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How can I improve communication with my ex?

Effectively co-parenting with your ex can seem like a constant uphill battle. While you both want what's best for your kids, you might also have a hard time finding common ground due to hurt and resentment caused by your split. Communicating effectively can make a big difference in this case, as explained by HelpGuide.org.

The way you frame statements to your ex can have quite an impact. For instance, instead of demanding your former spouse do something, try making it a request instead. You can also solicit his or her opinion from time to time. While you'll probably disagree, asking for your ex's opinion shows that your value their input when it comes to child-rearing. 

In the same token, keep conversations focused on your child and his or her needs. The goal of all meetings should be to make decisions in the best interest of your child. While you or your ex might feel strongly about your own needs, these should take a backseat to the needs of your child. This can be difficult, especially when your relationship with your ex is strained. In this case, try not to take barbs and slights personally. Showing restraint allows you to talk consistently with your ex, which is a must when it comes to parenting. 

If you find the above difficult, try treating your former spouse as a business colleague or co-worker. Use a polite, civil tone at all times and limit topics of conversation to matters involving your kids alone. Listen to what the other parent is saying, even if you disagree with his or her thoughts on the matter. If you're uncomfortable meeting in person, use text or email to reduce stress and tension between you. 

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