Oh, if only communication was easy! Misunderstandings and misinterpretations can cause so much stress for parents after separation, especially if emotions are running high. The best way to keep communication on track is to use a bit of BIFF. No, not biff ... a sharp blow with the fist, but BIFF meaning Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm communication.
Brief – keep your communication brief
Informative – focus on the simple details, not opinions or emotions
Friendly – use your manners. Start with Hi, say thanks and sign off
Firm – be clear of a time if you need a response, but be fair
Here are three examples of good BIFF communication when co-parenting your children after divorce. We've used our family Adam and Eve, and children Jack and Jill.
REQUESTING CHANGE IN CARE
Hi Eve, I would like to discuss spring break and see if it's possible to have Jack and Jill for an extra night to take them to the beach. Could you let me know if ok by the end of this week? Cheers Adam
DISCUSSING EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Hi Adam, Jack is keen to start football with his friend Sam. Here are the details:
• season starts next month
• games are on Saturday mornings from 9 - 11 am
• locations vary around town
• training is Wednesday afternoons at 3:30
• total cost $300
Some parents are keen to car pool to make it easy to get to training. Can you confirm that you're all good with this and sharing the costs by the end of this week as sign up ? If you have any questions, let me know. Thx Eve
CO-ORDINATING TREATMENT OF LICE
Hi Eve, just received a notice from school about head lice in Jill's class. I've attached a copy with their recommended treatment. I've done a treatment tonight, so the next one is due next Thursday when you have them. Let me know if any questions. Cheers Adam
If you want help with writing a BIFF message, message us via our Facebook page.
For more information about the BIFF communication method, go to biffresponse.com