How do I talk to my children’s other parent
about things that annoy me?
Discussing concerns with your co-parent about their parenting can be challenging, especially when it bothers you. In my Superstar Co-Parenting Program, a dedicated 1-1 coaching program, we frequently address this common issue. When asked how to approach these conversations, it’s crucial to remember that when your children are with their other parent, they hold responsibility for their daily decisions and needs.
What are day-to-day needs?
Unlike the issues that fall under parental responsibility – schooling, living location, name, religion and big health decisions – day-to-day needs are things like what food your children will eat, what sport they might play, who they interact with and how they spend their time.
So how do you talk to your children’s other parent when you’re really upset?
Some issues need to be kept in context – was that waterfall your 5yo was climbing really as high as it looked in the picture on Facebook? Is having a varied, nutritionally balanced vegan diet in one home really going to affect them? Some things might really bug you. Maybe you’ve called for your regular phone contact and your kids are drinking Pepsi or your tween is having a coffee. What should or can you do about it?
This is what I teach in my co-parenting workshop:
1. If you bring it up, are things likely to change for the better?
2. Will the communication be respectful and worthwhile?
3. Would you feel ok being asked questions about this if the situation were reversed?
If you answer ‘no’ to any of these 3 Question’s, just follow the Frozen song and ‘let it go’ ….
If it just create conflict, not change anything and you would think it petty or unimportant if they discussed it with you, walk away.
This is a difficult skill to master. Releasing change is crucial for personal and child’s mental health, requiring practice and a well-thought-out response to reset the body from increased stress levels.
The easiest way to ‘reset’ is just to take a couple of deep breaths and exhale slowly. Your body gets a hit of oxygen and your mind will start to clear. The anxiety and anger begin to dissipate. You don’t need to talk to your children’s other parent about everything or even all the things that upset you.
There’s a saying : ‘perfect practice makes perfect’. However, it’s not accurate. Perfect practice makes perfect. There’s actually no need to be a perfect parent or a perfect co-parenting. In fact, there’s no such thing!.