How to reduce or eliminate conflict in the first 12 months after separation.

Co-parenting after a separation is a delicate endeavor that requires a thoughtful approach to minimize conflict and prioritize the well-being of the children and parents involved. So how can you minimize conflict in the first 12 months after separation?

Child-Centric Approach:

Scientific studies consistently emphasize the importance of prioritizing the child’s well-being in co-parenting scenarios and keeping the children out of your conflict. Research shows that separation is not what is harmful for children, ongoing conflict between co-parents is.  Think about what works for your kids even when what is best for the kids might be challenging for you as a parent and do all you can to keep your children out of your conflict with your ex. Do not badmouth your ex partner. Trying to hurt your ex by speaking badly about them hurts your children.  Do not use your children as messengers and manage your own emotions when the kids are around. If you have a hard time managing your emotions, get a professional to help you.

Work on your communication:

Communication is a key factor in co-parenting success. Which is easier said than done. A lot of people separate because their communication was not great in their relationship. So how will you get better communication all of sudden now you are separated?  The answer is simple. You will have to work on it. I will not just happen without putting any work into it.  Do a co parenting course like turning point and learn new strategies to communicate better. Ask your ex partner to join you, but if he or she is not interested do the course alone. If one person makes positive changes the dynamic will change.

Structured Co-Parenting Plans:

Scientific literature supports the implementation of structured co-parenting plans. It reduces conflict when everyone knows what they are doing and when. It is great for the kids because they know when they see both their parents and it reduces anxiety for both parents which leads to better communication. Plus you do not have to negotiate every week or every day which reduces contact and conflict. You get some space from each other to heal.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

Flexibility is important to be able to successfully co-parent with your ex.  It is important to be able to adapt due to unforeseen circumstances. It does not mean you have to change plans weekly but if something happens help each other out. Being willing to adjust plans and make compromises when necessary enhances the resilience of the co-parenting relationship. Do not get into the habit of playing the tit for tat game. It increases conflict and it will make both your life much harder and the kids will be impacted negatively.

Professional Support:

Seeking professional support is a proactive step supported by research.  See a mediator, do a Co-parenting course like Turning Point  or attend individual therapy sessions to further equip yourself  with valuable skills to navigate challenges successfully.

Technology Integration:

Scientific research acknowledges the positive impact of technology on co-parenting. According to studies in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, utilizing shared calendars and co-parenting apps like our CoOperate app enhances communication and coordination between parents. Technology also provides a platform for keeping important information accessible to both parties, promoting a collaborative parenting approach. It is a much safer way to communicate as there is more accountability and all communication is in one place instead of over multiple platforms.

Mindfulness and Emotional Well-being:

Research  suggests that mindfulness practices can positively impact co-parenting relationships. Maintaining emotional well-being and staying composed during challenging moments is crucial for effective co-parenting. Mindfulness techniques can enhance emotional regulation and promote a more positive co-parenting dynamic. The better you feel in your skin the better you will be able to deal with the challenges of being recently separated.  Prioritise looking after yourself. You will be able to make better decisions, communicate and you will be better parents. There are no medals for parents that put themselves last. We promote self care as it is just like in an airplane. Put your own oxygen mask on first so you can help your children.

The first 12 months after separation is a difficult period for most people but if you get good support and you put agreements in place early you will make it much easier for yourself and your children.

About The Author

Reducing conflict for co-parents

Navigate Co-Parenting Successfully with our Flagship Program 'Turning Point'

‘Turning Point’ is a 6-week transformative online course that distills the expertise of Australian psychological and mediation professionals, who have helped thousands of separated families in situations like yours, move forward.

It delves beyond mere communication techniques, emphasizing the critical role of emotional well-being and conflict resolution in shaping your children’s future. This course equips you with not only the ‘how’ but the ‘why’—underpinning strategies with research to foster informed, compassionate parenting.

Amidst the journey from separation towards healing, ‘Turning Point’ stands as your guide to self-care and steering a path forward for your family.

Who will benefit from those participating in 'Turning Point'?

  • Divorced or seperated parents

  • Struggling Co-parents

  • Busy single parents

  • FIFO & shift workers

  • Co-parents in high conflict

  • Co-parents who want to educate themselves to get the best outcome for their kids

  • Co-parents who want their children to thrive

  • People who like simple practical solutions