Parallel parenting is style of coparenting that allows parents to reduce their communication with each other regarding the children. It gives each parent control over their parenting time. The parents do not consult each other about their own daily routines, rules, or decisions regarding the children. Keep in mind, all major decisions, such as medical for example, should be made with the other parent, pending parenting plan.
Parallel parenting introduces the idea of “Mom’s World-Dad’s World” for parents to apply to their lives. A great example would be the following:
Child: “Mommy doesn’t make me do my homework before dinner/“
Dad: “That’s in Mommy’s World. While you’re in my home, we do you homework before dinner. When you with me, you can do homework according to my rules.”
Dad then lets go of the child not doing their homework at Mom’s. The father checks with the school to see if the child is really missing homework, then handles any concerns with the teacher, (not the other parent) since he knows that communicating with the other parent means more arguments and drama, since he knows the situation will never change.
Enforcing parallel parenting will typically take a third party, who can remain neutral with the parents, and help them along the beginning of parallel parenting. Communication is still key between parents, as long as the parents are communicating on crucial subjects, such as the child’s health or medical situations.
Parallel Parenting also means that you as a parent are supposed to contact coaches, teachers, or any other individual that works with your child, on your own for your own concerns. Never wait for the other parent to set up meetings or reach out, the idea is to take it upon yourself to reach out. This also encourages your involvement in the child’s school, sports, or other extracurricular activities.
The main idea of parallel parenting is to let go of the things they cannot change about the other parent. That means, if you’re not ready to let go of things you can’t change about the other parent, you’re not ready for parallel parenting yet!
Any two parents who are trying to co-parent, can technically use this method of co-parenting. When you’re in a very high conflict situation with your former spouse, parallel parenting can really cut out the majority of communication, therefore, cutting out the majority of the conflict.
Usually, a therapist trained in implementing parallel parenting will help the two parents to set up ground rules and guidelines for using parallel parenting techniques. If you’re unsure about whether parallel parenting will work for your or not, the best thing to do is to seek out a consultation from a therapist who works in family law or frequently implements parallel parenting.
If you or anyone you know would benefit from Parallel Parenting, feel free to reach out to our office for a consultation phone call: 561-429-2140