After a divorce, you and your ex are no longer spouses, but you still share responsibilities as parents. In order to carry out this duty effectively, good communication skills are necessary, even if you don't get along. How you communicate with your ex affects your child's well-being and sense of order. Here are a few tips for keeping the lines of communication positive and healthy after a divorce:
- Work with your ex on setting up new rules and routines. This is especially important right after a divorce, as children tend to prefer staying at their old home and change can be difficult. Knowing what is expected can be comforting for a child.
- Don't let your children play the role of messenger between you and your ex. If you have something that needs to be said to your ex, take care of it yourself. Acting as a messenger can put an undue psychological burden on your child.
- Don't put down your ex in front of your child. Children tend to internalize what they hear. If they hear that their other parent did bad things or was a bad person, they might start to think that they are bad too. Work through your frustrations with a counselor instead.
In all of your communications, be direct, calm and reasonable. You might have a hard time dealing with the pain and other feelings you have related to the divorce, but they don't need to be expressed during a parenting communication session. Treat co-parenting as a business partnership where both you and your ex are working together to raise your child as best as possible with a set of mutually agreeable terms.