When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:10-11

In other words, “when I grew up, I began to speak as an adult, think as an adult, and reason as an adult.” Divorcees frequently resort to childish ways of dealing with each other. So the first tip for being the adult is to learn to communicate with the other parent in an adult manner.

Do Away with Childish Speaking

Healthy communication takes time and practice to achieve. A good book on healthy communication is a must! But here are some tips:

  • Begin conversations by affirming “We’re here for the sake of the kids.”
  • Make your goal to understand, rather than to persuade.
  • Choose your issues carefully. Is it really about the child, or about your need for vengeance?
  • Ask sincere questions: “What do you think we should do?” “How do you feel about this?”
  • Give your full attention to the other person. Don’t plan your response, interrupt, blame or accuse the other person.
  • Communicate like an adult both verbally and nonverbally, even if the other person doesn’t (80 percent of communication takes place non-verbally!)
  • If communicating with the former spouse is particularly difficult consider mediation.
  • Pray before the meeting, and pray afterward

Do away with childish thinking and reasoning

  • Take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). Feelings of stress or anxiety might indivate some runaway-thoughts that need to be reined in.
  • Express emotional thoughts to God before expressing them to someone else.
  • Confess your thoughts to a trusted and objective friend.
  • When negative thoughts consume you, redirect. Choose to think on things that are pure, true, beautiful, and righteous (Philippians 4:8)

Children need equal effort from both parents in providing authoritative, mature guidance for their lives. Support each other in speaking, thinking, and co-parenting like adults.