Getting along with the other parent
You have a child or children together but no longer remain in a relationship. Do you get along with the other parent? If not, it’s IMPERATIVE that you actively make changes. Whether you like it or not, the reality is that the two of you are “co-parents”. I realize that there are thousands of former couples who now share a child or children and find it very difficult to get along or agree on parenting issues. You may find yourself arguing about everything from where the child should go to school to what kind of nutritional habits they should have or what type of clothing they wear. The issues becomes more complex if you feel your former partner mistreated you, had an affair, has remarried or at the very worst, is not involved in the care of or raising the children. If you conduct a quick Google search, you’ll find thousand of articles, discussion groups and concerns. So many people struggle with the issues. So what can you do?
First, as mentioned before, you must take action to try and make peace. It is known that sometimes there are people who make it very difficult to have peace. But your focus should not be on THEIR actions and words but on your OWN actions and words. Because at the end of the day, the only person you can control is you. Knowing how much you love your child or children, you must be especially vigilant in working to not only have peace with your former partner but ultimately, have effective and mature communication.
There are some key points to focus on when communicating with your child’s other parent. There are also some key points to remember when you are discussing your former partner, especially when your children are present.
Communicating with your child’s parent:
· Focus on facts and solutions.
· Remain emotionally detached, if possible. (This may sound difficult but remind yourself that each interaction is only temporary – you don’t have to spend the whole talking with your ex)
· Remind yourself that you are doing this for your child.
· Refrain from verbal assaults, accusations or “advising” – it’s not your job to change the other parent.
When your children are present:
· Avoid emotional “outbursts”.
· Avoid complaining about the other parent.
· Find something positive to say about the other parent, this may be tough but start with the following: “I’m really glad daddy helped bring you into the world”
You’ll be surprised how easily positive words come to your mouth when you begin changing your thoughts. This is process is not just to benefit your child but also benefits you by releasing negative energy you may have pent up inside. Below is a list of books to peruse or check out from the library. There is an old scripture that may also help you:
“Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible”.