Parenting can be a challenging journey, especially when the relationship between parents is strained. If you and your co-parent have tried but just cannot seem to agree on important aspects of raising your children, parallel parenting might offer a solution. But what exactly is it? And how can it benefit your family? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of parallel parenting and explore its many advantages for families in conflict.
What is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting is a term used to describe a parenting arrangement in which divorced or separated parents share the responsibility for raising their children while living apart. In a parallel parenting arrangement, each parent has primary custody of the children for a set period of time and is responsible for making decisions about their care during that time. The other parent has limited contact with the children during their custodial period and typically only communicates with them through a third party, such as a lawyer or mediator.
Parallel parenting allows each parent to maintain their own household and parenting style, while still being responsible for the well-being and upbringing of their children. In parallel parenting, parents communicate mainly through written communication, such as emails or texts, and avoid face-to-face interactions as much as possible.
While parallel parenting is not right for every family, it can be an effective way to reduce conflict and provide stability for children after divorce or separation. If you are considering parallel parenting, it is important to talk to an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific situation and ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities.
The Different Types of Parallel Parenting
Parallel parenting is a parenting arrangement in which divorced or separated parents disengage from each other and minimize direct contact, while still actively co-parenting their children. There are several different types of parallel parenting that parents can utilize depending on their individual circumstances and needs
High Conflict Parallel Parenting: This type of parallel parenting is designed for parents who have a high level of conflict and difficulty communicating with each other. In this arrangement, parents maintain separate households and minimize their interactions with each other as much as possible.
Business-Like Parallel Parenting: This type of parallel parenting is characterized by a structured and formal approach to communication and co-parenting. Parents in this arrangement treat their parenting relationship like a business, focusing on shared goals and objectives, and communicate mainly through written communication such as emails or texts.
Cooperative Parallel Parenting: This type of parallel parenting is designed for parents who are able to communicate and cooperate with each other, but still want to maintain some level of distance in their parenting relationship. In this arrangement, parents share decision-making responsibilities and communicate directly about important issues, but still maintain separate households and schedules.
Nesting Parallel Parenting: This type of parallel parenting involves the children remaining in one home while the parents rotate in and out of the home based on their custody schedule. This arrangement minimizes the disruption and upheaval that children often experience when transitioning between two separate households.
Hybrid Parallel Parenting: This type of parallel parenting involves elements of multiple parallel parenting types. Parents in this arrangement may use a combination of high-conflict, business-like, and cooperative parallel parenting depending on their needs and circumstances.
Pros and Cons of Parallel Parenting
When it comes to co-parenting, there is no one right way to do things. Parallel parenting is one approach that can be beneficial for some families. With parallel parenting, each parent takes on a primarily independent role in their child’s life. This can look different in different families, but generally, each parent has their own home, their own rules, and their own routine with their child. The parents may coordinate on some big-picture items like education and medical care, but day-to-day parenting is mostly independent.
There are both pros and cons to this approach.
Some of the benefits of parallel parenting include:
• Each parent can provide a more stable home environment for their child.
• There is less opportunity for conflict between the parents.
• Each parent can focus on being the best parent they can be without worrying about what the other parent is doing.
Some of the potential drawbacks of parallel parenting include:
• It can be confusing for children who have two homes with different rules.
• It requires a high degree of communication and cooperation between the parents.
• It can be emotionally challenging for both parents to maintain separate lives while still sharing a child.
What to do if Parallel Parenting is not Working for You?
If you find that parallel parenting is not working for you and your family, there are a few things you can do to change the situation. First, make sure that you are communicating with your ex-partner and trying to come to a mutual agreement on how to parent your children. If you are not able to communicate effectively, you may want to consider going to counseling or mediation.
It is also important to make sure that you are following through with the parenting plan that you have in place. If you are consistently breaking the rules or not following the schedule, it will be difficult to make parallel parenting work. Finally, if you have any concerns about your child’s safety or well-being, be sure to speak up and address those issues with your ex-partner.
Parallel parenting can be an incredibly effective approach for getting through a tough divorce and working towards peaceful co-parenting. It is important to remember that children need both parents in their lives, so it’s important to make sure you are communicating frequently and finding ways to work together while still abiding by the boundaries of parallel parenting. Although this style of parenting can feel uncomfortable at first, with time, effort and understanding it can help create strong relationships between two separated households that will benefit your family as a whole.