Are you dreading the summer holidays because of the stress it will take to communicate with your co-parent? If so, you are not alone. The summer is a great time to spend with your kids, but it can also be very stressful for parents dealing with separation and divorce. One false move can spell disaster.
Communicating with your co-parent during the summer can be more challenging because of the additional childcare pressures. However, a little planning on how to make things work for everyone involved can go a long way to keep relations calm and peaceful so you can enjoy the holidays.
Here are some tips on how to communicate with your co-parent for a happy and successful summer:
Be clear about your expectations
Before you start planning your summer, sit down and talk about what you each want — and don’t want — from this season. How much time will you both spend with the kids? And how often? Where will the pickup and drop-offs take place? And what activities will you do? Will they visit their grandparents? Go on holiday? When will we check in or not? And how much communication is too much communication?
It’s important to remember that as co-parents, you’re not just responsible for your child but also for your ex-partner’s child. If you want your co-parent to feel safe and comfortable when they’re around your kids, then you need to treat them well yourself. Be polite and show respect at all times.
Find out what the other parent wants
The best way to avoid conflict is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you can ask questions about what the other parent wants, you can ensure that both of you are on the same page with child-related decisions.
If you’re angry or frustrated, don’t let your feelings boil over into an argument. If your co-parent doesn’t respond quickly enough or does something you don’t like, and you feel yourself getting angry, take yourself out of the situation until you’ve calmed down and can use a controlled and appropriate response.
Stay calm if there’s an issue
If something happens between you and your co-parent — whether it’s something big or small — try not to accuse each other immediately, especially if it’s something minor like forgetting to wash clothes or leaving a toy behind.
Respect each other’s boundaries when it comes to communicating with each other
Some parents prefer email, while others like texting or phone calls better. Find out what works best for both of you, so there is no miscommunication between you regarding communication methods used during this time.
Some of the issues discussed are unique to divorced parents. But most of this advice applies to any parent, not just separated or divorced ones. Communication is key in any parenting situation, while courtesy and respect are never out of place with children. Plus, it’s always worth keeping your child’s best interests in mind when making decisions.