06 Jul One Step At A Time

Disagreements arise in every day life. They are an unavoidable part of reality, unless one exists in a magical fantasy world where everyone gets along all the time. (If you find that place, please let me know.) When disagreements arise, they can hamper the success of any endeavor. The first step in tackling a disagreement is to employ effective communication by both parties on opposite sides of the issue. Each side wants his or her thoughts conveyed to the other side for consideration in a way that will ultimately result in a meeting of the minds for a successful resolution of the problem.

Identifying disagreements and resolving them occurs in the business world all the time. When this dynamic happens, businesses continue to operate successfully without interference by corporate lawyers or the court system, which can be costly to the shareholders. When parents discuss child related matters and reach agreements jointly about their children, we call this the business of co-parenting. Parents are like owners of a business who need to come together to resolve their disagreements so that their most precious products (their children) do not bear the brunt of the conflict. Good co-parenting will protect children from exposure to decisions rendered by those who can not know what’s best for them. Who, but the parents, are in the best position to know their children better than anyone else?

Parental discussions can take place in person, over the phone, through email or via text, depending on the parents’ comfort level with each other. One of the biggest challenges for divorcing, separating or already separated parents is exercising productive communication skills. It’s sometimes easy for a couple to fall back into old, poor communication habits that existed in the former relationship and did not serve the parents well. For those parents who did not have long term relationships but share children, the hurdle to communicate more effectively is higher because those parents don’t have the same “couple” dynamic on which to rely. However the parents came to separate, children benefit from parents who can make joint decisions about their welfare, even if the children don’t like the parental decision.

So how do parents get better at communicating with each other to share information and problem solve when it comes to their kids? It starts with one communication at a time, similar to building endurance for exercise. Being able to run that marathon doesn’t happen the first time a person puts on a pair of sneakers. It’s also acceptable to acknowledge that every communication won’t always be perfect. One party may stumble somewhere in the process, but taking responsibility and owning the error can re-set the co-parenting relationship and put it back on track. Not responding negatively to every imperfect communication is just as important.

This website, RKidsFirst, is also the place to start for parents who want to effectively communicate through email or document verbal discussions to avoid future misunderstandings. Sometimes parents say they don’t want to communicate with the other parent; they just want to live their lives. That isn’t the best form of co-parenting because it means that both parents may miss out on important information about the children regardless of the parenting schedule. Successful companies didn’t become successful unless all departments were in sync. If you recognize that past communication has not been frustrating, RKidsFirst provides parental communication enhancement to make co-parenting more productive so that parents can successfully say: “RKidsFirst”!

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