Parallel versus Co-Parenting
Parallel Parenting: When separated or divorced parents decide NOT to work together in order to reduce conflict for the betterment of everyone involved (especially the children).
Co-parenting: Separated or divorced parents work together to raise their children by staying in touch, staying flexible, listening, discussing and communicating with each other.
How do you know which one to choose? If you decide parallel parenting, how do you execute and do it well?
It took me several years to realize that parallel parenting was the right choice for my family. It was a light-bulb moment when I discovered, with sadness, that when my ex and I had any communication with each other it created a toxic environment for myself and my children.
I had this idea that if I just kept my side of the street clean, if I modeled good behavior, if I treated my ex the way I wanted to be treated, if I never attacked or belittled, etc., etc., I could will my way to a "co-parenting" relationship with mutual respect and love for the children. I had to let this idea go, accept defeat and halt communication with my ex.
In the end, it was an easy decision when I saw the toxic results our communication caused. When I finally dove in to the waters of parallel parenting fully and with intent, I saw things improve. I realized my ex and I could actually focus on the children more because we weren't focused on hating each other. It was, and is, the right call for us.
How do you parent - co or parallel? Leave comments below. I'd love to hear your story!