How to Communicate Effectively with a Non-Communicative Parent

After a divorce, there may be a pretty decent strain between you and your ex. While some people could care less about this, those who have children will need to ensure there is some type of communication methods happening so that you can each have a positive impact on your child’s life. When your ex is non-communicative, it’s often hard to ensure you do your best to co-parent your children. However, even though it’s difficult, it’s also extremely important to do whatever you can to make it work. Below are a few tips to help you communicate effectively with a non-communicative parent.

 

Keep personal feelings aside.

If you had a nasty divorce, your personal feelings can get in the way of how you communicate. Oftentimes this can result in both of you fighting with one another, and this doesn’t help your child and can even make the situation worse. Whenever you are talking with your ex, be sure to keep your personal feelings aside and only talk to them about what you need to talk about. If they are the ones bringing up the past or making it difficult, do not allow their attitude to sway you into an argument. Instead, keep the higher ground, say what you need to say, and move on.

 

Keep it short and sweet.

Communication is key, but that doesn’t mean you need to be besties with your ex. Whenever you have something you want to talk about, keep the messages short and sweet. For instance, letting them know about an upcoming sports schedule, doctor’s appointment, or other information is easy when you just say what needs to be said. Don’t get into an explanation, don’t try to talk about anything personal, and don’t make small talk. When you keep the communications simple, you can make them easier to handle.

 

Use technology.

Today’s technology can be a nuisance, but it can also be a Godsend. If your ex doesn’t want to communicate with you on the phone or face to face, then opt for communicating with technology. Use text messages or emails to send your ex the information they need. Not only does this keep you from actually having to talk, but it also gives you an electronic copy of your communications, which you can use to your advantage in the future if necessary.

 

List you both as contacts.

If your child is in a club, activity, or sport, the coaches/teachers/etc. will likely have communication tools set up to keep parents informed of events, practices, etc. If this is the case, be sure both you and your ex are signed up to receive these communications. This way, your non-communicative ex doesn’t need to rely on you to receive information and instead they can talk directly with the coach or teacher.

 

Use a third party.

If your ex doesn’t want to talk to you, then try to find someone else your ex will listen to. For instance, maybe you can communicate with your ex’s parents, siblings, or friends instead and have them relay the important messages you need to share. While this may not be the most ideal situation, it can be the only way to ensure your ex pays attention to the things that are important.

 

Go to court.

Although you may not want to deal with the hassles of court again, it may be your only option to get your non-communicative ex to talk with you about your child and the issues that are important. Talk with your attorney or a mediator about what your options are and what you can do to have the courts intervene on your behalf.

 

No matter what may have happened in your marriage, keeping open communication with your ex is important for your child. Use these tips to try and keep the communication lines open with your ex in a positive way so your child can thrive with both parents.

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Examples of Child Custody Schedules

One thing that divorced or separated parents seem to be the most frustrated with is their child custody schedule.  There are a wide range of different types of schedules that they might have, but it seems that most of these actually cause a lot of stress and strife for parents.  Thankfully these preset schedules can really help you to understand what you should expect when you are in court.  They can also help you to be logical in your decisions about what is really best for your children.

 

Joint/Shared Custody Schedules

 

Alternating Weeks

 

One of the easiest schedules for parents who are sharing joint custody is to have alternating weeks.  How this works is that each parent has a child from a Friday night through the following Friday night and then they switch with the other parent.  The best way to be successful with this type of custody is to have clear schedules for each parent of activities and things that are going on with the child.

 

Alternating Weeks with a Mid-Week Visit

 

Some families find that it is too much for their children to be separated from the other parent for a week.  In this case, parents can alternate weeks but then have a midweek visit on one day each week.  The parent who has the visits alternates based on the who is not having the children for the rest of the week.  This schedule can be a bit confusing with activities and such so it takes careful planning.  The visit can be anywhere from a few hours to overnight.

 

The 2-2-3 Rotation

 

While this rotation might seem confusing at first, it is really quite simple.  Basically you have your children every other weekend.  Then you alternate the week accordingly.  On the weeks that you have the weekend you also have the previous Mon/Tues.  The other parent has the children on Wed/Thurs.  And then the following week it switches.  So, you’d have your child two days one week and five the following on a rotating basis.

