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What is parallel parenting?

Dealing with divorce, particularly if the parents are from different countries, is extremely challenging. If you have children with your ex-spouse, the process becomes more difficult.

Most of the time, the US courts will mandate “shared custody,” where children spend time with both parents. However, if your ex-spouse is a narcissist or you are just not on good terms, this may seem impossible. “Parallel parenting” can help. According to Healthline, parallel parenting allows the child to experience the benefits of shared custody while lessening conflict between the parents.

The basics of parallel parenting

Typically, when divorced parents are dealing with shared custody, they engage in “co-parenting.” Co-parenting is a cooperative process where the parents work closely together to raise the child. For instance, divorced parents may attend a child’s band recital together.

With parallel parenting, the parents are never together at the same time. So instead of going to the band recital together, one parent will attend the recital while the other parent might take the child to a soccer game. There is minimal contact between the parents, but plenty of contact with the child.

Tips for parallel parenting

If you and your spouse are on bad terms, it is wise to involve a professional when creating a parallel parenting plan. It is also wise to limit communication to email only. Email is a formal medium that does not necessitate instantaneous replies, so it can keep the information exchange child-centered and minimize conflict.

It is important to keep the needs of the child front and center when parenting after divorce. Parallel parenting is an innovative way to lower stress and increase quality time with your child.