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Top Tips For Communication

Learning to communicate in a civilised way following separation and divorce is one of the most common, difficult and practical issues couples have to deal with.

However, it creates an opportunity to show your children that even when difficult things happen, you can still be an extraordinary person, parent, human being.

Your children are watching you, whether that’s at a drop off, reading a text or talking on the phone. Your body language and the sound of your voice gives your children lots of information about what is going on.

  1. Remember you cannot make anyone do anything or behave differently if they don’t want to, but you can change what you do and how you do it. Trying to reason with an ex might be an uphill struggle. Try these practical tips instead.
  1. Make your children the focus of what happens when you communicate with your ex. it’s often easier imagining doing something for them rather than your ex.
  1. Your children are watching you, whether that’s at a drop off, reading a text or talking on the phone. Your body language and the sound of your voice gives your children lots of information about what is going on.
  1. Take control of ‘your end’ of the conversation. Be as polite and business-like as possible, your children are your audience, give them your best performance.
  1. Be civil even if your ex is not, or if you are having an “angry with your ex day” you are demonstrating how to treat human beings to your children.
  1. When texting, remember that you don’t have to respond immediately. Calm down first, write your response on a piece of paper, leave it whilst you calm down some more, then write another response. Then send it.
  1. Lead by example. Over time its difficult to continue being rude to someone who is always polite.
  1. Use ‘I’ statements when communicating, “I feel”, “I would like” they have a transformative effect on the conversation and encourage a less defensive response.
  2. A business-like text or email, requesting a change in communication may not work, but by changing your behaviour and responses if done consistently, will have some effect if not on your ex, then definitely on your children. They will learn quickly who has been calm and kind by simply watching the behaviour of both their parents.

Concentrate on being the best parent you can be, as a parent we ‘reap what we sow’. Just make sure that after you have been, calm, business-like and polite you have friends and family to support you whilst you let off steam.

 

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