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How To Avoid Anger & Focus On Solutions While Co Parenting

Apr 15, 2019 Focus, Reaction, Solutions, Co-Parenting, Parenting Class For Divorce, Co-Parenting Tips Hits: 3125

Girl shouting at man

How To Avoid Anger & Focus On Solutions While Co Parenting 

When relationships end there is a tendency to focus on the negative qualities of your co parent to help cope with the loss. Feeling angry seems more natural than sadness. The problem with coping by using anger puts you at risk of thinking and saying things which increase conflict or it may lead to avoiding your co parent.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” (Lao Tzu)

Pay attention to your physical reactions to your co-parent as a helpful tool in managing your focus on problem solving. To do this, think about where sadness, anger, frustration and other unpleasant emotions start in your body. Is it your stomach, heart, head, or neck? Muscle tension in your hands, neck or chest, facial flushing and sweaty palms- all could be early indications you are getting upset and need to refocus.

Any time you notice such a physical reaction, try this:

  • Breathe deep - take a few full breaths in from your diaphragm and slowly breathe out.
  • Remind yourself that you have solved problems before and you can do so again.
  • Remind yourself that there is a solution to every problem you face.

When you are talking, texting, or emailing your co-parent Focus on the outcome or desired result.

  • Work on only one problem at a time.
  • Avoid the comments of the past. Slipping backward into the past is normal but unproductive and frustrating for both of you. You will never agree about the past.
  • Focus on a solution.
  • Make a proposal.
  • When you hear a proposal, respond: “Yes”, or “No”, “I must think about it”, or “I can’t do {as you propose}, but I could..., would that work?”
  • Take a time out if the conversation becomes heated. Suggest a time and date to continue the conversation.