While most parents recognize that it is important they get along and work together to raise their children, many struggle with this concept after a divorce. Even a few moments with their ex may spark feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, or guilt. When those feelings lead to an argument, children can begin to feel as though they are responsible for the continued conflict, which may be the exact opposite of what caring, loving parents want. In these situations, parallel parenting may be a viable alternative.
What Is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting seeks to reduce conflict between parents by encouraging disengagement between parents, rather than engagement. Each parent works independently toward the best interest of their child, focusing solely on their personal relationship with the child. No ill words are spoken about the other parent around the child, each household is run as each parent sees fit, and there is very little contact between the adults. Success in this parenting method relies upon the respect for one another’s boundaries and privacy. As such, a comprehensive plan should be developed, generally with the assistance of a skilled legal professional, such as a family law attorney.
Tips for Implementing a Parallel Parenting Plan
In a parallel parenting plan, parents should avoid contact as much as possible. Parallel parenting would not be necessary if the parents got along well with one another. Of course, they still have children to raise together, and that requires at least some level of communication. Preferably, this communication should take place through email, text messages, or another form of written communication. However, when there is a need to discuss matters in person, some basic boundaries may be able to help you avoid unnecessary conflict. Ideas could include: