If divorce only involved you and your ex, you could go your separate ways. You no longer have to deal with arguing or fighting to be heard. But if you have children, co-parenting without talking will not be so convenient. Compared to custody and parenting arrangements from only a few decades ago, co-parenting has wholly changed. Today, split custody is standard, with the focus being on what is best for the children.
The crucial part of co-parenting is healthy communication. And while you may have divorced because of poor communication, it may seem impossible for the two of you to cooperate now. There can be several reasons that parents do not talk after their divorce – usually because of personal schedules, new partners, shame, conflicting communication styles, and even dislike for one another. There are alternative parenting options to co-parenting, but you and your ex will have extra challenges if there is no communication. And no matter which approach you choose, the needs of your child should also go first. Co-parenting can only work with healthy communication.
A few critical components to healthy co-parenting include:
- Open dialogue between parents
- No bad-mouthing the other parent
- Consistent rules in both households
- Cordial interactions at school and in public
Raising kids demands a lot of communication, so in reality, co-parenting without talking is impossible. But communication can be packaged in a variety of ways. If you and your ex are committed to co-parenting instead of sole guardianship, you will need to rise to the occasion. You may not feel great having to talk to or be nice in person, but choose how you will communicate, whether it is texting, emails, online schedulers, and commit to doing so in a healthy way.