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Parallel Parenting

Your Guide To Parallel Parenting: Dodging Disaster After A Divorce

Going through a tough and emotional divorce can be incredibly draining for your soul. The flashbacks of your turbulent past might still be hurting. But one beautiful thing happened amidst all the chaos, you became a parent! And for a child, good parenting after a divorce is not merely a necessity; it will shape your child’s future. Now does that mean you have to hinder your healing journey for the sake of your child? Well not at all! There is a way out and it is Parallel Parenting.

Guide to Parallel Parenting

Understanding Parallel Parenting

When two parents just can’t seem to get along and find harmony, parallel parenting comes to the rescue like a shield.

In parallel parenting the direct interaction between the parents is limited or only occurs when the situation is inevitable. So now, parents are not fueling the conflict, instead they focus on their child’s well-being without letting their own emotions get out of control. It’s like a barrier that keeps the peace and stability intact, making things better for everyone involved.

Why Parallel Parenting, When Co Parenting Is a Thing?

Parallel Parenting v Co-Parenting
  • When two ex-partners are not on good terms with each other or having trouble talking to each other, co-parenting becomes a big problem. That’s where parallel parenting steps in to save the day! It helps to keep them apart and prevent more fights. With parallel parenting, they don’t have to deal with each other directly as much, so it’s less likely they’ll get into more arguments.
  • When there is violence involved and one of the two parents poses a threat to another, parallel parenting becomes super important. It is vital for the child as well. With parallel parenting, they limit contact between the parents and set up clear rules to keep everyone safe. It creates a more structured and secure environment, making sure the child stays out of harm’s way.
  • When parents don’t trust each other, co-parenting becomes a real headache. Parallel parenting gives each parent their own set of rules and boundaries. With it, they can do their own thing without always having to argue or negotiate. It takes away the constant need to agree on everything and keeps the peace between them.

Parallel parenting vs co-parenting

Parallel parenting vs co-parenting can be metaphorically compared to two different architectural styles: Minimalism and Collaboration.

Parallel parenting, like minimalism in architecture, focuses on simplicity, clear boundaries, and individuality. It’s like designing a home with clean lines and decided spaces. It is more rigid as it emphasizes maintaining consistency in rules and routines across both households. Each parent has their own defined area and responsibilities, much like separate rooms in a minimalist house. The emphasis is on minimizing conflicts and maintaining a sense of peace and stability, just as minimalism creates a calm and clutter-free environment.

Co-parenting, on the other hand, is like collaborative architecture, where different architects come together to design and build a structure. It involves active communication, joint decision-making, and shared responsibilities. There is flexibility as circumstances may change, schedules may shift and still no issues will arise between the parents. Co-parenting involves mutual goals, healthy discussion and overall a healthy relationship.

For further information about Parellel Parenting, we recommend this excellent book:

Parallel Parenting with a Narcissist or Difficult High Conflict Jerk: A secret gold mine on how to keep your sanity in check while co-parenting with a difficult person.

Rules Of The Fight Club: The Parallel Parenting Plan

Parallel Parenting Plan

Let’s deconstruct this plan and carefully outline your interactions with each of the three individuals involved.

Your Interaction With Your Ex Partner

Don’t Let Them Mess With Your Head

Your narcissist ex might gaslight you by questioning your credibility or intentionally causing conflicts. This can create confusion, self-doubt and emotional distress. Counter this by setting firm boundaries. Don’t react to their provocations. Keep a record of their activities, so that it can be helpful in case you need them later.

If you feel physically or mentally threatened, please contact:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Don’t Be The Devil’s Advocate

It might be tempting to call them out or express their tricks, but guess what? It could actually backfire on you. They might twist your reaction or attempt to prove them wrong and use it against you. So stay cool ,present your case calmly, provide evidence when needed and let the legal expert handle any drama.

Stick To The Facts Not Emotions

Spilling your emotions is a double-edged sword in parallel parenting. Your ex might just turn it against you, whether they mean to or not, to get the upper hand in battles and custody wars. This might put you in a vulnerable situation with wrong consequences.

Your Interaction With Your Child

Be Transparent With Them

By giving your kid the straight facts, you’re helping them understand and make sense of what’s happening. Present them with the facts, unadulterated facts. Take the time to explain the situation in a way that is appropriate for their age.

Let Your Kid Be the Judge

Don’t try to sway their opinion about the other parent. Let them figure things out on their own, based on what they see and experience. Respect their point of view and give them the freedom to make their own decisions. It’s their call, and you’re there to support them, whatever they choose.

If you feel you or your child is in need of professional help, please visit:

24-hour Helpline for Kids in Crisis

Your Interaction With Yourself

Taking Care Of Numero Uno

Right now, life must be feeling a little rough but you have to keep your head up. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Get enough rest, eat well and do things that make you happy. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to show your child that healing and hope are real.

Trust Your Instincts

Don’t second guess or doubt your capability as a parent. It’s totally normal to question yourself, but never forget that your love and dedication will always drive you to give your little one nothing but the best!

Reach Out For Support

Yes, you are a brave lone wolf! But remember, when things get rough, reaching out for help won’t make you any less brave. Go talk to professionals, like therapists or counselors, who know their stuff and can lend a hand. Don’t forget about your family and friends — they’ve Got Your Back!

If you are struggling with your mental health, please contact:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Final Words

Embrace the journey! Parallel parenting offers a remarkable opportunity for families caught up in a storm of conflict and turmoil. While it presents its own set of obstacles, like differing parental perspectives and can be confusing at times for children, its long-term benefits far outweigh these concerns.

Embracing this approach empowers you to confidently navigate moments when your child’s expressions don’t necessarily involve both parents simultaneously. Trust in the process of parallel parenting as you pave the way for healthier, more harmonious family relationships.

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