 

The 3-3-4-4 Rotation

 

With the 3-3-4-4 rotation, the child custody schedule is a little more complicated.  Basically, you have your child for three days, then the other parent has them for three days.  Next, you have your child for four days and then the other parent has them for four days.  This continues on throughout the month.

 

The 2-2-5-5 Rotation

 

This rotation is very similar to the 3-3-4-4 only you have your child for two days.  Then your ex has your child for two days.  This is followed by you having your child for five days, which is followed by your ex having your child for 5 days.  It is quite simple in comparison to what people expect when they hear the name.

 

Sole/Primary Custody Schedules

 

The Weekend Visitation

 

One of the most common visitation schedules for someone who is the non-custodial parent is to be awarded every other weekend.  While this was the most common in the past, courts have become more progressive in the past fifteen years and many are in favor of more liberal visitation schedules.

 

Alternating Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit

 

Another option that is available and probably the current most popular option, is for the non-custodial parent to have one week night each week and alternating weekends.  This is the best choice for many families because the non-custodial parent gets to be more involved with school and activities while also seeing their child at least one day each week.

 

Alternating Extended Weekends

 

When one parent only has the child for two nights, it can be hard for them to develop a relationship.  This schedule allows the non-custodial parent to bond with their child every other weekend for 3 full days instead of just two.

 

Alternating Extended Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit

 

This schedule allows the non-custodial parent a weeknight overnight stay.  It also gives the non-custodial parent three consecutive nights every other weekend.

 

1st, 3rd & Alternating 5th Weekends

 

The way that this works is a little simpler to keep track of.  The non-custodial parent gets the first and third weekend of each month.  Then the custodial parent has the child the second and fourth weekend of each month.  The parents then alternate the fifth weekend in the month.

 

1st, 3rd & Alternating 5th Weekends with a Mid-Week Visit

 

This schedule basically combines the idea of the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend schedule while allowing the non-custodial parent one mid-week visit.  This visit can either be a visit that is a few hours long or it can be extended to an overnight stay.

 

There are so many types of visitation schedules out there.  These common ones are all tried and have worked for many families.  The thing to remember is that you need to make sure that you pick a visitation schedule that is going to work for you and your family.  This means that you have to consider the things that you are each doing with your children and figure out the best way to accommodate their schedules as well as your own.

 

 

 

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How to Know When Your Kids Need Counseling Services

A divorce or even a separation can be a very trying time.  There is typically some amount of turmoil regardless of how calm you try to stay.  This turmoil can often be detrimental to your child’s emotional health.  Put that together with all of the new changes and you might find that your child shows some signs of distress.  To ensure that your child can handle their emotions in the right way, it might be necessary to get some type of counseling services for them.

 

7 Signs That You Should Find a Good Counselor for Your Child

 

Many people do not realize that therapy can be beneficial for children of all ages.  In fact, research shows that children as young as four can benefit from seeing a counselor.  Counselors can help children learn how to deal with their feelings, while teaching them how to express themselves in a positive way.

 

Thinking or Talking About Death

 

Some talk about death and dying is normal during development.  Children also think about death or talk about death after they have experienced a death in the family.  This is all completely normal.  However, if your child starts to show an obsession with death or dying then there are certainly some things that you should do.  Make sure that your child is not going to cause harm to themselves and get to the point where you can talk to them about why this is not acceptable behavior.

 

Your Child is Struggling

 

One of the first signs that your child might need to see a counselor is if they suddenly start struggling in all aspects of their life.  This could mean that they are getting into trouble at home, not doing well at school, and/or having problems with activities that they used to enjoy.  Making sure that your child is successful during a divorce requires you to put the focus on them.

 

Sadness or Worry

 

Many children experience an increase in worry or sadness after a big event.  A little of this type of behavior is normal.  Kids are going to cry from time to time.  That is normal emotional development.  However, when you start to notice that your child is worrying over everything or increasingly sad for long periods of time then you will need to consider possibly getting them some help.

