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Parents   »   Communication about the children after a separation

Communication about the children after a separation

It makes a big difference for a child’s wellbeing how we parents choose to communicate during and after the separation. We parents have everything to gain by respecting each other’s integrity and being generous with information about the children. However, it can sometimes be difficult to achieve good communication despite having good intentions.

Here you get tips to work around and with to get good communication!

Is your communication strained?

Think “colleague”

If you find it hard to be neutral towards your coparent, try acting towards them as you would towards a colleague you have difficulty getting along with at work. Be “business-like” and remember to neither be the boss nor the assistant.

Neither of you has the right to be bossy, neither the one who has been betrayed or the one who has spent the most time with the children during the relationship. Contact 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. It usually keeps the level of conflict down.

Focus on what you can control – your own behavior

Focus your energy on what you can control! That is, how your child is doing with you and how you communicate with your coparent. Ask if you can give advice or make suggestions rather than uninvitedly intruding or trying to be the “voice of the child”. If your coparent says no, you should respect that.

Agree on how to communicate

If the contact between you in the parent team is tense, it will make it easier for you and the child if you agree on what you should communicate about (the child, practical matters) and how you should communicate.

In the Varannan Vecka-app you and your coparent together (or each of you individually) decide on topics that are focused on your child only. School, friends, healthcare and so on….

How much communication is needed?

You may need close contact if…

  • You are used to being tight parents.
  • One of you is unfamiliar with having the children alone.
  • It is unfamiliar for one or both of you to be away from the children.
  • One of you is used to having control.
  • One of you is especially vulnerable, low or ill

You need less contact (and be more business-like) if….

  • You often end up in a disagreement.
  • Your contact drains one of you
  • One of you may feel scared or insecure in the interaction
  • One of you are more impulsive and emotionally driven.
  • One of you may be used to having control and insist on having it

Malin Bergström
Child psychologist