Choosing your battles when married, divorced and most importantly when raising kids is very key to remaining strong, sane and keeping the peace. One thing I learned during any conflict or challenge is to (1) sit on my hands (2) keep my mouth shut. In other words – choose your battles carefully, there may be a larger one around the corner.
When I had to hear my ex’s voice during divorce arguments or custody disagreements, sometimes I just had to place the phone down when he was taking and take a stroll to the kitchen. When I returned to the call, it was like I never left. And in the case of responding to an email or phone call, it’s best to stick to the facts, bringing in as little emotion as possible, and get to the solution of issues – not linger in challenges or finger-pointing. Il
If name-calling begins to happen in the conversation, my advice is to simple say “I can’t speak to you when you talk to me this way”. You can tell them to call you back after they calm down, text or email you – but hand up and do not reward bad behavior by being a doormat or verbal punching bag.
I also learned in regards to raising and living with teenagers, the same idea applies. Keep the mouth closed and carefully choose your battles. Sometimes engaging just causes greater issues and things leave our mouths that neither parent or child can take back.
Always a good idea, however challenging, to keep your mouth closed when your buttons get pushed. Count to ten, imagine yourself floating on a lake or in a pool, remember a time you were having fun; find the war zone bunker within yourself and just stay quiet until the storm passes.
By choosing your battles wisely, you save your strength for more important ones that you could perhaps win, and keep more of your sanity intact at the same time.