 

They Isolate from Friends

 

Another thing that you should watch for is when your child starts to have problems socially.  When this happens, they could be withdrawing from their favorite activities or just saying that they no longer like their friends.  So many things can happen which could cause your child to feel like they do not want to be with those that they used to love.  If your child states that they have no friends, that everyone hates them, or that they are a loser; it is time to get them some help.

 

Changes in Sleep or Eating

 

Emotional issues can trigger a number of responses in people.  Even children can suffer from a lack of sleep or sleeping too much after a big change.  They can also struggle with eating too much or not eating enough.  Children may also experience night terrors or nightmares, and even have headaches.  These symptoms should be addressed immediately, especially those concerning food consumption.  Healthy eating habits are important for a life-long health and wellness so staying on top them during childhood is necessary to avoid any type of eating disorder.

 

Regression of Milestones

 

Children who are feeling stressed or depressed often have a regression with milestones that they might have already met.  There are times when you can expect that your child is going to struggle.  Going through a divorce is one of those times, just like having a new baby come into the household.  However, what is not normal behavior is a severe amount of regressions.  Bedwetting, being fearful more often, throwing tantrums, excessing whining, or being overly clingy for a period of time of a month or more after a big change is not normal behavior.  These are all signs that your child might need some help that they can get through a counselor.

 

Self-Destruction

 

Self-destruction is a serious problem that can really affect children.  Sometimes behaviors are not meant for harm, but are being done out of frustration.  However, you have to get to the bottom of it to ensure that your child does not injure themselves or have problems in the future.  If you notice your child having injuries, it is important to determine if they are injuring themselves on purpose.  Often times cutting behaviors start with something as simple as digging your nails into your skin.  So be sure to watch for signs that your child might be doing something harmful.

 

Some challenges will always be present when you have children and are going through a divorce.  However, there are certain types of changes that you need to be aware of.  This is certainly something that you need to stay on top of so that you can get your children the counseling that they need when needed.

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He Is Still the Father of Your Children

Let’s face it, your ex would not be your ex if you always got along.  Whether you were married, just dated, or even had a one night stand; if you have a child with someone then they are that child’s father.  This means that you need to make sure that you remember this at all times when you are dealing with your children.  It does not matter what you are doing with them or what you are going through with your ex.  If you have children together, you must learn how to separate your children from the problems and situations that arise with your ex.

 

Even in the very best of situations, you are going to be frustrated, angry or upset with your ex from time to time.  There might even be times when your children are acting out after a visit or saying something about your ex that you might want to chime in and respond.  However, this is not what you should be doing.  Instead you can show your children how to model their appreciation for their father regardless of the situations that you are in.

 

Remember Always That He is Their Father

 

If you had never been with your ex, then you would not have the amazing gift of children that he helped to create.  Remember this when you are dealing with him and your children.  All of the time, you will hear women exclaim how they wish that they had never met their ex.  If this is true, then you would not have your children.  If your children hear you saying this, it could lead them to wonder if you wish that they had not been born.

 

No One Else Can Be Their Father

 

Yes, your children can get lucky have an awesome step father in their lives.  In fact, their step father might do more for them, create a stronger bond with them, and be far better for them then their own father.  However, their father is always going to be their father.  Make sure that you talk to your children about their father in a kind way so that your children never feel as though they need to pick a side.

 

Allow Your Ex to Share the Responsibility of Parenting

 

Being a parent is tough work.  You can gain some respect and appreciation for your ex if you allow them to co-parent with you.  Having a successful co-parent in their life is important so that they can be raised in a happy home.  Realize that he might have different expectations and punishments, but he is doing what he believes to be the best thing for your children.  If you look at things from his perspective, from time to time you might even learn something that can help you parent your children in your home.

 

Their Father is Likely to do Things You Don’t

 

One thing that is pretty easy to appreciate is when your children’s father chooses to do activities with them that you do not really want to do.  Do you hate fishing or boating?   Consider it a blessing that he is around to do these things with your children that they might not otherwise get to do.  Instead of being upset or jealous about something, consider whatever he does that you don’t want to a blessing since you won’t have to do it.

