What is Parallel Parenting? Ending a toxic or abusive marriage through divorce or separation is never an easy decision. However, if you and your ex have had a child together, you will need to find some way of keeping communication lines open in order to ensure the well-being of your child–even though it may not always be simple.
Establishing and maintaining strong relationships between your child and both parents is essential. Unfortunately, having to maintain close communication with an ex-spouse may be too much for some people to handle. To ensure the best possible outcome for your child in this situation, try parallel parenting – a practice that can make interactions between you and your ex more bearable (or even amicable).
Keep on reading for parallel parenting.
What is Parallel Parenting?
If your relationship with your ex ended in a heated manner, you may still be filled with anger and bitterness. That’s where parallel parenting comes into play: it allows both of you to separate from one another while also agreeing on how best to parent when the child is in either of your care.
By limiting contact between the two of you, this style helps reduce fighting in front of the kid as well. Parallel parenting gives an opportunity for parents who previously could not agree to come together unified behind their common goal — raising their children successfully — even if they cannot do so under traditional means
How is Parallel Parenting Different from Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting can be an effective way for ex-spouses to put aside their differences and nurture a healthy environment in which to raise their child. Even if they might still harbor animosity towards each other, both parties are willing to work together with the primary goal of providing a safe and loving home for the offspring.
Unlike a co-parenting situation where both parents attend their child’s doctor appointments, school functions and take part in extracurricular activities together, parallel parenting keeps communication to an absolute minimum. In this arrangement, communication only occurs when absolutely necessary.
What Are the Benefits of Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting is a practical solution that can be advantageous for you, your ex-partner, and most of all – your child. This technique allows you to keep potential conflict away from your kids’ eyesight; ultimately being in everyone’s best interest! With this strategy, not only do you maintain harmony within the family unit but also promote healthy relationships between both parents.
By utilizing parallel parenting, both you and your child can find a sense of safety and security during the divorce or separation. It also serves as an effective steppingstone in developing co-parenting practices down the line. Moreover, it has been noted that this approach may assist you and your ex in healing past wounds while allowing any animosity to eventually vanish.
Further still, once parallel parenting is underway, communication between you two could then resume without devolving into quarrels each time there is contact with one another.
For parallel parenting to be successful, all communication between you and your ex should remain professional and void of any emotions. Keep it concise yet informative; maintain a friendly demeanor while being assertive, but never condescending or spiteful. Stick to the facts without deviating into other topics that could bring emotionality into play.
You and your ex can take advantage of an online parenting app such OurFamilyWizard, to monitor expenses and schedules as well as communicate in a controlled setting. Alternatively, you both may prefer emailing each other for communication purposes – but use caution! All emails exchanged between the two of you should be viewed cautiously because they could potentially be used against either one of you in court.
Not only that, but you should always try to transform any conflicts into a learning experience for your child. Whenever your offspring is hurt due to the behaviour of their other parent, concentrate on what can be taken away from this situation rather than how wronged one or the other may be feeling. You will miss out on an invaluable opportunity if you merely focus on pointing fingers and placing blame; instead use it as a moment where your little one can comprehend how conflict ought to best be addressed.
Take some time to understand your child’s perspective and express validation for their emotions. Ask questions that will help them come up with the answer themselves, rather than simply giving them an answer yourself. Parallel parenting can prove especially beneficial since it reduces stress by limiting communication with your ex-partner to a minimum amount.
How Can I Create My Own Parallel Parenting Plan?
For optimal success, a parallel parenting plan must be comprehensive and exact in order to minimize communication between co-parents. To ensure that your arrangement is legally binding, you should present the finalized plan to family court for approval. If accepted after review, it will create stability within your familial relationship as well as guarantee protection from any disputes down the road. Here are several steps necessary when constructing a parallel parenting agreement:
- Splitting Time with Your Child: You and your ex will have to specify in great detail where your child will spend holidays, vacations, and birthdays.
- Start and End Times for Visitation: To ensure there is no confusion or misunderstandings, your parallel parenting plan should include the exact pick-up and drop-off times for you and your ex.
As an example, you may have custody of your child from Sunday evening at 7 p.m. to Friday’s school drop-off while the other parent has them starting after school on Fridays until 7 p.m. Sundays.
- Pick-ups and Drop-Off Locations: Because your goal is to limit communication between you and your ex, it is imperative that you choose neutral ground for pick-ups and drop-offs. This spot can be a parking lot or some other location where your child can quickly be moved from one car to the other.
- Your Plan for Handling Disputes: If your parallel parenting plan is successful, any disputes should be kept to a bare minimum. However, remember that no plan is perfect, especially when your ex is being difficult.
If you anticipate any problems, you can ask the court to appoint a mediator to help you and your ex settle any disputes.
What is the definition of parallel parenting with a narcissist?
When it comes to parallel parenting, it is best for each parent to keep distance from one another and avoid engaging in conflict. This way, your child will not be exposed to any of the arguments between you and your ex with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Always exercise caution when communicating with them and focus on facts rather than emotional outbursts.
Is parallel parenting good or not?
Parallel parenting offers an opportunity for both parents to remain a key part of their children’s lives, regardless of any tension or conflict during the separation and divorce process. According to research, kids tend to benefit greatly when they spend at least 35% with each parent – making parallel parenting an optimal choice for those navigating through this difficult time.
Does parallel parenting cause harm?
It is sometimes argued that parallel parenting has a negative effect on children, and creates tension between parents. In reality, however, it can be highly beneficial due to its ability to reduce conflict in the presence of kids.
Do parents feel happier with one child or two?
In an extensive study of 20 years, researchers uncovered that parents are actually more content after the arrival of their second baby. After having a first child, satisfaction sunk for several years before elevating to heights higher than it was prior. Surprisingly though, life happiness increased steadily with the birth of a second child!
Having a good parallel parenting plan in place is a great way to protect your child from endless hostility and fighting between you and your spouse. While it encourages you and your ex to be separate, it also allows for a cooling-off period. Therefore, you and your ex can work through your hurt, anger, and hostility toward your child’s other parent.