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How can you co-parent with a difficult ex-spouse?

If you are struggling with constant arguments and intrusions from a co-parent, it can cause massive amounts of stress. Not only can this situation frustrate you, but it can also take time away from you parenting your child to the best of your ability.

Learning how to discuss ideas calmly and effectively can help you both communicate better and work together.

Focus on the future

According to Healthline, one of the biggest mistakes co-parents make is bringing up old arguments or worries from years ago. This can lead to a continued sense of tension that makes it hard to talk about important topics like your child’s education.

Instead of bringing up old arguments, try starting fresh. Focus only on the conversation currently going on and do not talk about any previous disagreements you had with your co-parent.

Schedule ahead of time

Discussing when you both want to take vacations over the upcoming year is important. You can avoid many arguments about childcare if you agree months ahead of time where your children will stay over the holidays.

Being consistent and direct about what you want or expect is the best way to get an outcome you both agree with.

Listen carefully

While you may react strongly to what he or she says, you should make sure to listen as much or more than you respond to your co-parent. Making sure to not interrupt him or her while speaking.

One way to test whether or not you fully understand what your co-parent is saying is to repeat back what you heard in your own words. If he or she needs to clarify, this can help you understand what you missed.