 

Enjoy Your Me Time

 

Far too many moms are so caught up with things with their ex, that they do not take the time away from their children as a time to refresh and rejuvenate.  If you are willing to look at this time that your ex has your children in a new way, then you will realize that you can really have the best of both worlds.  You will get to spend your time with your children and when they are with your ex, you get to enjoy some much needed me time.  Go out with friends, read a good book, catch up on your favorite TV show, or even just relax and sleep in.

 

Realize He Can Be a Better Parent Than Partner

 

Just because your ex was an awful husband or boyfriend does not mean that he is going to be an awful father.  Learn to look at the things he does that are good and point those out to your children.  Doing this is going to help you to appreciate the good that he does rather than being upset about all of the bad that he might have done before.

 

Understand That Being Apart Might Make Him a Better Parent

 

Most people do not realize that someone can be a far better parent when they are not with their ex than they were when they were with them.  In the case of fathers this is something that you are going to need to realize.  Even if you wanted him to do things with the children that he never did but is doing now, do not look at this as something to make you angry.  Instead be happy that he is finally choosing to do what is right for your children.

 

Remember the Good

 

You also should work with your children to remember the good about their father.  Not everything that you did together was bad.  Some things that you did together as a family were good.  Reflect back on those good times together so that your children can see their father in a positive light with you.

 

Even if You Hate Each Other Now at One Time You Cared About One Another

 

It is hard not to hate someone who has put you through an emotional roller coaster.  Instead of focusing on the things that went wrong with your ex, work on being able to focus on the fact that at one point the two of you really did care about one another.  Doing this will help you to remember the things that you saw in your children’s father that made you want to be with him.  It will help you to be able to focus on these things when you are talking to your children.

 

Going through a separation, divorce, or break up can be a very tough time.  Many times a mom might feel like this is a time where she is losing something with her children.  This can cause outrage that she might end up sharing in front of those children.  Instead of being this way, make sure that you are appreciating your ex for the things that he does well and sharing them with your children.

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Why Your Children Should Be #1 In Your Custody Battle or Divorce

These days, children are far more involved in legal battles that arise because of parents not being together or being divorced.  One thing that parents need to remember is that when they are going through anything legal, their main focus should be that the children remain number one.  In far too many cases, parents abuse their relationship with their children and use it as a way of getting back at their ex or trying to cause problems with their children’s relationship with their other parent.  These types of behaviors can have long lasting and damaging effects on the child.  Instead of hurting your ex as you might have hoped, you are going to end up only hurting your children.

One of the worst things for a child is to grow up in a single parent household where they are not allowed access to their other parent.  Unless a parent is a danger to the children, he should be allowed ample time to build a relationship with the children so that the two parents can successfully parent together.

 

Avoid Damaging Your Children

There are so many things that you should do if you want to avoid damaging your children in a divorce or custody battle.  You will want to make sure that both parents have access to the child and can build a relationship.  It does not matter what your ex did to you.  If he is being a good parent, then his parent should not be called into question based on the relationship that he had with you.  Make sure that your children being put first in your divorce case and that they are able to see both parents on a regular basis.

In addition, it can be very damaging to a child if one parent takes them and moves to a place where they are accessible to the other parent.  While moving away from the problem and the situation might sound like a dream come true, it is rarely what is best for the children.  There are so many things that get taken away from children when one parent relocates.  This type of move generally prevents one parent from being involved with school or athletics.  It also causes the children to have to leave their home, friends from school, and activities that they participate in.  This can have lasting effects on children who are best suited to grow up in a carefree environment.

 

Learn to Listen to Your Children

Sometimes children need their other parent.  Even if you are always doing everything in your power to make them happy, there are going to be times that they want to be with the other parent and not you.  This type of preference for someone else could be seen as them picking that parent over you which could seem hurtful at the time.  Instead of thinking this way and being upset when your children want to spend time with their other parent, make sure that you encourage their relationship with them.  Giving up a night of your time for your child to be with their other parent when they want to is far better for your child then to put them in the middle of the two of you fighting.

 

 

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