Co-parenting is a noble endeavor, but many parents find it challenging to execute in their daily lives. The cooperation and communication involved in effective co-parenting may not be possible for parents who are still harboring resentment towards one another or who have major disagreements on how to raise their child.
Parents who find co-parenting just does not work for them may find parallel parenting is more appropriate for their situation. What is parallel parenting, and why might it be a logical choice for some parents?
The basics of parallel parenting
Parallel parenting is a means of raising a child when parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. Unlike co-parenting parents, parallel parents have limited contact with one another. They will not attend events involving the child together, such as school concerts, birthday parties or even medical appointments.
Parallel parents may not speak face-to-face or even over the phone. Instead, they may communicate through text messages, email or other forms of writing. They may also have a third-party transport the child for child custody exchanges at neutral sites, so they do not have to see or communicate with one another during these times.
Parallel parents will follow a very detailed child custody order. This order will include not only who has custody of the child and when, but also how celebrations, extracurricular activities, travel, school and medical care will be handled between them.
Other than that, parallel parents are allowed to raise the child as they wish during their parenting time, with no interference from the other parent.
Benefits of parallel parenting
Parallel parents may face a stigma of being unreasonably uncooperative or vindicative. This stigma is simply not warranted.
Parallel parenting allows parents to raise their child in a manner that is relatively free from conflict and power struggles. This is to the child’s benefit, especially in the emotional aftermath of a divorce.
Parallel parenting also allows parents to cooperate indirectly with one another. Even parents who could not cooperate while married can find that parallel parenting allows them to work together to meet their child’s needs.
Finally, parallel parenting gives parents breathing room following a divorce. It puts into place healthy boundaries that allows them to parent without having to work directly with someone at a time when they are processing many emotions regarding that person.