Co-Parenting Successfully: Strategies for Effective Communication

The ability to effectively communicate with your co-parent plays a vital role in ensuring the emotional well-being of your children while navigating the aftermath of divorce. Divorce can get complicated even when children are not involved. You and the person you vowed to spend your life with have to divide up the assets and property you acquired during your marriage, and you likely will struggle with a wide range of emotions, whether it be sadness, fear of the future, frustration or more. When you add children into this equation, those emotions are only amplified. After all, your children are the most important people in your life! 

Though it’s difficult, prioritizing their mental, emotional, and physical needs during this time is crucial, as this is as much of a transition for them as it is for you. Being able to communicate with your co-parent effectively is the best way to make sure that’s possible. This blog will provide a comprehensive guide for effective communication strategies with your co-parent. 

The Impact Of Communication On Co-Parenting

Effective Communication is the glue that can keep your family together after divorce takes place. This opens the door to share important information about your children with your co-parent, communicate about shared parental responsibilities, make decisions regarding your children’s future jointly, make schedules for holidays and special occasions, and more. It’s not only good for your children to witness your ability to work collaboratively, but it can provide them with a sense of consistency during a time that is otherwise full of changes. It also shows them that, despite you and your spouse going your separate ways, you can still remain a family, and one that cares about their future and welfare. 

Poor Communication however, can have damaging effects to your co-parenting situation and your children’s well-being. Even if you and your former spouse are on amicable terms, it’s easy for matters to get contentious when it comes to your children. It’s likely that neither one of you wants to lose time with them, so working out a custody arrangement and figuring out fair schedules can be challenging and lead to resentment towards your co-parent, or worse, disputes. Arguing with your co-parent in the presence of your children can have negative consequences on their emotional security, which a 2016 survey says can later lead to depression and anxiety. Divorce is hard enough on your children; how you handle it can make a significant difference in their long-term mental and emotional health. 

Strategies For Effective Communication

  1.  Clear and Respectful Communication

Just like you, your co-parent plays a vital role in your children’s life, so it’s important to recognize and respect that even though your romantic relationship is over, your parental one is not. Your co-parent will remain an active figure in your children’s lives after divorce, and that has been proven to be what’s best as the absence of one parent from a child’s life can have psychological repercussions like emotional distress, low self-esteem, behavioral issues, academic challenges, and more. 

In order for communication between the two of you to be effective, it needs to be clear and respectful. With your children balancing time between the two of you, schedules can get confusing and it’s plausible that dates may be mixed up. That’s why it’s imperative that you maintain communication with your co-parent about your children’s whereabouts, upcoming activities like school functions or after school sports, and other events. Making sure you’re on the same page when it comes to your children’s routines will not only strengthen your parental relationship, but also offer your children a reliable schedule. As mentioned, choosing not to argue in front of your children is also better for their emotional well-being, and can alleviate any unnecessary stress or tension from the situation. 

 1. Utilizing Technology and Tools

Because it can be difficult to keep up with dates and events in your children’s lives (as well as your own), utilizing available technology and tools to maintain an organized schedule for you, your co-parent, and your children, is an excellent communication strategy that can improve the co-parenting experience. A few examples of the tools you may benefit from include but are not limited to the following:

  • Family Wizard – An app that allows you to coordinate a schedule with your co-parent and track shared expenses. 
  • Cozi – An app that has a shared calendar, expense tracker, and even a place for shared shopping lists or birthday wishlists.

2houses – An app that allows for coordinated schedules, a place to share photos, manage appointments, etc…

And more! 

If you’re unsure of where to start on your co-parenting journey, or you’re struggling to keep matters organized and consistent, utilizing one or more of these online tools can offer your family and children a huge advantage. 

2. Handling Conflict Constructively

Again, even if you and your co-parent ended your marriage on decent terms, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into a few crossroads on your co-parenting journey. There are likely going to be conflicts with schedules, disagreements over lifestyle choices, vacations, and more along the way. This is completely normal, but how you handle it is what will ultimately define the success of your co-parenting relationship. When you undoubtedly run into a conflict with your co-parent, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate to your children that these things happen, but that their parents are always going to work towards an end result that is in their best interest. 

When you prioritize communication that is inclusive, respectful, and consistent with your co-parent, and you keep your children’s well-being at the forefront, you can provide your children with an excellent life. 

How The Grey Legal Group Can Help

If you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to divorce, we can help you create a plan for your assets, property, and children. We understand how personal and sensitive familial matters are, so we’re prepared to stand by your side throughout the entire process. Our family law attorneys can explain your legal options, protect your parental rights, and answer any pressing questions you may have. You can trust that we will advocate for an outcome that is in the best interest of your family. Call The Grey Legal Group today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn about your next steps. 

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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