The father of our children is here to stay, even when we are apart. For the sake of the children, and for ours too, here are some tips for maintaining a good relationship with him.
Protect the children
If there's one thing you should agree on no matter what, it's the welfare of your children. Both of you avoid venting your frustrations by talking badly about each other in front of the kids. The children will remember what you say and will be very unhappy about it because they love you both. When you need it, find someone to talk to who will help you express your feelings, discreetly.
Talk to "I"
Speak to the "I" rather than the "YOU". The "YOU" is accusatory and often leads to argument, while the "I" is more apt to express what you really feel. It may sound cliché, but it's the basis of he althy and peaceful communication.
Set your limits
Establish territory and rules that your ex can't break. You don't want it to come without warning anymore? Say it. You don't want him to come in and walk around the house like he did when he still lived there? make himpart of your discomfort. Do you need him to stop asking questions about your personal life? Point out to him that this is an area he no longer has access to. If you let the unsaid pile up, sooner or later everything will explode!
Don't play with each other's patience
Only keeping a snowsuit on or “forgetting” to put the child's favorite stuffed animal in the bag to protest after a difficult conversation will get you nowhere. Don't use your children as messengers either, and avoid childishness at all costs. When you have something to say to your ex-spouse, talk to him calmly, but directly and without involving the children.
Many tools exist to help you manage schedules, meals, and remote communications in a civilized manner. Make good use of it. They will help you talk to each other less often if that is precisely what you are looking to avoid and risk fewer fights, especially if the situation is tense, without compromising the smooth running of things and the children's daily lives.
Quick talk about expenses
Once expense sharing and child support are established, it will be difficult to turn things around and renegotiate finances otherwise. Avoid paying for everything after the separation out of pride and quickly address your financial concerns if there are any. Moreover, if you had recourse to the services of a mediator toyour separation agreement and alimony, you may be en titled to an additional free session, so take advantage of it if you notice an imbalance. If you don't have a legal agreement, rationally discuss everything to pay for and how to share the purchase of clothes, extracurricular activities and school supplies. And above all, agree to sit down a few times a year to do your accounts.
Accept that it is different in the other
When something worries you, talk about it, but stay open. Don't forget that not everything will be the same with dad and mom and that's fine. Maybe dad doesn't give the bath every day, he won't "respect" your routine and he'll do a lot of things that aren't allowed at home: you'll have to get used to it, you're not together and it doesn't concern you anymore. Nothing prevents you from gently asking questions about what the children like and how it is with him, but tell yourself that he has the right to have his parenting style and that as long as the children are in safety, you should avoid getting involved.
Use the script
If you are unable to turn your tongue seven times before making derogatory comments about your ex in front of him or the children, write down your thoughts. You can write emails that you will keep in drafts or write with pencil and paper messages that you may give to him one day, but not beforeto have calmed down and slept on it. It's a good way to let off steam without making things worse. In addition, writing will allow you to keep a diary of what you have experienced after this painful separation.
Never take children hostage
Never forget to keep the children at the top of your priorities, even when you are sad and even when you are angry. Taking children hostage is never a winning solution. On the contrary, they deserve everything to go well and thinking about them will help you find the strength to work things out for the best.
Is there love in the air?
When other spouses arrive in the scene, you should always talk to your ex before talking to the children if you want the situation to remain peaceful. Wouldn't you like to have surprises, or the impression that someone else will take your place at Dad's? Have the decency not to give him that impression either. Parents should never feel that their place is threatened with their children and that their opinion is no longer valid. The other spouses should be discreet, especially at the beginning of the relationship.