Raising a child can be rewarding, but also challenging. It can feel like those challenges increase if you are co-parenting with an ex-spouse.
Facing those challenges can sometimes leave co-parents dealing with conflict. Perhaps the conflict stems from disagreements about how you share parenting time, or how to discipline your children. Whether the conflict is regarding overarching matters or specific details, you must take steps to manage it. So, what can you do?
4 steps to help you overcome conflict
It is helpful to establish specific techniques and strategies for conflict resolution in your parenting plan. That way, you can reference guidelines for how to approach a solution. Regardless of whether you have some strategies lined up or not, it is still beneficial to:
- Address it: This may sound like a simple, obvious step, but it is critical. Many people tend to avoid conflict because of the discomfort and stress it causes. It is important to face the issue directly. After all, you cannot find a solution if you do not identify and address the problem first.
- Have a calm conversation: You and your ex-spouse cannot assume what is going on in the other’s head. You must communicate your perspectives, so you can begin to work on resolving the conflict. During this conversation, it is helpful to set personal emotions aside, so you can work more effectively.
- Keep the kids at the forefront: As we have discussed in previous blog posts, co-parenting matters must always prioritize your children’s needs. After all, your children’s best interests are at the center of custody matters in North Carolina. Even if the conflict is between you and your ex-spouse, it is often related to parenting issues. Therefore, evaluating your children’s needs is often a part of the solution.
- Consider mediation: If you face a significant conflict, and you are having trouble resolving it, you and your ex-spouse may consider seeking help through mediation. The goal of mediation is to resolve conflict with the help of a neutral third party, who can help you lay everything out on the table and find an effective solution.
Even if you generally get along with your ex-spouse, conflict is almost inevitable. You must be prepared to handle points of conflict when they arise, so you can prevent them from escalating into a larger problem that impacts the co-parenting relationship.