Co-parenting can be challenging, even after the most amicable divorce. But it can make things worse when you’re dealing with an ex who is combative, uncooperative, or is making it impossible to come to a co-parenting arrangement that works for both of you. If you’re in this situation, parallel parenting may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Parallel parenting allows separated or divorced parents to effectively raise their children while minimizing the amount of conflict between them. The idea behind parallel parenting is that each parent takes responsibility for their child’s care during their parenting time, and the other parent stays out of their way, except in cases of emergency.
If you’re considering parallel parenting or already practicing it and want to make it more successful, there are some tips you should keep in mind. Here are some of the best ways to make parallel parenting work for you and your family.
Establish Clear Boundaries
The first step to successful parallel parenting is establishing clear boundaries between you and your co-parent. This means defining what each of you is responsible for and your roles and expectations. Then, be sure to communicate these boundaries clearly and regularly to avoid confusion or misunderstandings.
Avoid Communication Outside of Necessary Topics
To minimize conflict, avoiding communication outside of necessary topics is essential. This means avoiding small talk or personal discussions that can lead to disagreements. Instead, keep your conversations focused on your children and their needs, and avoid any topics that may cause tension.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology can be an excellent tool for parallel parenting. For example, use email or messaging apps to communicate with your co-parent so that you can keep a written record of your conversations. This can be helpful if you need to refer back to something in the future or if there is a disagreement about what was said.
Respect is key in parallel parenting. Even if you don’t agree with your co-parent’s decisions or actions, it’s important to remain respectful and civil. Avoid name-calling, insults, or negative comments, and focus on finding common ground where possible.
Keep Your Children’s Needs at the Forefront
Remember that the primary goal of parallel parenting is to prioritize your children’s needs. Keep this in mind when making decisions, and try to work with your co-parent to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children.
Follow a Consistent Routine
Children thrive on routine, and having a consistent schedule can help them feel secure and stable. Work with your co-parent to create a consistent routine for your children, including meal times, bedtimes, and other important activities.
Communicate With Your Children
It’s essential to communicate with your children about the parenting arrangement, especially if they are young. Tell them what to expect, and explain that both parents love them and want what is best for them. Encourage your children to ask questions and be open and honest with them.
Seek Professional Help if Necessary
If you find that parallel parenting is not working for you and your co-parent, or if there are issues that you cannot resolve on your own, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A family therapist or mediator can help you work through your issues and develop a plan that is best for your family.
While routine is important, it’s also important to be flexible. Life is unpredictable, and there may be times when you need to deviate from the routine. Be willing to work with your co-parent to find a solution for everyone.
Take Care of Yourself
Parallel parenting can be challenging, and taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your children. Make sure to prioritize your needs, whether that means taking time for yourself, getting enough sleep, or seeking support from friends and family.
Azemika & Azemika, Kern County Family Law Attorneys
Parallel parenting can be an effective way for separated or divorced parents to raise their children without the stress and conflict often accompanying co-parenting. Using the tips above, you can make parallel parenting work for you and your family. And while parallel parenting isn’t easy, it can be a positive experience for everyone involved if approached with patience, respect, and a willingness to work together for the benefit of the children.
The details of your parenting arrangement depend on your unique situation, and seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can be beneficial. At Azemika & Azemika, we know that parallel parenting can be confusing and often challenging. We can help you establish a parenting plan and help you modify it in the future if your circumstances change.
Contact us today for a consultation.