So often we see parents who cannot communicate properly with each other. There is a lot of communicating i.e. words exchanged, but there are no constructive conversations, and sometimes no resolution at all.
Successful co-parenting tends to start with effective communication. This is easier said than done. Improving communication can take time and hard work. Often there are a lot of unresolved issues between separated parents that cloud their ability to have productive conservations.
Solving communication issues is not always an easy fix. Parents attending with a family therapist or attending a post-separation parenting course can help a great deal.
Here are some tips to help you have more productive parenting conversations:
- Choose your time wisely – Consider the time of day/week you are raising this matter. If the other parent is in the middle of a holiday, that is not the best time to raise a contentious issue. Avoid confronting the other parent at changeovers to discuss tricky issues. If it turns into an argument, then your children will see everything. It is best done away from the presence and hearing of children – email is often preferred;
- Be polite and courteous – Do not take the opportunity to make a snide remark (however tempting it may be);
- Be brief – A brief email is more likely to be read;
- Stick to the point – Efficient communication is more likely to be read, understood and responded to in the same manner. Long and rambling communications tend to provoke long replies that deviate into irrelevant or emotive issues, and the original point is lost. Other times, the parent might give up and shut down the conversation completely, which is also ineffective;
- Avoid emotive language – Do not take the opportunity to make an unnecessary comment or ‘point score’ against the other party. It might feel good at the time, but it is not conducive to a successful co-parenting relationship, and may provoke a nasty response. Use neutral language that is not loaded with blame, and is able to be easily understood.
If you need assistance with your parenting matter, please contact us.