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Breakup of a relationship can be emotionally volatile and even more so when children are involved. Anger and resentment need to be kept under control in order to successfully co-parent. When conflict arises, communication with your ex should remain professional and respectful, keeping in mind the wellbeing of their child. Here are a few strategies for keeping emotions private when talking with an ex. Keep Your Issues Away From Your Child Idealistically, both you and your ex-spouse should be able to co-parent successfully without allowing personal issues to get in the way of your children's well-being. Although difficult, emotions like anger and resentment should take a backseat when considering your children's best interests. Furthermore, remember that co-parenting relationships do not depend on individuals but instead should focus on working collaboratively for the greater good of children involved. If your emotions become overwhelming, it may be helpful to vent them to an objective friend or family member instead of using your children as an outlet. Counselors or therapists, mediation services or even therapy services may provide invaluable help with working through difficult emotions and learning how to communicate more effectively with former partners. When parents discuss personal matters with their children, it can lead to them taking sides and feeling insecure in their relationships with both of their parents. Furthermore, this could cause your children to internalize negative messages that might make them believe they're responsible for the breakup, potentially having long-term repercussions for themselves and other relationships in their lives. Your child's self-esteem could also be damaged if they hear you and their other parent disparage one another, and speak negatively about one another in front of them. This may cause guilt to arise which could eventually lead to depression or anxiety later. Your child should not witness you arguing with your former partner in front of them. Doing so could create the perception that something they have done has caused punishment from both of their parents, leading them to withdraw further from both. Furthermore, such tension between the two parties is hard to break. As important as it is to stay calm during conversations with your ex-partner, staying focused is also a necessity if you hope for an amicable, respectful, and effective parenting process. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, finding quick stress relief methods such as meditation, yoga or exercise may also help. Don’t Say Anything Negative About Your Ex Your emotions after a breakup may leave you racked with anger, but these shouldn't dictate your parenting approach or behaviors around your children. While it is normal to feel betrayed by your ex's actions during your relationship, separating that pain from co-parenting requires working together and maintaining peaceful coexistence between partners. Furthermore, it is crucial not to criticize their former partner or any new relationships they form before your kids, since this could damage their view of both of their parents as positive figures in their lives and could potentially have adverse repercussions from hearing you speak negatively of either parent or new relationships you encounter while raising children together. Finding peace with an ex can be tricky, and it can be tempting to pry into their current relationships. But that should not be your business; avoid stalking them on social media, asking their friends, or harassing them for this information. If the ex is particularly toxic and cannot be left alone, consider seeking professional assistance such as therapy or mediation if their behaviour is creating real issues for your child. At first, it's best to keep conversations between yourself and your ex as businesslike as possible - not discussing personal matters such as child rearing until both of you feel more at ease doing so. If it becomes necessary, try communicating about personal matters through writing or third parties until both can manage to remain respectful towards one another. Texting or email can also help keep conversations focused and less emotional, according to Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements. Maintaining integrity can sometimes be challenging in certain situations; doing so here will set an excellent example for your child and create a more harmonious family life. Don’t Use Your Child as a Messenger Successful co-parenting requires setting aside your emotions and prioritizing what's best for the children. While you may feel angry, resentful or hurt by their breakup, those feelings should take second place to ensuring the wellbeing of your kids. If anger and resentment continue to control you emotionally after divorce proceedings have ended, seek counseling for any post-divorce issues as soon as possible. Your ex may tempt you to communicate via email and text in order to avoid picking up the phone, arguing on it, and using their children as messengers - however this should only be done when certain that no children are listening in. "Email and text can easily be sent with insensitive or inappropriate language that reflects badly on either party," according to Moskovitch. Therefore it's wiser to keep all communication short and professional and only discuss matters related to any children you share together. Never try to pressure or manipulate your children into providing details about their co-parent or new relationships, no matter how crucial this may seem. Doing so could cause them to select sides or form strong allegiances that can have harmful impacts on both health and social development. Asking your child to represent your feelings can create an atmosphere of mistrust between you and their co-parent, leading them to feel alienated and marginalized. Instead, it would be more effective if you directly communicated with each of them on any large issues that needed resolution. Divorce can be a challenging transition for all involved, and particularly difficult when children are involved. By keeping your emotions private and practicing these tips for co-parenting with former partners, you can help ensure a more harmonious experience for all parties involved and ensure children thrive during this transition period. Good luck!