When high conflict exists between parents, it can really help to have someone monitor your communications with each other. It will save you money and emotional stress if you ask the court to appoint a parenting coordinator (PC) who can provide ongoing feedback to toxic communication patterns.
You can use your PC to monitor your communications by copying the PC on all of your email to each other. If you have chosen a PC who is regularly connected to email, s/he can jump in when s/he sees a negative tone or triggers used. By getting this kind of immediate feedback, you can start to see patterns in your communications that are heightening the conflict between you.
When looking for a PC to help you with your communications, spend some time talking to the person you are considering. You might want to ask the following questions:
• What kind of process the PC uses
• how often s/he checks email
• how s/he responds when toxic communications are spotted
Ultimately, it is up to you to adopt more positive communication patterns, but a PC can give you tools to do that. You might be amazed at the outcome.
Next month: Involving Others in the Conflict
© 2009, Mary Wollard, J.D., Family Solutions Center, www.cofamilysolutions.com