What Is Parallel Parenting?

When your child’s other parent is less than cooperative, co-parenting may not be possible. Even after the divorce is finalized and you have reached a custody arrangement, antagonistic exes might be difficult to get along with or even purposely sabotage your parenting. Parallel parenting might be right for you.

What is parallel parenting?

Parallel parenting is a method in which parents disengage from each other and limit contact as much as possible. Instead of collaborating on raising their children, each parent focuses on their own parenting style and rules during their parenting time.

How it works

This parenting method acknowledges that when parents can’t get along, it’s best to simply focus on their own household: the rules they set might not be the same as at the other parents’ home. For instance, parents might have different rules for screentime, curfews, when to do homework and more.

Each parent attends the child’s events separately, and the parents may choose to use a parenting communication app or a third party to communicate. This minimizes disagreements between the parents.

Parallel parenting considerations

As you may guess, parallel parenting does not provide a consistent environment between homes—but it does reduce the stress of parental arguments. It also allows the children to maintain relationships with both parents, who can contribute equally to their upbringing.

On the other hand, parallel parenting requires a good parenting plan, which may need to be revised on a regular basis. You’ll still have to communicate with your ex about the children’s health, safety and welfare—but it’s typically on a far less frequent basis than a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

Whether you choose parallel parenting or another technique, parents may benefit from individual therapy to learn how to handle this new situation.

Could parallel parenting be part of your mediated parenting plan? To find out whether mediation is right for you, reach out to the compassionate Long Island divorce meditators at Solutions Divorce Mediation today.

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