Some ex-spouses can co-parent effectively after a divorce. Still, there are many situations where that isn’t possible because one spouse has narcissistic personality disorder or the divorce was highly contentious.
If you find yourself unable to work with your ex on a co-parenting plan, then you may want to consider parallel parenting.
What is parallel parenting?
Parallel parenting aims to reduce conflict and tension and allow ex-partners to play an active role in their children’s lives by limiting direct communication. Issues such as education, religion, and health care may require discussion. However, regarding day-to-day issues, each parent makes their own decisions regarding the children during their parenting time.
In addition, most of the communication is done via email, text, shared calendar, or an app. Parents communicate only when necessary, focusing solely on the children’s needs. A detailed parenting plan regarding time-sharing, holidays, and other essential details is agreed upon beforehand to minimize the need for future discussions.
Parallel parenting benefits both the children and the parents. Some advantages for parents include:
- Reduced stress and conflict
- Autonomy in decision-making
- Emotional healing
- Establishing clear boundaries
- Allows more focus on the child
- Helps parents to develop more effective communication skills, which could result in a better parenting relationship
For children, parallel parenting:
- Reduces their exposure to parental conflict
- Gives them a stable environment in each parent’s home where they know what to expect
- It allows the children quality time with both parents
By removing the tension and anger, more emphasis is placed back on the children’s well-being.
Parallel parenting has significant benefits for high-conflict divorces; however, every situation is unique. For some parents, it can be a step towards a more cooperative co-parenting relationship. Before making any decisions, it’s best to review your options to ensure you’re making the right choice for you and your children.