Top Tips For Effective Communication & Co-Parenting After Divorce
How parents talk to each other and their children have a big impact on their relationships. Try to think about the other parent as a business partner and treat them with respect and professionalism. This can help you to keep your children as your top priority, instead of letting your emotions get in the way. Here are some tips:
Tips For Effective Communications With The Other Parent
- Instead of referring to the other parent as your ex-wife, ex-husband, or “ex”, refer to them as your children’s mother or father. Try to use words such as “stays with” or “comes over” instead of “has visitation with”. Try saying “parenting plan” instead of custody or visitation agreement.
- Be respectful, courteous and polite.
- Don’t get off the subject, concentrate on your children’s well-being.
- Keep your promises to your children so that they know they can still trust and depend on you.
- Make sure you are very clear when discussing the children with the other parent. Consider communicating through email, so that you both have records of important agreements.
- Always keep your emotions under control.
- Be mindful of how you talk about the divorce in the presence of your children.
Tips for How To Work Together As Co-Parents
Not only do parents need to think about how best to communicate with the other parent, they just also act with the same intentions. Here are some tips on how to work together as parents:
- Figure out what works best for you two to work together as parents.
- Some parents can still work as a team by respecting and supporting each other.
- Some parents use a business-like approach and find ways to discuss important issues and work out disagreements.
- Some keep the households separate and do not talk much to keep from fighting.
- If at all possible, cooperative parenting benefits the children more than parallel parenting does, as it provides more flexibility for everyone involved and the transitions are smoother. Cooperative parents work together in raising their children in separate homes instead of raising them independently from the other. Cooperative parents talk on a regular basis instead of for emergencies only. They work together to provide consistency between the homes and make all major decisions together. Parallel parenting might be necessary in high-conflict situations.
- Maintain a log book using business-like notes (no personal comments) to record pertinent information about the children while they are in your home. Keep the book with the children between the homes.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”