Conflict is a part a life and potentially even more so if you and your ex-partner are co-parents. If you don’t find strategies to manage and resolve conflicts that arise it can become extremely taxing on yourselves but also your children.
Not only does resolving your conflict in a positive and healthy way ease the stress of co-parenting, but importantly reassures your children, whist also teaching them valuable skills. E.G how to work together to work out differences as well as how to effectively communicated and negotiate to solve problems effectively.
Before any conflict actually occurs, successful conflict resolution starts with building a plan on how you and your co-parent hope to resolve any conflict in the future. For example this could include but not be limited to how conflict is communicated to each other (face-to-face, phone call, email etc.)
It’s important to be mindful of the words and tone you use with your co-parent if you wish to reduce or avoid conflict. Using words that deliberately offend or hurt will only exacerbate and prolong the conflict.
For many co-parents who struggle with conflict, rethinking their relationship with their ex-partner as now a business partner can be helpful. By looking at the relationship as a business partnership can take out the emotion whilst also making any communication feel less personal.
Related Article: Tips And Tools To Minimise The Effects Of Separation On Children
An obvious but essential point is to remember that your children should come first. When decision-making conversations come up remember to keep the focus and conversation on what is in the best interest of your children and their needs. The focus should be to meet your children’s needs and reach agreements that are in favour of them rather than meeting your own or your co-parents wants.
As the saying goes “assumption is the mother of all mistakes” and is often the root of a great deal of conflict. However, we all make assumptions, particularly with people we think we know well. To avoid making assumptions that can lead to conflict ask for clarification or ask questions to help you understand where your co-parent is coming from.
Conflict often creates tunnel vision; we’re convinced that our opinion is correct and any alternative opinion is therefore incorrect. By being open minded when discussing all options to a problem gives you the best chance to resolving the conflict quickly, whilst also creating a solution together that everyone is happy with.
Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email [email protected]