What is parallel parenting?

In an ideal world, divorced couples would end on neutral-to-good terms. However, this is not always the case. In many instances, the anger and pain from the events leading up to the divorce may cause couples to never wish to speak again.

Unfortunately, if you have children with your ex-spouse, you will need to learn how to parent together through these difficulties. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a great way to ensure that your children get the benefits of joint custody while shielding them from conflict.

What makes parallel parenting different?

Most couples engage in “co-parenting” after a divorce. This form of parenting involves a level of cooperation between the parents. For instance, the parents may come together (perhaps with their new partners) to celebrate a child’s birthday. They may celebrate other holidays together, or show up in tandem to give support at sports games or dance recitals.

With parallel parenting, this does not happen. Instead of joint birthday parties, the child may attend multiple, separate birthday celebrations. One parent may take the child to a sports game, while the other manages instrument lessons. The child spends time with both parents, but the parents do not spend time together.

How is this beneficial?

The biggest benefit of parallel parenting is that it shields the child from the conflict between the parents. There is no conflict in front of the children with this method. Plus, depending on the situation, a positive parallel parenting experience may lead to eventual co-parenting in the future. However, even if parallel parenting remains in place until the children are adults, it is a helpful way to parent when there is conflict.