The Pause Button: our top tips for co-parenting this Christmas
In this guide, we won’t just be going over the Pause Button; we’ll also be showing a sneak peek into our new online course with The Co-Parent Way.
Whether it’s the run-up to Christmas that’s making co-parenting more stressful, or you’ve hit a bump in the road, there are some things you can do to make it easier.
amicable has teamed up with The Co-Parent Way to bring you an essential online course in co-parenting. The course teaches key communication tips and tricks to enable smoother communication with your ex. We’re going to give you a quick insight into one of the tools you’ll learn on the course, to help you in the run-up to the holiday season.
When you're speaking with an ex and emotions are running high, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed. You end up struggling to get your message across, and maybe even making things worse. We've all been there.
One of the simplest and most powerful communication tools you’ll learn in Module 5 of The Co-Parent Way: Essentials Course is how to create a Pause Button for yourself. Knowing when not to speak is one of the most fundamental techniques when co-parenting. ‘Pausing’ a relationship, co-parenting or otherwise, can allow conversations to run more smoothly.
The Pause Button retrains our brain not to interrupt during a conversation. It encourages us to pause for a few seconds and take a breath instead of cutting short our co-parent’s thoughts very deliberately. We can find pausing difficult because we may not want to consider the needs of our co-parent. They might be inconvenient for us. But pausing allows us to fully focus on who we’re talking to and what they’re saying.
Using the Pause Button means that we deliberately and consciously allow our co-parent the time to put forward their point of view. And we actively listen to it. Using these techniques will allow your co-parent to feel heard. It will improve the level of communication in your co-parenting relationship. And because you have more time to consider your responses, you may also find better solutions to some of the challenges that you, your children, and your co-parent face.
So, how do we use the Pause Button in daily life? I’ve got 4 rules for you and if you take the course, you’ll see how the Pause Button can be used effectively with your co-parent!
4 Rules for the Pause Button
1. Choose your pause button
it needs to be something you have with you all the time. For instance, a watch or a ring. This is your Pause Button. When you touch it, it will remind you to pause for 5-10 seconds during a conversation.
2. Pause before responding
During conversations with your ex, have your finger on your pause button and pause for 5 – 10 seconds before responding. You don’t need to tell the person you’re talking to what you’re doing. No-one needs to know. Only speak when they’ve finished speaking. This can be hard to do, and it may feel strange. But it’ll start to feel more normal with practice. Persevere and you’ll see how it starts to transform your conversations with your co-parent and others.
3. Respond calmly and respectfully
When they’ve finished speaking, respond calmly and respectfully having fully heard what they’ve said. Remember that pausing is not at all about being passive or submissive. You don’t HAVE TO AGREE with someone. You can ask for time to consider something. But your responses will be said in a calmer manner.
At the end of the conversation, ask yourself what pausing and active listening allowed you to learn that you might not have noticed otherwise. Pausing in this way allows you to calm down your nervous system and gather your thoughts. It will help you communicate with the clarity and purpose you need. Pausing in this way allows you to calm down your nervous system and gather your thoughts. It will help you communicate with the clarity and purpose you need.
And remember, as you’re handing over your children, they need to see you both in control. They want you to be able to parent them and to talk with each other. That’s probably the best gift they will get this year. You’ve got this.
For more information and to take The Co-Parent Way: Essentials Course please click here.
What do you do if your co-parent won’t communicate with you?
Although it may be difficult, try to approach the situation with a calm and patient mindset. Keep in mind that your co-parent not communicating may be influenced by various factors, such as their own emotions, stress, or personal circumstances. By remaining composed, you set the foundation for a more productive conversation in the future.
Are there any specific tips and tricks for improving co-parenting styles?
Learning how to be a better co-parent takes time and commitment. However, communication, listening and being respectful can help a great deal. Most of the time, it comes down to listening to what your other co-parent has to say and thinking about how you respond to them. However, we have lots of blogs on our website which go into much greater detail.
Is there a specific app for co-parenting communication?
Yes, amicable has designed app specifically to help co-parents communicate and plan better with each other. You can download it here.