Successful coparenting requires good communication, and research shows that children whose parents make an effort to communicate effectively with one another fare better in the months and years following a divorce. One small thing that you can do to improve positive communication between you and your ex is to meet regularly to talk about raising your children. Here are some tips to help structure each meeting:
1. Set a Business-Like Tone During Your Coparenting MeeetingsMoving forward, try to look at your relationship with your ex as a business partnership. In many ways, it is. You share the common goal of raising your children. You may not like each other, and communicating together will certainly be challenging, but the success of your "business" - your children's healthy adjustment - depends on it.
2. Meet WeeklyBe committed to meeting on a consistent basis, such as weekly. This will convey the message to your children that - when it comes to raising them - you are indeed a united front. Yes, this will be extremely difficult in the early stages of your divorce or separation. However, keep your focus centered on your common goals - the children - and the meetings will get easier with time.
3. Communicate Through the Phone and E-mail
You do not have to meet in person! In many cases, talking on the phone or using email is preferable. That's okay as long as you are committed to communicating with one another using whatever medium is most productive for the two of you.
5. Stay Focused on the Kids During Your Coparenting Meeting
The purpose of your coparenting meetings is to work together in raising your children, which is not going to happen unless you make the effort to communicate effectively with one another. Therefore, each of you must make a conscious decision to stay focused on the kids during these meetings. It's not the time for personal discussions or rehashing conflicts in your relationship. If you need to schedule time for those kinds of discussions, do it separate from your regular coparenting meeting. Also, try to set a time limit for your meetings, such as 30 minutes.