You might not realize just how much your choice of words can impact your co-parenting relationship and help your children; however, this is actually a very important part of making the situation successful. When you are thinking about what you are going to say, you shouldn’t choose words, phrases or a tone of voice that are demeaning or rude. Instead, respect has to govern all communications in a relationship between divorced parents.
There are some words and phrases that should become part of your regular arsenal. These can all help to improve communication and get things on the right track.
- My co-parent: Try not to refer to your child’s other parent as your ex. By calling that person your co-parent, you are acknowledging that there is a current parenting relationship established.
- Our family: Co-parenting isn’t an us versus them situation. Instead, both parents are branches of the same parenting relationship. This also reassures the children that they are still part of one big family instead of having to be divided between two distinct families.
- Our children: Saying “my children” implies that you are the only parent. Get into the habit of saying “our children” as a reminder to you and the children that they do have two parents who are active in their rearing.
- Mistakes happen: Berating your co-parent over mistakes strains the relationship. Instead, use this phrase as a reminder that mistakes will happen and then try to find solutions to overcome the issues.
You might have more phrases to add to this list. Just like co-parenting is a customized situation based on the child’s needs, your vocabulary choices must be based on what the circumstances require at the time.