Conflict resolution tactics for co-parents

|January 2, 2020 | Co-parenting

From maintaining a visitation schedule and when necessary, adjusting them, too communicating with your ex and keeping your own life on track while also managing your child’s; co-parenting can be as much of a struggle as a reward. Looking at the situation from a positive perspective can make a world of difference.

Instead of thinking that divorce and co-parenting is forcing your child from their other parent, look at it like the new setup allows more one-on-one time with you and your child. The new arrangement offers you and your child’s relationship to flourish.

When co-parenting problems do arise, there are two techniques to solve them: strategic problem solving and social-psychological problem solving

Strategic problem-solving

The primary aspect of this problem-solving strategy is to focus on the exact issue. The issues behind the child’s behavioral problems and the parenting techniques that parents can improve. Those who choose to utilize strategic problem-solving stray away from addressing emotions tied to the issue, but rather identify the issue and negotiate resolutions that will better the child and parents. The three steps of strategic problem solving are:

  1. Everyone communicates their needs of the highest importance (as to do with the issue at hand)
  2. The relationships and communication build upon shared concerns
  3. The parties work toward solutions

To reiterate, when choosing to strategically problem solve a dispute, personal emotions and desires must be set aside.

Social-psychological problem solving

As you could guess, this form of conflict resolution focuses on the emotions of those involved. This method of problem-solving looks at the emotions tied to the co-parenting issues. Both resolution techniques assume that co-parenting problems happen, but while the strategic approach focuses on logic, the social-psychological method focuses on subjective and emotional factors to determine why conflict is occurring and how to come to resolutions.

Releasing your emotions to your ex can be a daunting task, considering you never know what might spill out if you release any of your feelings. If the logical method is best for you, then that is the route you should first consider. 

You never know what divorce is going to bring to the party, If you do choose to attempt the social-psychological model, you must try your best to refrain from being critical of or accusing your ex. Both methods are in place to resolve disputes, not create new ones or further existing conflicts.

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