CCD can be a fast-track for successful coparenting. Being “calm, courteous, and diplomatic” (CCD) is a key coparent skill. It is the foundation for cooperation and mutual respect. It gives our kids a key example of mature behavior and spares them the hurt, stress, or fear they can feel when parents are sarcastic, disrespectful, or argue without a resolution. Even if the other parent remains difficult, for our own benefit and for the sake of the kids, try to stay CCD yourself. We may believe, “The kids come first”, but that can be hard to remember when negative emotions take over or we are distracted by other responsibilities.
Here is a tip that has helped many people control their emotions and build strong parenting partnerships. Before you text, talk, or write the other parent remind yourself, “The kids come first and this is strictly parent-business.” Why “business?” Because at work, even when we don’t feel like it or think the other person deserves it, we are expected to be courteous, calm, and diplomatic. This mutual respect is the foundation for effective partnerships and motivation. If we can be CCD at work, we can use some of that experience to be CCD as a coparent.
For some of us, staying CCD, putting kids first, and managing the business end of shared parenting is a complex new skill. Some things still apply from before the separation but others do not. So, in many ways, the partnership has to be built from the ground up again. Yes, it takes time, persistence, and patience to sort this out, but it’s worth 100 times the effort in the end.
The overall goals? More respect and cooperation, less stress all around, and a healthier coparenting environment for the kids.
For more time-tested tips and practical guides for successful coparenting, communications, and CCD, read Chapter 4, “Speed Healing by Managing Hurt and Hard Feelings”; Chapter 5, “Use Special Business Guidelines for Relating to the Other Parent”; and Chapter 6 “Try These Tools to Sidestep Communication Potholes” from The CoParenting Toolkit, by Isolina Ricci, PhD.