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3 valuable communication boundaries for co-parents

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Child Custody |

One of the hardest aspects of co-parenting is how it forces regular interactions between people who have ended a relationship. Both parents may recognize that they each love their children, but they may have a very difficult time agreeing on anything else.

Each custody exchange or discussion about important parenting decisions could put the family at risk of a protracted dispute. The more conflict the children witness, the more difficult the divorce may be for them. It is, therefore, beneficial for parents adjusting to a co-parenting relationship to implement certain communication rules. For example, the three guidelines below can help establish a more amicable co-parenting relationship by fostering healthy communication.

Commit to a parenting app

There are numerous different co-parenting apps available for adults to use, and many of them offer at least partially free services. Co-parenting apps allow adults to communicate in a designated space and maintain records of all their interactions related to their children. Co-parenting apps can inspire people to communicate appropriately with each other and can help resolve disagreements about what one parent may have said to the other about tweaking this week’s custody exchange.

Keep emotions out of interactions

Giving in to the intense emotions that a former romantic partner can trigger is often a serious mistake. People can say things in the heat of the moment that make them look manipulative or cruel. They can seriously mischaracterize themselves by communicating ineffectively due to intense emotions. Keeping things as calm as possible, especially when the adults disagree about certain custody details, can be beneficial for the entire family unit.

Center the children at all times

Perhaps the announcement of a new movie makes one co-parent immediately think about their first date with the other. Maybe rumors have started circulating that one parent has started dating again. It is easy to damage a co-parenting relationship by talking about personal matters while trying to share parenting responsibilities.

Parents generally need to prioritize keeping their communications exclusively focused on their children, especially in the early months after a breakup or divorce. Eventually, with enough practice dedicated to cultivating calm communication skills, co-parents may be able to develop a more sociable and friendly relationship with each other. However, expecting friendliness immediately after a breakup or separation is not necessarily realistic.

Adults who recognize that how they communicate with each other effectively can affect their mental health and the happiness of their children can commit to better co-parenting practices. Cultivating healthy communication habits is a cornerstone of an effective co-parenting relationship, whenever such communication is possible.

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