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How to approach frustrating arguments with your co-parent

When two adults opt to parent their mutual children from different households, communication issues are bound to arise at one point or another. Whether you generally get along with your co-parent or you frankly cannot stand your co-parent, chances are good that you and your former partner argue either occasionally or frequently.

When arguments arise regarding child custody, child support or parenting matters, it can be easy to start playing the blame game. After all, if you can rationally or irrationally pin the blame for the situation at hand on your co-parent, he or she will have to come around to your view of things, right? If only communication between co-parents was this easy.

The blame game is an absolutely vicious pursuit that almost no one ever truly wins. This is because even if you blame your co-parent and he or she accepts that blame, the issue you are arguing about still will not have achieved resolution. Rather than blaming your co-parent during an escalating argument, it is important to focus on resolving the issue at hand.

In most co-parenting partnerships, the wellbeing of the child or children is the most important mutual value within that partnership. When an argument starts to escalate, try to focus instead on what needs to get done in order to further your child’s best interests and wellbeing. This simple shift in perspective can make all the difference to the outcome of the confrontation.

If you cannot achieve this shift in perspective right away, do not fret. Take a short break, take some deep breaths and try again to refocus for your benefit and your child’s benefit.

Source: The Huffington Post, “6 Ways to Stop the "Blame Game" and Resolve Conflicts With a Partner,” Terry Gaspard, March 14, 2014

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