5 TIPS TO GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR EX, SO YOU CAN PARENT IN PEACE
Monday, January 28, 2013
5 TIPS TO GETTING
ALONG WITH YOUR EX, SO YOU CAN PARENT IN PEACE
Co-parenting is a challenging proposition.
After a divorce, or anytime when the parents of a child are
no longer together, there are usually lots of hurt feelings along with anger, resentments,
As intelligent grown-ups, we know that it is best for the
child (or children) if the parents can put their problems aside.
In practice, this can be quite difficult.
Below are 5 tips that will help you do your part in
providing a peaceful family life for your child.
1. Step Away From
Here’s a secret – you
don’t have to attend every fight your invited to.
Just because someone may be pushing all your buttons (maybe
on purpose, maybe not) you don’t have to take the bait.
It does not make you weak and it does not mean you are
Exactly the opposite – you are protecting your peace of mind
by not engaging in a worthless argument.
2. Have a Go-To
Phrase – or a Few
So, how do you step away from the ring? How do you disentangle yourself from a
conversation you see leading nowhere good – fast?
Have a go-to phrase that you can rely on to stop the
conversation in its tracks without being mean or nasty.
Here are some examples:
Sorry you feel that way
That’s your opinion
uh-ah, or any other noncommittal sound
Perhaps you are right
These are the STOP
phrases (easy to remember, right?).
I also like "Are you just venting or do you want my advice
(or opinion)?” This one may lead to a
more involved (but hopefully more productive) conversation, so only use it if
you can continue cordially.
Every Battle – Learn to Let Go
Not every disagreement is worth the aggravation.
When something is starting to bring up that fight response
in you, ask yourself "How important is it?”.
A lot of times, we have issues with the rules or situations
playing out at our ex’s house when the children are there.
That is not for us to control. Unless it is something that you would take
action and go to court over (such as abuse, neglect, etc), we need to let it
Our children will not be damaged by going to bed a half hour
later at their dad’s, or by not drinking milk with dinner at their mom’s.
Your job is to provide the best environment you can at your house and let the other stuff go.
4. It’s Time to
So how do you determine if it’s "important” enough to bring
up to your ex?
Wait an hour, or 24, and see if it still seems important enough
to bring up. In most cases, it won’t.
Sometimes you will have to wait longer. If it is an adjustment to a routine or an
on-going situation, you may have to give it a while to play out.
Set a reminder on your calendar for a week or a month. By the time the reminder goes off, you may
have forgotten all about it. Or it may
have morphed into something else that is more acceptable.
Ok, I know your saying "But our divorce is final, why do I
need a mediator?”
Mediation can help with any conflicts that arise between you
and your ex, even after your divorce.
It can help to have a neutral person involved – not to say
who is right and who is wrong – but to help you communicate more effectively
and to assist in the collaboration of a solution.
There are different "levels” of mediation depending on how
tense or hostile your post divorce relationship is.
Of course, in the perfect situation it would be you and your
ex in a room with the mediator to work in what is called a "joint session”.
If that is not possible due to distance or you just don’t
want to be the same room together, technology today allows us to use Skype or
even just an email discourse where the mediator can be the go between.
But what if my ex refuses to work together on this? Don’t both parties have to be willing for
mediation to work? Well, yes. Mediation is for people who both agree to
give it a try.
However, a mediator can also work one on one with you as a
coach to at least help you in dealing with your ex through teaching communication
and conflict resolution skills.
You always have the choice to control your behavior and do
your part in order to make the co-parenting experience as peaceful as possible
for yourself and your children.
You will be setting a great example for your kids and, who
knows, by changing your behavior you just might inspire your ex to do the same.
About the Author: Nicole
is a Mediator, Conflict Resolution Coach, and founder of SerenityAfterDivorce.com
where she helps women deal with divorce. To
find out the biggest mistakes women make after a divorce, grab her free special report.