your needs or his/her needs.
Improving the relationship with your ex-partner
If you are ready to rebuild trust after a separation or divorce, be sincere about your efforts. Remember your children’s best interests as you move forward to improve your relationship.
- Ask his or her opinion. Take an issue that you don’t feel strongly about and ask for your ex-partner’s input. Show that you value their input and this can effectively jump-start positive communications between the divorced parents.
- Apologise. If there is something you’re sorry about, take the time to genuinely apologise. Apologies are very powerful in moving your relationship away from being adversaries.
- Chill out. Show flexibility, even if the outing with your ex-partner is cutting into your time with your children. Remember that divorced parents communication is all about what is best for your child.