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Tips for communicating with a co-parent to reduce stress

One of the most difficult things for a divorced parent is to continue to communicate with their ex about the children. Unfortunately, there isn't usually a way that you can avoid this, so coming up with a plan to reduce the stress during the communication becomes a priority. Even if you can't make every interaction joyful, you might be able to at least remove some of the negativity.

There are circumstances that might make this difficult. For example, a narcissistic ex can mean that you rarely have a decent conversation. No matter what type of situation you are dealing with, you can often find ways to make things a little easier.

Leave the past behind

You are probably hurt and angry after the divorce. While this is understandable, you can't let those negative emotions rule what you do in the child custody situation. Remember that the past is gone and you have to move forward. Your ex can be a great parent even if they were a horrible spouse. An exception is if your ex was abusive toward the children. You should alert the court so the judge can determine whether provisions are necessary.

Focus on respect

Having respectful communication with your ex can instantly reduce stress. This also sets a positive example for the children because they will see that you don't have to get along to behave in a civil manner. This also increases the likelihood that you and your ex will be able to work through contentious matters without a lot of drama. If your ex does try to engage you in a heated conversation, take a step back. You can always discuss the matter once both adults have had time to calm down.

Put the kids first

It is easy to focus on what is hardest for your ex or easiest for you, but this doesn't fit the situation. Instead, keep the focus on the children. This should make it easier to make decisions since you are going to think only of how the options impact the kids.

You also need to ensure that you have a detailed parenting plan so you can refer to it when there are questions. This should be set according to the child's needs now because you can have it modified in the future if the situation changes.

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