In an ideal world, divorced or separated parents would continue to parent their children in a peaceful, unified manner. They would set the same rules, offer the same structure and pass on the same values and beliefs.
However, this can’t always happen. In some cases, parents will need to take a parallel parenting approach.
Elements of parallel parenting
Parallel parenting is a method where parents interact with each other as little as possible. Each person takes their own approach to parental responsibilities without the consent of or collaboration with the other parent.
In these arrangements, parents generally don’t attend the same events or collaborate on day-to-day activities. They focus on parenting independently during their time. Often, these parents communicate only when necessary, typically through email,,text or online platforms such as Come to Agreement.
When there is child-related information to share, like nap schedules, developmental milestones or potty training updates, parents can exchange records or notes using such platforms as Come to Agreement.
Is this right for me?
Every parenting arrangement is different, and the method that works best for you depends on several factors, from your child’s age to your relationship with your ex.
Having said that, parents might consider parallel parenting method in situations involving:
- A narcissistic parent
- Parents with different religious or cultural views
- Parents who cannot communicate respectfully
- High-conflict parents
Under these circumstances, it can be unreasonable to expect moms and dads to take the same approach to parenting as each other and communicate regularly, which are hallmarks of a co-parenting system.
Keep in mind that parallel parenting can affect kids who aren’t used to different sets of rules or varying parental expectations. Thus, having age-appropriate conversations and encouraging open communication with them can be wise.
Parallel parenting allows parents to maximize time with their children, even if they do not get along. And as we know, it is vital to protect a child’s right to have a loving relationship with both parents.
If you decide that parallel parenting is right for you, you can talk to your lawyer about creating a parenting plan and legal agreements to reflect these expectations.