Co-parenting can be difficult even for divorced spouses who get along. If you and your co-parent still have a strained or even hostile relationship, it may feel impossible at times.

Sometimes, something as simple as the words you use can help improve your relationship with your co-parent. Even if he or she doesn’t seem to share your desire for a healthy co-parenting relationship, your words and actions could eventually rub off and also model good behavior for your kids.

The “magic” words

Remember when you were taught as a child to use the “magic” words “please” and “thank you?” Those and other niceties often disappear from our vocabulary during marriage — even marriages that don’t end in divorce. It’s time to bring them back. They can go a long way toward showing respect and appreciation for what your co-parent is doing — even if it’s something he or she should be doing. You’re also showing your kids how important these words are.

Co-parent

You may see “co-parent” as a modern, new-agey, politically correct way to refer to your ex. However, it describes what that person is and always will be. By using the term “ex,” you’re focusing on the past and probably bringing back some negative feelings. By using the term “co-parent,” you’re focused on the present and future.

It’s also wise to keep words like “family” and “our children” in your vocabulary. They help remind you, your co-parent and your kids that you’re still a family and always will be and that both of you will always be their parents.

If you and your co-parent have tried these things and more, but are still having difficulty raising your kids in a healthy manner, you may want to consider making some modifications to your parenting plan, at least temporarily. Modifications can help you avoid direct contact or add detail that can help you prevent confusion and misunderstanding. Your Florida family law attorney can help you seek these modifications.