How to stop the bickering with your ex
One of the biggest obstacles to effective co-parenting is communication. You may find yourself in a situation where one parent has a tendency to get angry or lose their temper at which point communication is difficult and almost impossible. In addition, if its being done in front of the children, the other parent may avoid communicating in order to avoid such outbursts.
Obviously neither of those methods — yelling or not saying anything — aren’t going to be conducive to making this work. So other options will have to be considered.
One method that seems to work for a lot of co-parents is using written communication, particularly email or text messages. Not only does written communication help you avoid verbal confrontations, yelling, or interrupting but it also gives you a chance to make sure you’ve said everything you need to say and that you’ve said it clearly. You may even find it helpful to save the email as a draft then come back to it later with a fresh perspective, especially if the conversation is at all heated. An added benefit to written communication is that it can be documented, thus avoiding «he said/she said» or disputes about whether one parent provided another with certain information.
Another option to help parents until they’ve managed to work together amicably is to use a third person to act as a go-between. Often times this may be a stepparent — your ex’s current spouse or significant other — or grandparent. The relationship of the person isn’t as important as their ability to be neutral and have a desire to work with both parents.
This seems to be a pretty common arrangement, particularly when its between mom and stepmom. This could be because women communicate better with other women, or it could be because there isn’t the emotional history between them as there is between the mom and dad.
Regardless of the method of communication you use, the goal is to eventually come to some sort of arrangement that works for everyone and allows everyone to be involved including the children and other adults that are a part of the «parenting team». No offense to lawyers but using them as the only means of communication between you and your child’s other parent is not only a barrier to building a good relationship, it also gets expensive. And your attorney isn’t going to be a part of your lives forever so the sooner the parents can find a way to communicate with one another, the better off everyone will be.
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