What is Parallel Parenting, and Why It Could Work for You
Parallel parenting after a tough divorce and parenting together after a divorce is even tougher. Especially if the split has been a nasty one. Some divorced couples seem to be able to manage co-parenting quite successfully on their own, they can do joint birthday parties and holiday dinners, others are not so lucky and need the courts to step in to set rules and boundaries.
Although my daughter’s father and I haven’t needed to go through the courts, we seem to have naturally implemented a co-parenting style called parallel parenting. We cannot be in the same room together, telephone calls always seem to turn into screaming matches and guilt trips, even texts, which start out about the child often turn into a blame game. So we’ve gone with a restricted contact parenting style. We have our custody schedule set, it rarely changes, the only time we communicate is through text, when absolutely necessary, and it’s kept short and to the point.
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What is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel Parenting is a style of co-parenting that works best for couples who’ve had a nasty divorce or if there’s a history of abuse, addiction problems or an ex-spouse with a history of mental illness or personality disorders.
Parallel parenting means accepting your ex’s limitations and creating the healthiest co-parenting arrangement so that your children can continue to thrive in the healthiest way possible. In situations where parents have shown that they simply cannot communicate with each other effectively and in a respectful manner, this will mean little communication, and limited direct contact with each other. This often leads to separate celebrations and activities. Each parent is able to live their own life and practice their own style of parenting. There needs to be a plan in place of how to deal with situations as they arise, custody needs to be set in stone so there is no need to be contacting each other.
Parallel parenting can alleviate some of the stress caused by dealing with an ex who can be unreasonable. It gives you the space to be able to focus on your children instead of having to deal with an uncooperative ex.
Do you use the parallel parenting style? How is it working out for you? Please let us know in the comments.
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