Dadvice Weekly: Avoiding conflict when co-parenting

Selective Focus Photography of Child's Hand

Separation is an incredibly difficult time for all, with emotions running high. Learning to co-parent and avoiding high conflict situations can often become an additional challenge.

Often easier said than done, but avoiding high conflict situations where possible will not only support your own wellbeing but your children’s too, and help to make the co-parenting journey run as smoothly as possible.

Lisanne Iriks, family mediator, provides some advice on this issue. To hear more, check out the podcast we did with her.

  • Limit contact where possible. If you and your ex partner are prone to getting into heated arguments, Lisanne suggests to limit contact, one way of doing this is by doing the child drop offs and pick ups from school. This limits the interaction and also removes the children from any potential heated arguments too.
  • Try your best to stay calm. We know, a lot easier said than done. Separation is an extremely difficult time with emotions running high. Try not to let your emotions get the better of you. If you’re feeling extra agitated, try talking it out with a mate or go for a walk or run to clear your head.
  • Establish clear agreements. Ensure there are agreements in place wherever possible so you are both on the same page about when you will be seeing your children. This helps to limit arguments around seeing the kids as well as lessens the anxiety that can come with it by having it all planned out.
  • Give each other space. By having agreements in place regarding the time spent with your kids means you can limit the communication you have with each other.  In a heightened state of emotion, it can become difficult to stay in touch every day.
  • Don’t be reactive. If you’re in an argument that’s triggered you, take some time out and revisit it the next day. Avoid sending reactive emails or text messages. If you want to get it out of your system, try writing it all down, or use the notes feature in your phone.
  • Seek support if you need it. Whether it’s from a mate or seeing a counsellor.
  • Consider using communication apps to support you. For example my family wizard.

If you or your children are struggling
Kids can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, or you can contact your child’s GP.
If you are struggling, please call Lifeline on 131 114, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, Mens Line Australia – 1300 789 978

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