tips for communicating with your baby’s other parent

Source: one tough job

Communicating with your baby’s other parent can help build your child’s self-esteem and decrease the stress in your family’s life. It’s important for the two of you to work together for your baby.

The Children's Trust created this list of tips to help moms and dads parent togther, regardless of whether or not you are in a committmed, romantic relationship.

listen

They say you have two ears and one mouth so you can listen more than you talk. Many conflicts arise because one parent doesn’t want to listen to the other parent. Try it for even five minutes in your next conversation and see if it helps. Learn to develop patience with the other parent. It will help when you have to be patient with your child.

talk

It would be nice if the other parent could read your mind. It may seem like you’ve shared your point 100 times. But, for the sake of your child, be willing to say what you are thinking and feeling more than once.

be safe

Sometimes people in relationships annoy each other. You may feel like yelling or hitting when you argue. Keep it safe! If you feel like you want to hurt the other parent or if you don’t feel safe, take a break from the discussion.

watch your language

The words you use with the other parent are important. Avoid words that insult or demean. Even in fun, words can hurt. If you insult the other parent of your child, you are insulting your child too. Build up, don’t tear down, the members of your family.

request what you want

We know the other parent makes mistakes, which can be frustrating. Rather than complain about the things you don’t like, request the behavior you want. For example, say “Please come on time when you pick us up” instead of “You’re always late.”

compromise

Unless it’s a clear health or safety issue, giving in a little to the other partner’s wishes will help parents work together. There is more than one way to solve a problem. Be open to finding shared values.

avoid communication blocks

As tempting as it may be to use insults, hostile humor, and sarcasm, avoid these behaviors. They actually break down communication between couples. Also stay away from “stonewalling” and “yes, but...” statements. Acknowledge your partner’s points while disagreeing, if necessary.

Some content adapted from the “Exploring Relationships and Marriage” curriculum published by the Administration for Children and Families.

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