Modern communication tools make it easier for people to get in touch with one another. While on the surface, one would think this might help people. But, it can make a bad situation much worse. Often this is caused by what is initially thought to be a quick message. However, that “quick message” can be easily misinterpreted. Quick messages often lack punctuation and are sent as a reaction to current circumstances. Therefore, there is no thought to how it will be received.
Most high conflict divorced or divorcing parents struggle with communication with one another. They do not how to produce communication that is not insulting in some way. Even when they do not mean to, ex-partners do not know how to receive communication without feeling insulted in some way, even when none was intended.
Talking the talk, texting and emailing the talk
Co-parents should actually communicate with as few words as are needed to solve a problem, or only communicate important information.
Don’t DO: Our Boys have been chosen as class representatives after a long and successful campaign. I helped them with their speeches and made the buttons which they distributed as part of their respective campaigns.
I am proud to say they will be honoured at a cupcake ceremony in the school auditorium on 17th January at 9:30 AM. I am hoping we can be civilised to one another so as not to ruin the boys’ morning. I know I can be.
Better to say/write…
The boys have been elected class representatives. So I am passing along that there will be a ceremony in the school auditorium on 17th January at 9:30AM. The kids would love seeing us both there.
Problems with the DON’T DO communication…
- It is boastful and the receiver of the communication might interpret that it is meant to say that the sender does expend enough effort with the children.
- Similar with saying “I am proud” – parents should also not refer to the children as “my” children. A mistake this parent avoided in line one
- The line that “hopes” to have civilized contact is passive aggressive. High conflict co-parents should not give each other advice on how to behave, rather they should show their own offers of good faith.
Remember! communication is good but the correct way to communicate is just as important.