After going through the divorce process, for many couples the last thing that they want to do is have regular contact with their ex-spouse. However, for divorcing couples with children, it is extremely important to maintain communication to effectively co-parent your children. Successfully co-parenting means that both parents will maintain an active, stable role in their children’s day to day lives and that the children will be happy and healthier for it.
One technique that parents may try is scheduling a weekly parenting phone call. Instead of several phone calls a week that occur at inconvenient times and break down into arguments, focus communication into one business-like phone call per week. Unless there is an emergency, wait to discuss all issues at the parenting call. The parent with the children should make the phone call to insure that the children are out of ear shot, such as after bedtime.
Plan an agenda for the call, including the following topics:
- Discuss the upcoming parenting schedule
- Discuss the children’s extracurricular activities and school schedules
- Discuss academic issues such as homework and report cards
- Discuss any behavioral issues
- Discuss any general concerns