When you and your co-parent can’t come an immediate agreement on specific matters, the situation might turn into a conflict. Finding ways to overcome the conflicts that crop up can provide your children with a positive example of civil conflict resolution and strengthen your parenting relationship with your ex.

Often, you will need to employ more than one method to resolve parenting issues. Finding what works for a specific situation can benefit everyone involved. Below are some suggestions:

  • Focus on the present. Living in the past will only bring up negative feelings. Remember, you have to do what is best for now, so don’t base your decisions solely on past events. The exception to this is if past events put your children in harm’s way.
  • Always put the children first. You have to be willing to put what is easiest for you aside and think about what your children need.
  • Take a step back. Conflicts sometimes arise from misunderstandings. Listen to what’s being said and what solutions are on the table. You might find that there is a viable way to resolve the issue in a way that keeps the children’s interests first.
  • Communicate clearly. All interactions, even texts and social media messages, must be respectful. Be concise about what you are saying and think about how your words and tone might be perceived.

Some sources of contention may be covered in your parenting plan. Make sure you review this document to determine whether a resolution is detailed. If there are provisions in the custody order that are no longer in your child’s best interests, you can seek a modification.