Raising children in two homes can be complicated. A detailed parenting arrangement, documenting when the children will stay with each parent and each parent’s responsibilities, can make co-parenting more manageable.
However, the real key to effective co-parenting is always going to be good communication. Below are four communication tips for co-parents:
1. Decide on the communication method to use
Co-parents usually communicate through face-to-face conversations, texts, emails and phone calls. You should decide which method works for you earlier to avoid misunderstandings.
If you are still healing from the divorce, meeting in person may not be the best option. Further, emergency conversations are best handled through phone calls. Emails and texts are most suitable for businesslike discussions – not emotional ones.
2. Stay calm and and polite when you’re interacting
You should be calm when communicating with your co-parent unless it’s an emergency. If you are upset or frustrated, take your time before contacting them.
If you feel overwhelmed by a conversation, politely request to take a break and re-initiate contact when relaxed.
3. Only discuss child-related matters
Discussing only child-related matters can save you from disagreements with your co-parent. Asking about each other’s personal lives or bringing back issues from the divorce can negatively impact your co-parenting.
4. Determine a schedule for communicating
How often co-parents should communicate is not a one-size-fits-all. The frequency of communication will depend on the needs of your children. You should communicate updates about emergencies, school events, big decisions and matters that have deadlines right away.
Communication is essential in co-parenting. The above-discussed tips can help you raise your kids successfully in two homes. If the other parent refuses to cooperate, it may be time to get legal help to protect your parental rights.