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When Co-Parenting Doesn't Work: What Is Parallel Parenting?

When Co-Parenting Doesn't Work: What Is Parallel Parenting?

Co-parenting is the next best thing to living with married parents.

And when co-parenting doesn’t work, parallel parenting, a term you may not be familiar with, may be the next best thing to that.

Separating from your partner is tough. The toughness scale goes up if you happen to have children with that particular partner. And if the separation is very conflict heavy, the toughness scale all but explodes.

When there is conflict between the parents caused by their mutual history, when there is no closure and the emotions are running wild, when one of the parents is holding grudges, co-parenting is not an option.

This is where parallel parenting enters the picture.

Let’s talk about it, compare it with co-parenting and see what your options are.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel parenting works great for high-conflict divorces where both parents are involved in their children’s lives independently of each other.

The communication between parents is extremely limited to minimize chances of any conflict, their parenting styles may be completely different and they are in no way involved in each other’s life.

For some parents, parallel parenting is a transitional stage to co-parenting until all their issues are resolved. For others, co-parenting isn’t likely to ever be an option.

While parallel parenting and co-parenting sound fairly similar, there are a few incremental differences.

Parallel Parenting vs. Co-Parenting

In contrast to parallel parenting, co-parenting requires parents who can problem-solve together, communicate frequently, align their parenting styles and goals, and cooperate. The relationship between co-parents is interactive, and because both co-parents are so actively engaged, the benefits children reap from this arrangement are immense.

Children feel security, stability and consistency

With co-parents, children get to keep that warm feeling of family that helps them feel love, security, stability, and consistency.

Instead of being stressed out by potential conflict between the parents, their family remains a safe zone which gives the children more time and emotional resources to explore the world around them. On top of that, their co-parents are in agreement, they set similar rules to follow, similar discipline and reward systems which helps the children develop easily.

They pick up communication and problem-solving skills

As a co-parent, you set a great example for your child. By watching you and your co-parent, your children will pick up effective communication and problem-solving skills to help them navigate various areas of life.

Higher probability of success, decreased probability of mental health issues

Did you know that children from divorced families have more psychological problems than the children who lose one of their parents? It’s precisely why co-parenting is extremely important for the well-being of your child even when the marriage itself didn’t work out.

Children who feel loved by both of their parents, and who see their parents cooperate and put aside their problems with their best interest in mind develop higher self-esteem and fewer trust issues.

What it all comes down to is that co-parenting will help you build a healthy base on top of which your children can build more easily therefore ensuring a higher probability of success later in life.

On the other hand, parallel parents keep everything separate. Their communication is very limited and impersonal. The only thing they need to coordinate is the calendar and major responsible decisions such as medical or education. However, the everyday schedule of the child is to be determined by each parent individually. Parallel parents should strive to provide the smoothest transitions between the households since there is a risk that this arrangement may be emotionally draining for the child.

It’s clear that parallel parenting misses out on really significant benefits that co-parenting provides children with. However, it should be noted that with some minor adaptations to the parallel parenting style, parents might actually be able to claim these benefits while still keeping their limited communication model.

Parallel Parenting with the Benefits of Co-Parenting: Is It Possible?

Have you tried using co-parenting apps? Those are perfect for parallel parents who wish to take advantage of the co-parenting benefits and provide the best possible environment for their child.

Our all-in-one co-parenting app FamiliPay was developed to enable parents to jointly plan out their child’s life while minimizing any risk of conflict.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you as parallel parents will be able to attend the children’s events together until you put your problems aside, but the coordination, attentive planning, and effective communication will benefit your child.

Shared calendar

Use the shared calendar weekly or monthly templates to plan out the children’s time weeks, months or even a full year in advance. Sort out school events and holidays with ease.

Shared calendar

Simple shared payments

FamiliPay helps simplify shared payments to a third-party, and even enables direct pay alimony or child support.

Upon creating a FamiliPay account, each parent adds their payment information and they can send each other form emails and prompts with attachments such as invoices, receipts or requests for payments to third parties. Neither co-parent can access the other’s payment information, and all shared payments must be consented to by both parents.

By using FamiliPay for direct pay alimony or child support, parents eliminate any additional fees or wage garnishment normally associated with court agencies or bureaucracies.

Best of all, the full payment history of the parents is transparent, saved and tracked right in FamiliPay helping alleviate any misunderstanding, verifying that the payments have been made and minimizing the need for any communication regarding money.

Communication tool

Another useful feature of FamiliPay is our intermediary communication tool developed to reduce conflict. In the FamiliPay communications center, parents can only send form emails therefore eliminating any space for personal communication or vitriol.

And when you remove the unnecessary conflict, parents can focus on what truly matters - their children. After all, that’s why you’re reading this article.

FamiliPay is here to support you by letting you plan out your parallel parenting relationship using our shared calendar, safely store important documents, receipts, track your payments and more - all in one place. Are you ready to try the ultimate all-in-one parenting tool?

Start your 3-month free trial today!