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Maintaining composure in stressful co-parenting situations

When you and your child’s other parent are raising your child in two different households, conflict is bound to arise from time to time. Parents who live together also inevitably engage in conflict. However, there is a certain pressure placed upon co-parents to resolve their differences in relatively peaceful and amicable ways because they otherwise risk a host of negative consequences that could impact their child’s development and could imperil an otherwise successful child custody arrangement.

As such, it is important for co-parents to maintain cool, calm composure whenever possible. It is not necessary or healthy to beat yourself up if you cannot always maintain this kind of approach. You are only human. However, your wellbeing and your child’s wellbeing will benefit from your consistent commitment to remaining calm and collected during confrontations with your co-parent.

Though it is far easier said than done, focusing on your breath and recommitting to your child’s best interests can help you maintain your composure during stressful interactions with your co-parent.

If you tend to raise your voice during phone conversations, carry around a picture of your child or hold one of your child’s favorite toys as you talk to your co-parent. This object will help to remind you of what is really important and can help to remind you to speak as calmly as you would if your child was in the room with you.

In addition, if you struggle with keeping your cool during face-to-face interactions, try communicating more frequently via a website that caters to co-parents. There are a number of great tools out there that will help you to navigate stressful interactions with your child’s other parent in a calmer and more effective way.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Keeping Your Cool When Kids Lose Theirs, Part Two,” Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz, April 7, 2014

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