Co-parenting after a divorce is always tough – even if the relationship ended on good terms. Parenting can be even harder following a particularly difficult separation.

Traditional co-parenting involves working together and communicating often on behalf of the child. Perhaps it even includes celebrating the child’s accomplishments and attending their events together. But when these methods aren’t working, you may consider other effective ways of raising your child. One option is parallel parenting.

What is parallel parenting?

Parallel parenting is a type of parenting that is centered around limiting communication with your ex. When you do communicate, it’s direct and leaves little room for emotional conversation. It’s most likely done through written messages rather than talking – and it’s always about your child.

Parallel parenting gives both you and your ex the opportunity to parent as you see fit. Typically, you’d only make big decisions together, such as ones surrounding your child’s health or travels. Any small decisions would be up to whichever parent has your child at the time.

What are the benefits of parallel parenting?

Because parallel parenting involves little communication, it can help reduce stress between you and your ex. It can also lower the chances of you and your ex arguing about small things. Parallel parenting gives you a lot of freedom to raise your child without input or critiques from your ex.

Who should consider parallel parenting?

Parallel parenting is often used in high-conflict divorces. If you had a bad divorce that’s made conversations with your ex very hard, you might consider parallel parenting. It can also work well if one or both parents:

  • Are narcissistic
  • Are unwilling to communicate or compromise
  • Have a protection order in place

Parallel parenting does not have to be a long-term solution. You could use this method for the first few months after a divorce, or during a tough time in your co-parenting journey. Whether you decide to use it or not, it’s important to know that it’s an option.