The Use of Mindful Communication Techniques in Co-Parenting Puts Children First
September 12, 2022

Every day people must work through divorce, custody, shared decision making, and difficult co-parenting challenges with someone they no longer live with but need to cooperate with for the well-being of their children. The Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section created a video to help families navigate some of the tough conversations that arise when co-parenting.

Helen Casale, chair of the PBA Family Law Section, has observed that the biggest struggle by far is the parents’ inability to communicate with each other, which in turn creates many problems for their children. These adults then turn to the court system to resolve their issues, which can be expensive for them and traumatic for the children.

The PBA Family Law Section partnered with the High-Conflict Institute, San Diego. The Institute uses a concept called the BIFF Response™, demonstrating to parents how they can communicate with each other in a Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm way. The BIFF Response was developed by an attorney and mediator, Bill Eddy. The technique has proven to be an excellent way for co-parents to engage in effective communication regarding their children.

The “Tips and Tools for Better Co-Parenting” video uses realistic communication examples and then demonstrates how that same situation could have been handled by applying the BIFF Response method. What the video captures perfectly, and a little painfully, is HOW we communicate affects the people around us, especially our children.

Interlaced with the vignettes is commentary from Pennsylvania judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals who spend their workdays interceding in situations where communication has become destructive or completely broken down.

The incredibly hopeful message of this video is that if we can apply mindful communication techniques when attempting to do what is in our children’s best interest, everyone wins.

Children grow up fast. If nearly every interaction between co-parents is stressful, children may someday understand as adults what difficulties their parents struggled with, but they will never forget how it made them feel. Being aware of this one thing and letting it guide your texts and your spoken words can make all the difference.

The family law attorneys at Daley Zucker are pleased to share this video with you. Dealing with the emotional stress of divorce or child custody concerns? Reach out to the experienced team at Daley Zucker to schedule a consultation. We are here to help.

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