Sep. 05, 2022
Co-Parenting Communication Dos and Don’ts
When parents choose to divorce, it’s important to provide stability and support for their children. However, the process of finding a co-parenting relationship that works for both parents and the kids can be difficult.
Here is a co-parenting communication guide that works and some things you should avoid when building strong co-parenting communication that helps your children thrive.
Need a divorce lawyer? Contact us to learn how we can help you during this challenging time.
Importance of Co-Parenting Communication
Although your marriage has ended, you may still have children to raise with your ex-spouse, making it necessary to communicate about certain things. While breaking all connections with your ex might seem easier, focusing on clear and consistent communication is key to successful co-parenting.
When ex-spouses can communicate well, it helps in several ways, including:
- Children feel more secure when parents can speak openly and calmly
- Gives a sense of assurance and normalcy to the kids
- Helps establish consistency between households
- Shows that both parents prioritize family
- Reduces tension between parents and children
Co-Parenting Dos and Don’ts for Better Communication
With so many benefits to co-parenting communication, it’s essential to get it right to make the most of the situation. Here are the biggest parenting dos and don’ts to consider when establishing co-parenting ground rules with your ex-spouse:
Do Set Boundaries for Consistency
Establishing consistency across households is an important reason to communicate openly with your ex. It’s hard not to give in when your kids say their father lets them do this, or their mom lets them get away with that. Better communication means you don’t put yourself in that position.
Communicating with your spouse on specific boundaries for your kids will send a clear message to the children that you and your ex are still on the same page and have common rules you both enforce.
Do Set an Example of a Positive Attitude
Do your best to stay positive and calm when speaking to your ex. While you may have bad feelings between you, it’s crucial that your kids don’t pick up on that negativity. It can carry over to how they feel about the other parents, which can lead to several issues down the road.
Do Coordinate Schedules
Another reason to build consistent communication with your ex is to coordinate your schedules around your children. Make sure you both understand custody terms and who will handle important things like:
- Pick-ups and drop-offs
- School activities
- Family obligations
- Sporting practices
- Holidays and school breaks
You can also have shared calendars or use online scheduling tools to stay on top of your busy schedules.
Do Exercise Patience With Things Outside Your Control
It’s helpful to understand early on that you won’t be in control of everything if you’ve agreed to co-parent. Your ex-spouse may choose to do certain activities with the kids that leave you feeling left out or resentful. For example, maybe your spouse is a big football fan and took the kids to a Panthers game.
While it may be easy to express your frustration in these situations, it will only create negativity between you and your ex—and possibly your children, too. Try to be patient and accept that this is part of the co-parenting process.
Don’t Use Your Children as Go-Between Messengers
One thing you want to avoid is asking your children to relay messages between you and your ex. It can make the kids feel stuck in the middle, and their loyalties are torn between their parents. There’s also a good chance that things will get lost in translation when you use your children to communicate.
Don’t Bring Up the Past
Continually bringing up past transgressions and arguments is counterintuitive to building a healthy co-parenting relationship. Do your best to avoid discussing the past when you communicate with your ex-spouse and stick to appropriate topics related to your kids.
Don’t Argue in Front of Your Kids
Another thing to remember is to keep arguments minimal and try to approach disagreements with cool heads. If you’re in front of your kids, ask your ex if you can discuss something with them at a later time or wait for your kids to leave the room before continuing the conversation.
Don’t Bad Mouth Your Ex Around Your Children
If you want your co-parenting plan to work, you shouldn’t talk down about your ex-spouse around the kids. Even if you’re not speaking directly to them, they can still hear what you say to others about their other parent. If you must speak about your ex in front of the kids, do it respectfully.
When things get difficult affecting your healthy co-parenting communication, a family law attorney Greensboro NC can help you settle your problem. Our family law lawyer Greensboro team, can advocate for you, your ex-spouse, and your children in handling your co-parenting plan. To learn more about our legal services and how we can help — contact the Mercedes Chut Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.