When you go through a divorce and have children with your ex, you’re going to have to learn healthy communication strategies. Being able to communicate respectfully can make the situation much easier for everyone, including your children.
One thing that co-parents must remember is that children shouldn’t be used as messengers between their parents. When the kids are forced to relay messages from one parent to another, they can suffer greatly. The emotional turmoil this causes can be far-reaching.
How do parents use kids as messengers?
Using the kids to pass messages back and forth about the schedule, school or anything else is only one of the ways that parents may use their kids as messengers as a divorce. Parents will also use their children as a spare set of “eyes and ears” on the other parent, and question their children about what the other parent is doing, who they are seeing and so on.
Another issue that comes up is that a parent will (often accidentally) use their children to broadcast displeasure at the other parent. They may criticize their co-parent’s behavior or life in front of the kids, and the kids may take that message back with them on the next visitation day.
How should parents communicate?
It’s always best to communicate directly with your co-parent. If both adults can remain respectful, this might be done through talking. Some parents find that written communication is a better option since there is a record of what’s being said. No matter how you communicate, be sure to keep things almost business-like.
You can put the communication strategies you will use in the parenting plan that governs the co-parenting situation. This helps to ensure that both parents are on the same page about what’s going to happen. Your attorney can help you to get this plan together.