How you approach communicating with your co-parent has a direct impact on the outcome in a New Mexico divorce. Cooperation, empathy and open-mindedness are essential for positive communication between co-parents, but some parents find themselves stuck in negativity ruts and unable to identify which behaviors are preventing them from going forward.
One common behavior that trips up many parents is “all-or-nothing” thinking. This happens when you are viewing situations, yourself or other people as either entirely negative or entirely positive, with absolutely no nuance. All-or-nothing thinking does not allow for stability in any relationship, as any tiny bump in the road can make feelings about other people or yourself alternate wildly. Co-parenting communication works best when there is stability in the relationship, so all-or-nothing thinking can cause a lot of unnecessary problems.
Where does it come from?
All-or-nothing mindsets often pop up after stress, which is normally a part of co-parenting after you have separated or divorced and are still adjusting to the changes. The key here is to learn to recognize when you’re likely to engage in this type of thinking.
Say, for example, that you and your ex are struggling with pickup times and decide to try a new system. This new system works fine for two weeks or so, but then you encounter a hiccup and find yourself thinking the pickups are always a mess. However, you did have a successful two weeks on the new system, so the pickups aren’t always a mess and are actually getting better. It’s your all-or-nothing mindset that is causing you to view all your efforts as a disaster instead of treating the new system hiccup as what is was: a temporary setback.
The impact on co-pareting
You will be a co-parent for your entire life, so the communication between you and your co-parent will have to weather many tribulations and trials. When you’re unable to see things as being in a gray area, it will be tougher for you to see any situation from a different angle so you can come up with new solutions to continuing problems.
Positivity in co-parenting is a long-term practice, and it will require you and your co-parent to overcome mishaps, mistakes and doubts. All-or-nothing mindsets simply do not allow for this and can lead you to feel hopeless about your co-parent communication. If you are already thinking that your co-parenting efforts are doomed to fail, it will be much harder to find the motivation you need to move forward.
What you can do
Once you are able to recognize the all-or-nothing trap, you will have an easier time combating it when it appears, and this can be as easy as questioning thought processes from the start. Look for some telltale words that may be invading your inner thoughts, such as “never,” “always,” and “impossible.” These are all black-and-white words that can indicate you are in an all-or-nothing mindset. Instead, focus on the nuances of the situation, or the “grays.”
Your co-parent communication will likely be evolving for years to come, and it is best for everyone involved if you work on improving it as much as you possibly can, especially your kids. You need to be able to cope with miscommunication and conflict if you want to build a co-parent relationship that will grow as time passes, and many parents do encounter the all-or-nothing roadblock at some point along the way. Be aware of your own mindset and be ready to switch gears any time you find yourself falling into this thought trap so your relationship with your co-parent can improve over time.