Part 3 - Open Dialogue Communication
Some want to call it "Open Dialogue", I just want to call it "Dialogue that is civil and simple". Sometimes co-parents are too open with the other co-parent and say too much that creates more conflict. Especially a manipulator they want to get their way and do it in a way that creates more disputes between the two. Manipulation is never honest, so you never get honest results.
An open dialogue doesn't mean that you are constantly emailing texting or phoning each other about everything going on in your lives. You do have personal lives, keep it personal. What it does mean is that you're in regular consistent communication with each other about your children. Especially about the things that impact their well-being, their lives. Consistent communication about only the issues that affect the children's lives is encouraged, but don't go overboard. Consistent communication doesn't mean every five minutes, or on the hour or half hour, it just means when something needs to be addressed about the child's needs.
Conversations don't need to be face to face. Use a set communication style that works for you - text email or even a communication service designed for co-parenting. There are several services out there that I like and suggest for co-parenting. It is a way to document everything, and I have even had during the mediation period the co-parents have put me on their apps so I can follow the communication process. I am a real stickler to have a communication plan within the parenting agreement. It is very important.
Our Family Wizard - https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ is one that is used regularly by the courts and co-parents. A good article on co-parenting aps is: www.momjunction.com/articles/co-parenting-apps_00651599/
The more important key here is to communicate openly, consistently and with integrity and to communicate with your co-parent without the help of your children. Leave your children out of your communication between co-parents. It never works and hurts the child. If you have something to say or request of the other co-parent do with directly with them through your chosen communication process. Do not involve your kids. It is not fair or civil.
In your parenting plan, make sure both co-parents understand what the boundaries are in the communication process as co-parents. If you go beyond the boundaries, then you will be coming back into mediation to resolve the issues. Communicate within boundaries.
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.