The Coparent’s Communication Handbook is for any divorce or separated parent. This simple text will help improve the coparenting communication and communication between parent and child. The handbook provides a step by step approach to reduce conflict, set limits, make child-focused decisions while keeping your child out of the middle.
“In writing The Coparents’ Communication Handbook, Boyan and Termini have made it easy for co-parents by thinking of everything already, with lots of lists and phrases ready to go. By answering twenty key questions, they cover methods of communication; what subjects need joint decisions; what words to use for positive responses; how to set limits; and much more. This book is brief, easy-to-read and filled with very specific tips that parents can apply right away.” –Bill Eddy, LCSW
Table of Contents
Section I. Setting Up an Effective Communication System between Homes
- Why do I need to communicate with my coparent?
- What should I consider when setting up a communication system?
- Step 1: Degree of detail in your communication
- Step 2: Frequency of your communication
- Step 3: Method of communication
- Step 4: Determine acceptable topics
- Step 5: Evaluate the effectiveness of your plan
- What are the best communication methods?
- Text messages
- Telephone calls
- Face-to-face communication
- Internet tools
- What communication method works best if I have a young child?
- What are other ways I may remain informed?
- Your child’s school
- Your child’s extracurricular activities
- Your child’s medical professionals
- Your child’s counselor
- General tips for dealing with professionals
- Which topics are considered coparenting issues?
- Coparenting topics
- Inappropriate or off-limits topics
Section II. Improving Your Communication Skills
7. How can I communicate more effectively?
- Understanding “you” statements
- Understanding “I” statements
- How “I” statements help
- “I” statements in disguise
- Emotions versus thoughts
- Judgments versus facts and descriptions
- Tips for using “I” statements
- How can improving my listening skills help resolve issues?
- Understanding active listening
- When to use reflective listening
Section III. Minimizing Parental Conflict
- How can I minimize parental conflict?
- What you can do instead
- Other dilemmas
- Avoiding communication barriers
- More tips for reducing parental conflict
- How do I get a resistant coparent to agree upon a communication method?
- Steps for setting communication protocol
- How do I set limits with an uncooperative coparent?
- Types of boundaries
- Typical divorce boundaries
- Create an exit line
- How and when to communicate limits
- What can I do when my coparent does not take me seriously?
- Your coparent’s view of you
- Strengthening word choice
- Tips for strengthening word choice
- Examples of strengthening your word choice
- What can I do if my coparent thinks I am demanding or unreasonable?
- Tips for softening your word choice
- Moving toward the middle
- How can I edit my written communication to avoid misunderstandings?
- General tips to avoid written conflict
- Specific editing tips to minimize written conflict
- How can we negotiate our differences more productively?
- The seven steps of negotiation
- Negotiation tips
- What can I do when all else fails to improve our coparenting relationship?
- Coparenting counseling
- Parenting coordination
Section IV. Parent-Child Communication
- What should I expect when communicating with my child?
- Required calls
- Choosing a time to speak to your child
- Using FaceTime and Skype
- Reasonable length of communication with your child
- Ultimate goal
- How can I make the conversation with my child more enjoyable?
- Sharing information versus questioning
- The art of inquiry
- Other questions that may stimulate curiosity
- When your child does not want to communicate with you
- How should I respond when my child tells me something negative?
- General tips to avoid overreacting
- What are other ways to keep my child out of the middle?
- Your child’s self-esteem
Section V. Resources
- Divorce Rules for Parents
- Coparenting Rules
- Fair Fighting Rules for Coparents
- Coparent Communication Tree: When to Contact Your Coparent
- Communication templates
- Books, websites, and apps
- Coparenting books
- Books for children on divorce and separation
- Coparenting communication websites
- Other parenting and coparenting websites
- Coparenting apps