The Coparents’ Communication Handbook
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