As parents of children who are going through a divorce with you, you should know that limiting conflict is the best thing you can do for them. Children who are caught in the middle of conflicts may struggle in many ways, so it's up to parents to do their best to be respectful to one another and to help make life easier for their children.
Reducing conflict can be easier said than done, but there are some wonderful tips to help you do so. Your children will thank you if you're able to reduce the aggression and anxiety that they're exposed to.
What are some good ways to reduce conflict between co-parents?
There are dozens of ways to address conflicts, but there are a few that are specifically designed to help co-parents. Some include:
- Reducing your propensity to encourage conflict
- Controlling your emotions
- Staying respectful
- Learning new coping skills
- Avoiding loyalty conflicts
Removing the propensity for conflicts
To reduce your reaction to a conflict, you have to know how to speak out respectfully. Are you upset that your children have met your ex-partner's new girlfriend or boyfriend? Are you mad about a new pet or other issue? Reacting in a reasonable way can help reduce conflicts related to those situations. For example, instead of yelling at your ex-spouse for introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend, it's worth having a gentle conversation about why it bothers you.
Control your emotions
The next thing to do is to remember that you have control over your emotions. Lashing out, yelling or screaming all shut down communication so pause to respond insted of reacting impulsively and emotionally.
A good way to avoid conflicts of all types is to stay respectful of the other person. Even if you don't agree with them, you can have a cordial and civil attitude toward them and their beliefs.
Learn to cope
Learning new methods to cope with conflict during divorce can be a massive help during and after divorce. You can go to a class about conflict resolution or learn about meditation. Whatever you do, if it will reduce anxiety and stress, it's bound to help.
Avoid loyalty conflicts
Finally, avoid loyalty conflicts. Don't put your children in the middle or make them feel bad about loving their other parent. They are already in a difficult position without that additional stress.
These are a few ways to help cope with and reduce conflicts. Respect and good coping mechanisms can go a long way toward reducing conflicts.