Read these 13 Communication Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Divorce tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you find your children are being alienated from you ask yourself what role you are playing in this. Often the parent who is being alienated has allowed the communication between themselves and their children to go through the alienating parent. If this is the case then you must learn to communicate directly with your children and all professionals in their lives. Your children will come to view you as a parent and not a peer when they know that each parent is in charge.
If you and your ex are unable to carry on a civil conversation, you may need to find other ways to communicate information such as through letters or notes. If it is a very hostile situation that could end up in court, be sure to make copies of all your written communications to have as evidence should you need it. Some people have to communicate solely through lawyers, which is sad because the two adults are acting worse than a couple of two-year olds fighting over the same toy, except it is a child. If the other spouse insists upon acting like a child, then you need to be the grown-up and, by example, teach the other parent how to communicate. Set a good example for your children and exhibit some maturity in handling your side of the situation. Show them the right way to handle negative situations, not the wrong way, which is stooping to the other parent's level. Respect yourself even if your ex doesn't show you any.
If you cannot speak to your ex-spouse, try writing. When you write make sure you stay on the point, do not use accusations or insults. Send your letter 24 hours after you have written it, and make sure to read it again before sending. When you write, pretend that it will be read by your children or a Judge, as this may happen.
If your ex tries to get you upset or angry, stay calm. Don't respond to his\her anger or engage in a confrontation she\he is trying to get you involved in. Be sincere and calm in your response. As the old saying goes, “kill them with kindness” (not literally of course!) Deal with the situation the same as you would with a hostile customer at work. Don't take it personally even though it is directed at you personally. Tell them you are sorry they feel that way but the situation is out of your control, the situation can't be undone, you are not able to discuss the issue with them, or whatever the rationale is.
Do not make any agreements without checking with your lawyer first. Often when you agree to something you are stuck with the agreement, it will make things difficult for you, and create friction between you and your lawyer. Tell your ex you will think about it and then check with your lawyer before agreeing.
Never tell your children to keep something secret from your ex. Your ex and the world at large have a right to know whatever your child knows. Telling children to keep secrets is harmful to the child's development. Children are innocent and will tell everything they know to anyone who will listen. Telling children to keep secrets makes them vulnerable to people who want to exploit them, and makes them feel guilty when they talk to their other parent. If you do not want your ex to know, do not let the children know.
Do not agree to mediation in hopes that this will bring about a reconciliation. Mediation is not marriage counselling. Often people feel if they agree to go to mediation, their spouse will calm down and be willing to reunite. This is not the focus of mediation, and you may find that you are agreeing to things you cannot live with in hopes of reconciling. You will only postpone the inevitable, and may even put yourself at a disadvantage in the divorce.
When the children complain about the care they are getting from your ex, talk to your ex about what the children are saying. Do not accuse, but do explore, often children think you want to hear something bad so they tell you something, sometimes it is made up, other times it is inflated. By talking together without accusing you insure that the children do not grow up manipulating those around them.