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Co-parenting versus parallel parenting

Navigating divorce and the aftermath can be complicated for all involved, especially when there are children. During the early stages of the divorce, the thought of co-parenting with your ex-spouse may be challenging to consider, particularly if your parting is contentious.

If that is your situation, you and the other parent may consider parallel parenting.

Both focus on your children’s best interests

Co-parenting is a collaborative effort by both parents to prioritize the child’s well-being while creating a pleasant environment; typically, both parents use this method to keep communication open so that decisions made regarding the children’s lives are mutually agreed upon.

On the other hand, parallel parenting is an approach that encourages more independence and boundaries among both parents when making parenting decisions. It’s a method that allows parents to spend time with and care for their children separately without interacting with each other.

There are some advantages of parallel parenting that make it an attractive option for many families, such as:

  • It may reduce conflict between parents. Parallel parenting allows each parent to have their own rules and routines, which can help reduce tension and conflict.
  • It can benefit children to have a stable routine and know what to expect when they are with each parent. Parallel parenting plans often include detailed schedules and guidelines that provide consistency for the children.
  • It’s less stressful for both parents. When parents are not constantly interacting with each other, it can reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Trying to navigate custody agreements and parenting schedules while dealing with the grief of a failed relationship takes a tremendous emotional and psychological toll on both parents. While both of you want what’s best for your children, getting past hurt feelings and painful memories may be hard. Parallel parenting allows you to maintain your relationship with your children without the arguments.