When you are working with your ex to raise your child, it is easy for conversations to spiral out of control.
Tempers can run hot, you may both be stressed, and even small parenting disagreements can feel daunting and scary.
Suddenly, a simple conversation becomes a major argument.
When that happens, what do you do? How can you resolve arguments, so you can both make smart parenting decisions together?
One of the most effective ways of resolving arguments is to simply shift your focus.
The Art of Shifting Your Focus
Try these easy techniques that help you shift your focus away from anger, and onto what really matters.
Focus On Your Child
When you’re speaking to your ex, it’s easy to get bogged down - especially when you focus on old grudges, or issues between you.
Instead, keep the focus on your child. Your child’s wellbeing is something you can both agree about, and this will help you find common ground.
Walk Two Moons
There’s an old saying that goes, “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his sandals.”
It is so easy to judge an ex, without considering his position. Instead, think about how your ex may be feeling, and what he may be experiencing right now. Putting yourself in your ex’s shoes may help you connect and communicate in a way that resonates.
Remember, It’s Temporary
You and your ex are connected because of your child - but you won’t have to deal with the same issues forever. Your child is growing, changing, and developing; and with that growth, your parenting responsibilities will shift.
When you’re working with your ex to raise your child, it’s easy to feel stuck. Remind yourself not to waste time stressing about issues that will soon be a thing of the past.
Shift Your Mindset
Are you constantly venting about your ex to your friends? Do you gripe about him silently to yourself? Ever find yourself approaching conversations with anger - even before they’ve begun?
Try shifting your mindset. Approach conversations with a smile, say something positive about your ex to a friend, notice something that he did that was helpful. Simply shifting your mindset will help transform your communication style.
It’s easy to get stuck in an argument that isn’t going anywhere. So, be willing to come back to tough topics with a fresh eye.
Sometimes, walking away and coming back at a different time gives you both space to think and reflect, and you may both come back with new perspectives and valuable ideas.
Small Shifts Have Big Impact
Even small changes in your focus can have a major impact on how you speak together. Try making some small changes today, and you’ll be amazed by the transformation in your co-parenting relationship.
Summary of Parts I and II: Part one of this article talks about smart communication techniques, and part two looks at easy ways to find resources that will help transform your communication style.