Communication...say what?

22nd June 2023
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Image: Kate Donohue and Jamie-Lee Morgan Jersey Corbett Le Quesne

Say what?

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” John C Maxwell.

Our article is in the July/August edition of Manner Magazine. Find us on pages 38-39.

This is the article by Kate Donohue and Jamie-Lee Morgan.

We are repeatedly told that communication is key. Whether with your children, your partner or your ex. Communication may be key but what if the lock is broken? 

Some suggested goals that separating parents should have in relation to communication:

  • Commit to supporting your children in having a free and uncomplicated relationship with the other parent.
  • Keep whatever feelings you have about each other separate from your co-parenting relationship.

With children we need to be more present and leave our phones alone. With difficult exes our constant access to mobile phones can be deeply stressful. When you separate there is often already some level of mistrust, sadness, anger and frustration with the other person. Reducing the opportunity to antagonise each other, even accidently, is a good thing.

Advice to improve communication with an ex.

  1. Imagine someone else will read all the messages you send.
  2. Imagine you are speaking to a colleague to neutralise the emotion and remain professional.
  3. Focus on how you want your relationship to look like in the future, for example at your child’s wedding.
  4. Write whatever you want but do not send that message. Delete it, breathe then start again.
  5. Read the message before you send it and imagine how you would feel if you received it.

So when communication breaks down, what can you do? You can employ technology to help. OurFamilyWizard is an App for just this purpose.  It monitors language, records messages including times messages were read and protects a party from abusive behaviour. A common issue between most couples is changing arrangements. With the best will in the world, as children get older, school events and parties and friends etc. etc. affect your plans. Communicating what is happening when, especially if you have more than one child, can be stressful at the best of times. OurFamilyWizard has a colour coded shared calendar as well as an approval process you can use to assist with arrangements without direct contact.

Some parents only realise how they speak to each other and to their children when it is reflected back at them by their children. Sometimes with hilarious results. However, every interaction with a child, or that a child sees, is a form of communication. The words, the tone, the expressions and the physical contact. All of these things teach your children how to respond to others and how to build their own relationships. Investing your energy in good communication techniques is an important way to help your children develop. So focus on the benefit to your children in maintaining good communication and not on your ex’s challenging behaviour.

Corbett Le Quesne specialise in family law. We offer 30 minute information sessions completely free of charge so if we can help you, give us a call on 733030 or e-mail


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