Communication Tips


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.