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Resources for Families

Tips for Talking with Your Children's Other Parent

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Rose Allen, Extension Educator — Family Relations

October 2009; reviewed January 2012.

Children of divorce need their parents to learn to communicate effectively. They need to know that their parents will work out their differences without putting them in the middle of the situation. Poor communication can lead to children feeling like their parents are not there for them when they need them most.

Communication is also important to help keep costs down during a divorce. Parents who are able to resolve differences on their own have on average 32 more contacts with each other per year than those that rely on the legal system to communicate for them. It is much more cost effective to be able to directly settle parental differences rather than rely on lawyers and the court to do so.

The following presentation was designed to help parents put their personal differences aside and improve their communication with each other. By using a more business-like communication method and "I" messages, parents will be able to spend less time battling and more time focusing on what's most important: their children.

You may also be interested in Creating a Parenting Plan, an important step in caring for children in different households.


University of Minnesota Extension Service (1997). Parents Forever: Education for families in divorce transition. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Allen, R. and Tralle, M. (2004). We agree: Creating a parenting plan. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service.

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