When it comes to co-parenting, communication is a huge part of it. We need to communicate, whether it is about visitation schedules, updates on doctor’s appointments, information about school events and a myriad of other reasons, communication helps co-parenting run smoothly. However, sometimes it can be difficult to communicate or there can be times when communication isn’t possible. It is in these moments that a co-parenting communication journal is incredibly important.
What is a Co-Parenting Communication Journal?
A communication journal is a tool that parents use for communication. This can be through the communication journal on 2houses or another journaling app. It can also be just a regular journal that travels with the child as he or she goes from house to house.
The key feature of the communication journal is to be a mediator or facilitator of information about the children as they go from house to house. Journals usually have short notes in them but you can also incorporate other features into the journal that include calendars and other things.
Co-Parenting Communication Journals Helps Avoid Conflict
One of the best reasons to use a communication journal is in those periods where there is a high level of conflict. This can be at any time but especially useful when you are first separating and going through the divorce progress. When you use a journal, you are less likely to argue in person. Communication can stay focused, such as when you need to discuss expenses, and you can avoid all verbal conversations until that high tension has passed or you work through the final dealings of the divorce.
Co-Parenting Communication Journals Keeps Dialogue Brief and to the Point
When you are communicating verbally, it can be really easy to meander into other conversations or even use language that could increase tension. In emails and other communication methods, it can be easy to fall into that same habit where you just say everything you are feeling at once. A communication journal allows you to collect your thoughts, sift through those emotions and then focus on those key pieces of information that you need to relay.
With communication journals, you can be brief and to the point about the information. The communication journal is not a place to dress down behaviour or make long communications. And, since many older children have access to communication journals and may read it, parents can be reminded to keep all dialogue to the point and brief, which prevents arguments from getting into the journal.
Co-Parenting Communication Journals Center Focus on the Kids
The main use of the co-parenting communication journal is so that you can effectively parent as part of a team. While the team looks different than it did during the relationship, it is still a team that needs to be present for your child’s mental health. With that being said, all communication that goes into a co-parenting communication journal should be about the kids or the schedule around visitations. If you know you are going to be late for a visitation because of an appointment, you can put it in the co-parenting journal for your ex-partner to know and be prepared for.
The co-parenting journal allows you to be transparent about things while keeping the entire focus on the kids and not on other things happening in the separation or divorce.
Co-Parenting Communication Journals Enables you to Create Consistency in Routines and Rules
Another great part of having a co-parenting communication journal is that it really enables parents to create stability and predictability for kids. This means that you can list out rules in their communication journal that is followed by both homes. For instance, if the child has a bedtime of 8pm, then that bedtime is 8pm regardless of where they are.
You can also use the communication journal to make changes to routines and rules. For example, during the summer, you may decide to go to a movie that won’t end until after that bedtime. It is easy to let the other parent know in the communication journal ahead of time that it will be happening. It isn’t to gain permission but just so you are open about the slight change in routine, that way, if the other parent is planning a late night summer event, they can plan it so it isn’t two nights in the row or cutting into pick up time the next morning because kids are sleeping in.
The consistency of a communication journal makes co-parenting much easier than it could be without it. So this is definitely one of the most important reasons to have a co-parenting communication journal because ensuring that your children have the stability, they need will ensure that they are happier and healthier living between two homes.
Co-Parenting Communication Journals Keep you Organized
Finally, co-parenting journals are a way that keep you organized. You can write out schedules for the kids, if there are sudden appointments that the other co-parent needs to go to, or if there is a sudden expense that came up. Or, in the event of health problems, the communication journal can keep doctor’s appointments and medications organized no matter where the child is staying. The journal can document all of these things.
For co-parenting communication journal apps, such as 2houses, they expand on the co-parenting communication journals with budget organizers, calendars to schedule everything, albums to share photos and the journal itself so parents can be completely prepared and organized as co-parents.
As you can see, there are many reasons why a communication journal is so important for co-parenting. You can stay focused on the needs of your kids, keep a sense of stability for your children, which improves their mental well-being, and avoid those conflicts that can arise in co-parenting arrangements, especially at the beginning. So what are you waiting for? You, your kids and your ex-partner will only benefit from having a co-parenting communication journal.