If separating from one’s spouse after several years of a relationship and a life built together hurts, it is important to maintain healthy and constructive communication for the good of the children. But how can we continue the dialogue despite the end of the relationship? Here are a few ideas.
Whatever the reasons, a break-up very often provokes tensions and arguments. It’s a world that’s falling apart, a story that’s coming to an end and a life that needs to be rebuilt. This is often a difficult situation, experienced by 40% of america parents. And it is not because we have children together that things are easier, quite the contrary! Not being in love anymore and continuing to be parents can be very complicated to manage, and communication is often difficult.
TALKING LIKE PARENTS WHEN YOU ARE SEPARATED
Not being together and talking to each other as parents is not always easy, but it can be done. Here are three tips for successful “parenting” conversations.
1. SEE THE GOOD IN CHILDREN
You have the right to be angry with your ex, not to like what he is becoming or the way he is doing this or that. But taking children hostage under the pretext that you can’t stand their daddy any more will only make the children suffer and fuel the tension. It is therefore important, when you have to make decisions about children (childcare, choice of school, discussion about education….), to focus on what is essential: the good of the children.
Think about their benefits and comfort as well as their emotional balance. To achieve this ideal of a relationship, it is important to put your ego aside and act with the children in mind, not your own grievances. Indeed, many parents boast that they see “only the good of their children” but do not hesitate to hold them hostage, refusing any constructive communication with the other parent. If you do this, one thing you can be sure of is that your children will suffer.
2. MOVE ON
The separation is real. Whether it happened a few months ago or a few years ago, it seems clear that nothing will change, and that your paths have parted. In order to communicate successfully as parents, it is important to leave the past for what it is and move on with your life. Letting go of resentments and moving forward will really help you to communicate peacefully together for the benefit of the children.
3. THINK OF THE OTHER AS “MY CHILD’S PARENT”.
He was your love, your companion, your friend. And yet today, he is “only” your ex. But, above all, he is the father of your children, and a person they love as much as you do. And if you certainly have one or the other thing (or even more) to reproach him for, he is and will remain “the other parent of your children”.
Seeing your ex-partner as “the parent” and no longer as your lover will help you put less emotion into your relationship with him and, as this article says several times, have serene and constructive communication, for the good of your children.