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Tips for Parental Email Communication

  1. Keep it Factual and about the children, not each other.
  2. Keep it Neutral – Avoid Emotion (this also means capital letters and exclamation points should be avoided as it may be construed as emotion).
  3. Keep it Polite and Respectful for the sake of your children – avoid sarcasm, derogatory comments, negative innuendo, etc.).
  4. Keep it Non-Judgmental – there should never be judgements about the other parent’s behavior or motives.
  5. Don’t Make Assumptions – ask questions politely for certainty/clarity.
  6. Focus on the Present – past events/issues should only be raised if important to the present issue under consideration and related to the children.
  7. Keep it Brief and to the Point.
  8. Use Agreed to Codes to Organize and Prioritize – For example, in the subject line put ‘PR’ to indicate information only, no need to reply. Also, devote one email to one issue and put the subject of the issue in the subject line.
  9. Comply with Previously Agreed Response Times – For example, the 48 hour reply time, or emails sent only a certain number of times per week, etc.

Remember:

  • A good co-parenting relationship is like a good business partnership, where your business is the welfare of your children.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right. Inappropriate communications are not acceptable even if you feel justified because of something the other parent said or did.