3 tips on email communication with co-parent
Communication with a co-parent is hard enough without the complications that technology may add. Emails, text, and social media messages create misunderstandings that brew conflict within a co-parenting relationship. Because of the wide spread use of technology, it is important now more than ever to learn how to effectively communicate with your co-parent through email. So here are 3 tips for you to consider next time you open your inbox.
1. Keep it Short and Sweet
First of all, emails should be brief (1-2 paragraphs) and limited in number (once or twice daily) unless there is an emergency. Keep the information focused to one topic, stating logistical facts about the situation. An email is not the time to rehash old arguments, blame, or criticize the other parent. Most of all, keep the focus of the email on the child/children. Use respectful language-do not insult your co-parent!
2. Keep it Simple
Secondly, use specific subject lines for all email communications. Examples would be “Mary’s dance class” or “Christopher’s football practice”. Creating folders and using specific subject lines will make it easier to find any emails. Parents should provide each other only one email address to use for all co-parenting communication. Parents should be able to access this email account regularly throughout the day. In the case where a reply is needed, parents should be able to reply within 24 hours of the email.
3. Keep it Safe
Finally, parents should not include step-parents or significant others on emails unless the co-parent agrees or gives permission. Emails should not be sent from a stepparent or significant other’s email address nor should they be copied onto any emails. Co-parenting communication should be kept between the co-parents unless given permission to share with others. Communication should be shared with the proper authorities (lawyer, court system, counselor, etc.) in the case of abusive or threatening language.
In conclusion, clear and concise communication with a co-parent is essential for the well being of your child. If you and your co-parent are struggling to communicate effectively, then it may be time to seek professional help. Building Blocks Family Counseling provides parent coordination services that can help find healthy solutions for you and your co-parent. Click here for more information.
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