When it comes to successful co-parenting nothing paves the way better than effective communication. But we know how hard it can be.
The benefit to your children though is enormous, so it’s worth investing some time and effort to learn how to communicate better.
Communication is the cornerstone of co-parenting
It’s a joint effort folks, and communication is the glue that holds it all together. As parents, you need to be able to consult each other on important matters and communicate about your children’s routines, achievements, and struggles. Both being on the same page provides stability and a sense of security for your children too.
Common traps people fall into
- Talking but not really communicating effectively. In other words, you may talk and share information frequently, but still feel like the other person is not hearing what you are saying. This can lead to false assumptions, misunderstandings, and bickering.
- Having different routines and rules enforced when your children are staying at each other’s house, can cause stress and confusion for the children.
Parenting through separation
A great first step is to enrol in a Parenting Through Separation course in your area. It’s a free course offered by different providers around New Zealand for parents who are actively separating or have recently separated. The course aims to give you tools to navigate the separation process, resolve disagreements about the children, and strengthen your communication between one another.
If you’ve done the Parenting Through Separation course but are still having issues, counselling can be a hugely beneficial way to work further on strengthening your communication. Remember it is for the sake of your children and a counsellor will work with you individually or together in joint sessions to discover where the communication is breaking down and provide you with some tools to help.
After separating, if all else fails some parents may need to apply to the Family Court for assistance to resolve disputes regarding care arrangements or other important decisions like where your children are going to live and go to school.
Good communication between parents is essential for a child’s well-being so Family Court Judges will often order parents who are engaged in court proceedings to attend communication counselling sessions to improve the effectiveness of communications between you.
One of the most important things you can do for your children after a separation is to work out how to communicate properly as parents. Every co-parenting relationship is different but the one thing they all have in common is that a communication breakdown can damage what is often already a fragile relationship.
Just know that there are resources available to help you if you feel like you’re trying to talk but not getting anywhere.