Stay kid focused
- Instead of making statements, which can be misinterpreted as demands, try framing as much as you can as a request.
- Ask his or her opinion
- Use nice words and kind behaviors. Be clear, calm and specific in your requests.
- Keep parenting issues separate from money issues
- Develop a written plan for conducting communication via telephone, fax, or e-mail.
- Move away from blaming and toward problem solving. Be honest, it’s not usually “all the other parent’s fault.”
- Be courteous and respectful even if you believe the other parent is undeserving.
- If you have trouble being courteous, imagine that the other parent is a close, friend and act toward your -spouse as you would toward a friend you really like. Impossible? Try it!
- Do not expect the other parent to read your mind or to meet your needs.
- Don’t expect praise or appreciation from the other parent.
- Keep the children out of the middle of conflict.
- Be careful to monitor your language.
- You should think of your relationship with the other parent as a business relationship.
- Be patient.
- Be a voice of reason, not of agitation.
- Watch your language.
- Be clear, calm and specific in your requests.
- Speak politely not negatively about the other parent.
- Learn how to separate your role as a former mate from that of a parent.
- All email or text communications should be appropriate and respectful.
- Emails and text messages should provide either relevant information for the other parent (FYI) or invite the other parent into a decision-making process.
- No disparaging comments and complaints about the other parent should be included in the communication.
- If the email or text message is to encourage decision-making, the parent should try to conclude the email or text with a question like “what do you think?” in order to encourage collaboration.