Parallel Parenting: How to Co-Parent Without Conflict

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Dissolving Relationships…

The process of divorcing can be extremely difficult. With emotions running high, constant battles, aggressive tones, or the cold shoulder silent treatment it is easy to create patterns of unhealthy communication and what seems like unavoidable conflict. 

Unfortunately, parents may have a tough time separating their feelings which can snowball into one or both dueling ex’s communicating with the children in ways that pollute how they view each other. Transitioning into two separate households can leave one or both parents dealing with unresolved anger, resentment or hurts making it hard to effectively co-parent. This constant battle between ex-spouses doesn’t leave room for positive parental relationships. 

Developing a healthy relationship for the well-being of children is essential to their emotional and psychological health. It is vital that each parent behaves respectfully toward one another. 

“Family stability isn't contingent on whether you live in a first-marriage, stepfamily or single-parent family, but more particularly on the environment that parents create for their kids.”

Allen Israel, PhD - Psychology Professor University of Albany

Whether you are experiencing toxic one-way communication or both sides are challenged there is a solution. 

Co-parenting vs Parallel Parenting

There is a vast difference between co-parenting and parallel parenting. Both options are effective. However, everyone’s situation is different, no two exes are identical so choosing how to best move forward with parenting without conflict is the goal. 

Co-parenting 

In shared parenting both parents discuss issues that arise and determine a solution together. This includes communicating frequently and can include similar rules and discipline at both homes. This is a great option when both parents can effectively communicate without high conflict.

Parallel Parenting 

In parallel parenting, communication between parents occurs only, when necessary, based on their parenting plan. This parenting style minimizes the contact between parents while allowing both parents to spend time with their children.

Parallel parenting means you are not involving the other parent in day-to-day life and are able to exercise decisions based on their parenting time. Of course, that being said, your parenting plan shapes the specific duties or agreement needed regarding major decisions such as religion, education or extracurriculars. 

A parallel parenting plan can eliminate constant conflict and help your child(ren) feel more secure and peaceful in this arrangement. According to WebMD, the benefit of parallel parenting is that it allows parents to remain involved in their children’s lives even in cases with high-conflict separation or divorce. Dan Brennan, MD reports:

“Studies have shown that children have the best outcomes when they spend at least 35% of their time with each parent1.”

Dr. Brennan outlined benefits of joint custody that are worth reviewing: 

  • Fewer behavior problems
  • Fewer emotional problems
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better school performance
  • Better family relationships

Sparking Change with 1HAPPYLIFE

We hear a lot about concepts, but it can be hard to implement change. At 1HL we want to share resources to help you with whichever parenting approach best meets your needs. It goes without saying that a tool to organize co-parenting responsibilities is a plus. Check out four tips to meet your parallel parenting needs:

1 Boundaries Are Your New Best Friend

If you experience an endless onslaught of emotionally draining calls, texts, email, or face-to-face interactions, you can benefit from creating boundaries. Setting clear boundaries surrounding communication between you and your former partner can eliminate both high conflict situations and emotional stress. An exclusive relationship manager keeps you “in the know” about important matters about your child or children while the secure information center on the 1HL platform can keep both you and your former partner informed on important issues regarding your child’s school, medical information, etc., helping to avoid conflicts by adding transparency while minimizing direct contact. 

2 Keep A Clear Schedule 

Conflict between parents often comes from scheduling mishaps and confusion. A way to avoid this is by having a shared calendar with all the important dates and events that involve your child. This keeps communication to a minimum while managing everyday life. 

An example of how the 1HL shared calendar works is instead of having a contentious communication exchange about trading parenting time or pickups, you could simply send a request. The receiver of the request can simply accept or deny using contactless communication. This allows parents to take the emotion out of trading time and avoids tedious frustrating conversations about the “why.” 

Schedules that are predictable and straightforward not only help parents but keep the child/children feeling secure as they can have questions answered about where they’ll be when and with whom. 

3 Shared Expenses Made Easy 

One of the most common fights between co-parents stems from expenses. What was spent, why, and for whom can cause explosive fights and make communication between parents seem impossible. Using 1HL can help to take the emotion out of managing expenses. You can input your shared expenses and track reimbursements, all without having to talk to each other. Mistrust is no longer a factor; the platform has a receipt upload function that can help give peace of mind to both parents while adding transparency. 

4 Communication Without Emotion 

Co-parenting communication with a high-conflict ex can be not only tiresome for you but can be detrimental to the child. Contactless communication is a great strategy which is effective in creating boundaries for conflict-free communication. Start by implementing an only written word contact rule, where any communication would be done via the 1HL platform. This eliminates a series of disruptive texts packed full of emotion. 

Let 1HL manage the tough spaces so that you can focus on parenting. Say goodbye to all the conflict and yes to living your best life!

Parallel Parenting: How to Co-Parent Without Confl...

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