How to Effectively Replace Email and Text Messaging With A Co-Parent
During and after a divorce, communication can become complicated for those involved. While it might not be hard to get a hold of each other, it can be difficult to have clear and productive conversations if conflict and disputing are constant issues. Long emails full of various comments and requests or vague text messages that are hard to keep track of don't make it easy for co-parents to handle important matters. It can be especially problematic if poor communication gets in the way of handling timely matters that impact their children's everyday lives. In order to effectively replace email and text messaging and end the unproductive conversations, new communication tools must be put to use. Here are four practical tips on how to effectively replace email and text messaging with a co-parent.
- Do your research. Find a robust toolset that allows you to break the cycle of email and text messaging. As co-parents, think about the issues that are most important for you and your co-parent to communicate about. In most cases, these issues will include the parenting schedule, events and activities for the kids, shared parenting costs and payments, school information, medical details, and more. You'll want to ensure that the toolset keeps your information highly organized and available whenever it's needed without forcing you to search for anything. It will also be helpful if you are able to find just one tool to handle all of these needs in one location. This will ensure that all of your important child-related information is in one convenient location.
- Be clear about how you want to communicate. Talk to your co-parent about replacing email and text message communication with a new set of tools. Let them know that you plan to only use these tools to communicate in regards to your children. If communication with your co-parent is difficult now, you may consider speaking to your lawyer or another family law professional first. They may help you decide how to best share your intention to replace email and texting with another communication method.
- Share the information that you have. Hoarding important information about your children is counter-productive in a shared parenting situation. Both parents should be aware of all of the facts when it comes to their children. Draft as many details from your parenting plan as you can within your communication toolset. Get your calendar set up with your parenting schedule, holiday plans, events for the children, etc. Document any shared parenting expenses you have that are outstanding, and record your agreement for how you will split those costs. Upload shared documents to a place where both you and your co-parent can access them, and get your children's important data recorded like medical details, insurance information, and any other vital information that you both need to know. As time goes on and you notice changes in your plan, get that new information recorded here as soon as possible. This will help to assure that you're both always in the loop.
- Avoid messaging whenever possible. When sending requests via email or text message, details can easily be overlooked or bogged down by other information in the email unrelated to the request. Moreover, a parent may feel stress when sending a request via email or text, worried that their co-parent's response will be much more upsetting than a simple "yes" or "no." Replacing the messages with other tools that can facilitate requests in a clear, low-stress manner can make a big difference. Using a resource like the OurFamilyWizard® website, co-parents are provided with templates and tools that can help them to effectively replace electronic messaging. These tools are simple to use and provide built-in structure so that parents can make clear and unambiguous requests. While a message board is provided for parents, co-parents who effectively use the other features in the website may find themselves sending fewer messages.
To effectively replace email and text messaging, you first need to find the right toolset to support your intent to do so. For more than fifteen years, the OurFamilyWizard® website has been helping families communicate by offering tools to put an end to conflict and confusion in co-parenting. Family courts across the United States and Canada have recognized the effectiveness of these tools to improve communication and continue to order and recommend OFW® to families. If email and text messaging have not helped you to improve your co-parenting, it's time to try something new. Click here to sign up and take a step towards effectively replacing email and text messaging in your co-parenting.