Fond du Lac County Extension partnered this October with Family Court Services and Fond du Lac County’s Birth to 3 Program to provide a co-parenting workshop to separated/divorced parents. The training teaches co-parents strategies that will help their children with the adjustment. The participants learn common reactions to divorce by children at different ages, ways to keep children out of the middle, and strategies to improve communication with their co-parents.
Parents who are separated or recently divorced are not the only people who can benefit from managing conflict in a healthy way. Everyone can benefit from clear communication during stressful time periods. The next time you’re upset, take a deep breath and try using an “I” statement.
“I” statements set the stage for a positive conversation. To use an “I” statement, start with the word “I” and then add what you are feeling. Explain why you are feeling this way and describe what you would like to happen in the future. For example, if you have asked your child to call you when they get home from school and they keep forgetting you could try saying… “I feel scared when I don’t hear from you at 3 pm because I’m worried you didn’t make it home. I would like you to call or text when you get home.”
Want to learn more about positive communication? Check out these short articles from the University of Minnesota Extension and Utah State’s Extension: Tips for Managing Conflict and Effective Communication Skills: “I” Messages and Beyond.