Skip to main content
Parents   »   How Should We Communicate About the Children?

How Should We Communicate About the Children?

It’s crucial for children’s well-being how we, as parents, choose to communicate during and after separation. We have everything to gain by respecting each other’s privacy and being generous with information about everything concerning the children. However, sometimes it can be challenging to establish good communication despite having good intentions.

Here are some tips to implement and work on to achieve effective communication!

Think “work colleague”

If you find it difficult to remain neutral toward your co-parent, try treating them as you would a colleague at work whom you find it hard to agree with. Be “business-like” and aim to neither be the boss nor the assistant.

Neither of you has the right to be bossy, whether you feel betrayed or “guilty,” or whether one of you spent more time with the children during the relationship. Communication usually works best when you have equal roles. It’s better to reason with each other than to instruct or demand things from each other. This approach typically reduces conflict levels.

Did you know? The Varannan Vecka-app has no admin function; both parents have equal opportunities for space and influence within the app. This makes it easier to plan your own time, take responsibility by sharing information you input for yourself, and build trust with the co-parent.

Focus on what you can control – your own behavior

Focus on what you can influence! That means how the children are doing with you and how you communicate with your co-parent. Ask if you can offer advice or suggestions rather than imposing yourself or acting as the “voice of the child” without being asked. If your co-parent declines, you should respect that.

Agree on how you will communicate

If the contact between you as co-parents is tense, it will be easier for both you and the children if you agree on what you will communicate about (regarding the children, practical matters) and how you will communicate.

Tip! Use the app’s tools for planning and sharing information, and handle everything through the app if you need extra space from each other right now. This frees up time and energy for other things, like extra focus on the children. Together (or separately), you can decide on topics to stick to within the Varannan Vecka- app that solely concern the children.

How much communication should parents have?

You may need extra frequent contact if…

  • You are used to being close as parents.
  • One of you is unused to having the children alone.
  • It’s unfamiliar for one or both of you to be away from the children.
  • One of you is accustomed to being in control.
  • One of you is particularly vulnerable, low, or unwell.

You may need to have a bit less contact (and be more business-like in your communication) if…

  • There are frequent arguments.
  • The contact drains a lot of energy from one of you.
  • One of you feels afraid or insecure in contact with the other. One of you is impulsive and emotionally driven.
  • One of you is used to being in control and insists on continuing to have it.

Contact with the children on the other parent’s days

Depending on the children’s ages, it makes sense for you as co-parents to agree on how and when communication should occur with the other parent. Of course, the children’s needs should be the guiding factor, but there are other considerations to ponder when making decisions.

  • As a parent, reaching out because you miss the children or want to show them you’re thinking of them is nice. However, it may disrupt the children’s adjustment or hinder them from “settling in” with their other parent. It’s better if the children reach out themselves.
  • If the children are of school age with their own mobile phones, they can manage communication themselves. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for children to “switch off” the parent they’re not currently with.
  • Children are often sensitive to their parents different moods. They often refrain from contacting the parent they’re with if they notice that parent becoming upset or sad.
  • Children then suppress their own needs to spare and help that parent.

Try to find conflict-free ways forward!

Many co-parenting teams establish a ground rule that the child should initiate communication themselves. You can also agree on specific times for calling or FaceTiming. Consideration and respect should be shown for what works best for the parent the children are with at that moment. Some parents also have an agreement where the parent with the children first checks with the other parent if it’s suitable for the children to get in touch at that time.

There are no right or wrong answers here if you can agree and both you and the children feel it’s working. If it creates negative feelings and becomes distressing for the children, you should establish a clear structure for communication with the child and respect it.

Elisabeth Scholander