When co-parents devise custody plans, they must evaluate their ability to work together with one another. If being in the same room or hearing from your ex-spouse is painful or frustrating, then parallel parenting might suit your family and benefit your children.
Parallel parenting is a joint custody arrangement that allows parents to be in minimal contact with one another. It differs from a collaborative co-parenting arrangement, where divorced parents are highly-communicative and often attend the same child-related events. Instead, parallel parents develop much more detailed plans and long-term schedules to reduce interactions. A common feature includes keeping the same times and places when picking up or dropping off children.
Positive environment for everyone
When divorced parents don’t have to see each other often, there can be less tension. This can benefit both the well-being of children and co-parents:
- Child well-being: Difference of opinion can often lead to co-parent arguments. When children witness parents arguing it can be both scary in the moment and turn into mental health problems if they are a consistent part of a child’s upbringing.
- Parent well-being: Divorce can be an emotionally painful experience for parents. Breaking up with an ex and someone you may have envisioned can put you into a harmful headspace. So, less interaction at the beginning of your breakup can be crucial to your healing process, and, in turn, make you more present as parent.
Keep in mind that a parallel parenting doesn’t have to last forever. Maybe you hope to be able to carry an in-depth conversation with your ex one day or just communicate regular child-related needs without having the discussion go sour. Keeping that hope alive and working toward a positive, co-parent partnership can help you manage the present and lead the way to a different future.
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses as child-raising partners can help set you provide healthy homes for your children for many years to come.