Coparents need to establish a peaceful co-parenting relationship and communication style for the sake of their child or children. That doesn’t mean you have to be great friends and chat often. Here are strategies and rules to minimize the chances of conflict between coparents, including the use of text-based communication.
Why Avoiding Conflict is a Priority
Coparenting is one of the biggest challenges for divorced couples. And children are the ones who tend to suffer the most.
Despite whatever differences coparents may have, you need to establish a respectful co-parenting relationship. That allows the child to fully recover from the divorce and avoid the demonstrated adverse effects of conflict. Parents are also better positioned to raise children in the best way possible under the circumstances.
Parents need to communicate in a professional way and have in mind the well-being of the child. The following rules allow parents to communicate without conflict and effectively put the child first.
Communicate by Email or Through Text Messaging Apps
It may, at times, be extremely difficult to communicate through phone calls or face-to-face without descending into negativity and argument. To avoid this possibility, try communicating via email, text messages or apps like WhatsApp.
To ensure you never make a mistake with communication, you can follow these specific communication rules for coparents. Timtab’s Easy Communication Plan is designed to get parents communicating just using business-like emails and text messages. If you follow the Plan, there is almost no chance of conflict between coparents.
Whatever way of communication you choose, keep the children out of it and avoid using them to relay information to the other parent. A quick message is generally better than imposing difficult between-parent communication tasks on your child.
Keep a Professional Style of Communication
You have to keep a polite and respectful tone of conversation. It should be brief and always about the child. Try to limit communication to once or twice a week at most and talk to your co-parent as you would with a work colleague.
Track Expenses and Appointments
You can use a co-parenting app or journal to keep note of expenses related to the children as well as their schedule. It may avoid possible conflict due to disagreements on who spent what. If you are a busy person, it may also prevent you from forgetting appointments or scheduled visits of the child or arriving late.
Avoid Conflict By Cutting Off Negative Interactions
You will forever be coparents. So, it is your job to look at it as a business partnership relationship that needs to stand the test of time.
Always stay on topic. Avoid talking about the past by bringing issues of your previous relationship.
If you happen to argue, never do it in front of the child. This is one of the most damaging behaviors and can have a long-term negative impact on the child. Also, never bad-mouth your ex, either in front of the ex or behind their back, because it can hurt your child’s self-esteem.
Be Flexible and Compromise
Many situations could arise where coparents disagree. You have to work hard to find a way for both parents to be happy with the outcome.
Be open and flexible. For example, if your co-parent wants to take the kid to an adventure but it is your parenting time, be flexible and look to agree. As long as you always have your child’s best interest in mind, you can make co-parenting work.