It can be difficult to communicate with your former spouse after divorce. For this reason, we developed some tips to help you communicate, without the conflict. Always remember, to give us a call if you or someone you know, would benefit from our services.
Keep things businesslike
Use a strictly professional tone when communicating with the other parent. Avoid using endearments, sharing personal information, or behaving in a manner that can be deemed inappropriate in any way. An overly friendly demeanor can send mixed messages. Stay cordial, and keep emotions out of your communication.
Avoid using negative or rude language towards the other parent around your children. Although you may think your child “isn’t old enough to understand”, “is old enough to understand”, children still do pick up on your emotions and feelings when speaking to the other parent. Adding your conflict with the other parent, can cause poor maladaptive behaviors from the children. They may feel the need to “take sides” to protect a parent.
Don’t constantly place blame
Be conscious of the way you address the other person in person, on the phone, and in texts and/or emails. Avoid blaming statements, which typically begins with phrases such as “You did…” or “You are so…” this kind of wordage can easily be interpreted as an attack and, can trigger defense mechanisms that are counterproductive to positive progress. As an alternative, try to focus on using a majority of “I” statements. Always remember to remain constructive.
Take emotion out of the communications.
When the other parent has done or said something to upset you, try taking a breather before you respond. Sometimes, it may not even be worth the frustration to respond at all! If speaking on the telephone always end up in yelling or screaming, try a different type of documented communication like text or email. Even if that doesn’t work well for you, there are parenting communication software programs, like MyFamilyWizard, that can be a great medium of communication for you.
Realize that everything you say and/or write can be used as evidence against you.
Be on your guard and think before you speak. Refrain from discussing any subject matter that might prove detrimental to you in the future. Ask yourself if anything can be done with the information you are about to disclose. Phrase delicate material carefully or, better yet, don’t say it at all.