You understand the importance of casting differences aside for the sake of your children. But there are still plenty of reasons coordinating with an ex-spouse can be difficult.

Maybe one of the reasons you decided to separate from your ex-spouse was because you have very different communication styles. Thankfully, rethinking your approach through thoughtful planning and new communication methods can benefit both kids and co-parents.

Make long-term planning a priority

Instead of just creating and following a custody schedule and playing the rest by ear, you can put more planning into co-parenting. For example, in addition to having week-to-week parenting time scheduled out, consider working together a few times a year to try and schedule yearly events too. This can include long-term plans, like your child’s annual medical check-ups, holidays and family vacations. And instead of becoming frustrated when your ex asks to rearrange the schedule on short notice, you can set guidelines for schedule change requests ahead of time.

Keep children away from drama

Having your children communicate a message to your ex on your behalf, is something you should avoid at all costs. This is because any message your child has to relay is subject to an emotionally packed response. So, asking your son to tell their other parent that you can’t take them to their out-of-town soccer tournament could be a simple message from the outside looking in. But, if your co-parent already made plans that weekend, then they might react with disappointment and make your child feel like they did something wrong.

Use digital organization tools

Maybe you are sensing a pattern that you can’t get a word in with your ex without some little disagreement. Taking most of your child-related communication to a digital platform instead of talking in-person may help prevent an argument. Essentially, using exclusively email or a co-parenting app can help you create expectations for how you would like to message one another moving forward. And if you opt for an app, you can minimize arguments about a variety of child-related matters. This is because many apps offer a place to organize everything from the custody schedule to shared expenses.

Taking your communication habits to the next level can help keep your child’s needs met and their relationship with each parent strong as ever.