Adjustments and transitions are part of divorce. The conflicts that led to the end of your marriage may be dormant – but only slightly – and can surface at any time with the right trigger. And with your children having seen, heard and remembered the spats that took place at home, you know that your post-divorce communication methods can only improve. And they must.
Working together may not have been a strong suit when you were married. However, now, you must work together to ensure that your children remain steered onto the path of a healthy upbringing. Post-divorce, you must remember that if you want to be an effective parent, you must build a foundation that includes effective communication. This not only includes interactions between former spouses, but effective communication with your children as well.
Being a good role model for your children
As parents, your goal is to continue to raise your children in the best ways and setting solid examples for them. This includes getting along with others, and, in this situation, getting along with your former spouse. Your relationship may no longer be a warm one, but it can be civil.
Your children continue to need stability, and that has not changed. Maintaining stable relationships with both parents is crucial in their formative years. However, if the parents have a frayed relationship and continue to bicker, your children get mixed messages and becomes torn between the two of you.
Here are some of the pointers that can open the channels of better communication between you and your former spouse:
- Talk about what matters: Share highlights about school and results from your child’s health and medical appointments. Do not leave the other parent in the dark. It also is important to share milestones such as the first lost tooth, being chosen for the school play, experiences from volunteer opportunities and indelible moments from a recent trip.
- Promptly respond to texts, emails and phone messages: Especially when the communiques are related to your children. Passive-aggressiveness between former spouses does not cut it. Continue to work together when raising your children.
- Be civil in front of the children: Avoid shouting, criticizing and lecturing.
- Listen: Listen to each other and listen to your children. This will help you become more empathetic as well as understand the concerns your children have.
Being a good role model is important, and so is maintaining open lines of communication with your former spouse. Your actions may encourage and reassure your children who know that both of their parents love them.