It can be difficult to step back and see the larger picture when you are involved in a heated exchange with your child’s other parent. Chances are that regardless of how amicable your child custody arrangements are that you do get into disputes with your co-parent from time to time. So, how can you successfully take a step back and view the situation in a different light in order to bring it into focus and seek resolution?
First, it is important to understand your own motivations as well as your co-parent’s motivations. When you can understand what desires, fears, frustrations and aims are driving you both, it becomes easier to look at the situation objectively. For example, if you can see that your co-parent is fearful of being left out of a special occasion and you are concerned that his or her presence will be overbearing, it will be easier to seek a solution that addresses both of your frustrations.
Second, it is critical to seek higher ground if you do not want to continue arguing at any given moment. It takes two to tango and two to argue. If you insist that you need to put the argument down for a few hours, then the argument cannot continue. No one can force you to continue engaging in an argument. And if your co-parent does try to force the issue by becoming violent, do not hesitate to contact an attorney in order to ensure that you remain safe.
Finally, keep your future interests and your children’s interests in the forefront of your mind. It may feel good to argue in the moment, but if arguing is not going to ultimately serve your goals for yourself and your child, step back and attempt a different approach.
Source: Huffington Post, “When Your Ex-spouse and Co-parent Won’t Cooperate,” Betsy Ross, Oct. 29, 2013