Co-Parenting 101 Texting

These new fandangle devices have caused us to be connected all the time.  Expecting instant messages, instant likes, instant what ever!  
But when it comes to 
  • Separation 
  • Divorce
  • Co-Parenting 
  • Etc..
It isn’t appropriate to shoot out the texts or even emails to your ex.  
When I was a teacher, I would use this visualization with some of my students:
  • Stop                 (Red Light)
  • Think              (Yellow Light)
  • And then say  (Green Light)
I’m guilty of blasting out texts too.  It took a lot of time and patience to create boundaries.   

Example of Boundaries that Could Be Used:
  • Only text between 9am & 5pm
  • Do not respond to anything after the specified time
  • Emergences are the only texts that you will respond to after the 5pm 
  • Answer only child related questions
  • Nonemergency questions – wait several hrs to respond or wait until the next day
  • Remove all emotions out of your texts – it should sound like you are talking to your boss
When you have decided on the Boundaries, make sure you let your ex understand your boundaries.  Be flexible when your ex includes their boundaries.  The most important part of boundaries is to stick with them!
This is an example of what not to do when faced with Text Messages from your ex.
Jill’s post starts out, 
“This weekend I sent him (her ex) a text on Saturday evening a little before 10PM. It was in response to something he'd texted earlier while I was with the kids, so I waited to compose my answer. When I answered he had the kids, who later told me they were up and watching TV still (mind you they are eight and nine years old and had 7AM plans with me on Sunday).
My questions to her:  
  • Was the text important enough to respond to? And why 10pm?  Too late unless it is an emergency.  
  • Another issue is Jill is questioning her kids about what was going on in their father’s home.   Do not use your children to report back to you what their father is doing!  You do not have control anymore over what the other parent does or doesn’t do. 
Jill goes on and says, 
“So, I sent that response before 10 when he was still awake. He answered with four lengthy messages between 11:38 and 11:46. I sent a final message at 12:04 AM essentially saying that this was not a constructive use of our time and "I hope you sleep well."”
Both parents have not set up boundaries when it comes to communication.  Now the ex-husband needs to set some boundaries – 4 lengthy messages?!  Why was it so important to send? And why so long?   The messages should be brief, to the point, and zero emotions.  
A skill I have mastered.
Jill continues:  
“Sunday morning, I am supposed to get the kids at 7AM.  I was in the driveway (mind you I'm staying across the street with friends, but he insists that I need to drive over and pick-up), and waited until 8AM for him to send the kids out. All the while I was texting, calling, and ringing the doorbell.”
“The end of the day, I messaged to tell him that I'd have the kids back an hour later than we originally agreed, because he'd made me wait an hour in the morning for them to come out.”
“Here's the kicker - he said I could not keep the kids because:
"You're the one that made me late this morning. Kids are being picked up now because I need to be somewhere and you're not making me late again"
His stupid logic is that because I had "texted him at all hours of the night" he had overslept his alarm and that is why he was late, and that made him late for work, and that was my version of being controlling and manipulative. What a dummy.”  
They are both not sure what to do and how to act.   It is difficult to try navigating the co-parenting relationship.  There is NOT a book Co-Parenting for Dummies, but there is help  
  • How to create boundaries 
  • How to communicate appropriately
  • How to negotiate 
Contact me for your complimentary consultation and let’s see if we can lower your stress level when communicating with your ex.:

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