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Published on Sep 22, 2022
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Sophia Clark

What Is Parallel Parenting? How to create a successful parallel parenting

It's a common misconception that having children would alter your life in every way possible. The sad reality is that things will never return to their previous state. If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage because you two cannot improve your relationship, you may wonder what comes next.

“There’s nothing called a perfect parent, so just be a real one.”

Divorce can be suitable for high-conflict parents who are abusive and toxic to each other. In this case, if one parent can request joint custody of their children and proceed with parallel parenting.

The divorce process will be a significant factor in determining how the parents will raise their children in the future, and parallel parenting may be the best option for sure of the parents' situations.

If you are curious about parallel parenting, you've come to the right place. Throughout this article, we'll look at parallel parenting, its benefits, and how you can use it to become a better parent.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

In the concept of parallel parenting, two parents take shifts acting as the primary caregiver for their child. Parallel Parenting is a style of parenting in which each parent develops their approach to interacting with and instructing their children uniquely.

Parents may have different rules and expectations for their kids, but both are still a part of their lives and the things they do. It is an excellent way to raise kids in any family situation and build good family relationships when parents move away after a divorce.

After a divorce or split, parents can continue to play an active role in their child's life by engaging in the form of parenting known as "parallel parenting." For divorced parents who have a great deal of mutual trust and respect, it may be a better option.

Parallel Parenting vs. Co-Parenting

Parallel parenting and co-parenting are the two parenting arrangements that exist when parents divorce or split.

The parents who engage in parallel parenting have the primary responsibility for their children, make decisions regarding those children without consulting, and do not typically share information.

Co-parenting, on the other hand, involves the two parents sharing responsibilities for their children and jointly deciding on matters regarding children. The two of them prefer to remain in regular communication with one another so they can discuss their children and the events occurring in their lives.

Both parents need to be involved in every child's activities in co-parenting. They should visit the child's school and do extracurricular activities together. You and your co-parent take care of all the parenting responsibilities together for the child.

What Are the Benefits of Parallel Parenting?

In high-conflict divorce or separation, both parents can be equally involved in a children’s life. Parallel parenting benefits children from being placed in the middle of parental conflict and facilitates co-parenting in high conflict situations.

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Some benefits of parallel parenting are given below:

  • Greater flexibility

Parents don't have to ask other parents for advice before making decisions that are best for their own children. It might assist parents in better understanding the requirements of their children.

  • Avoid conflicts

Because there is less opportunity for parents to communicate with one another, parallel parenting may assist in reducing conflict. They are free to concentrate on their approaches to parenting and their goals for their child. Both parents are cooperating in an equal ability for the benefit of their children.

  • Reduce stress

By establishing parallel parenting principles and rules, parents can assist themselves in avoiding stressful confrontations with their ex-partners, which will reduce the amount of stress they experience.

  • A good relationship with both parents

Additionally, it can provide children with a feeling of security and stability, as they are aware that they will always have the presence of both of their parents in their life. It allows the children to spend more time with both of their parents.

Children who have the feeling that they are being dragged in multiple directions could benefit from this. It gives children the opportunity to have two different sets of people who can love and support them in their lives.

  • More independence

Each parent has more control over their own family and can parent their children by their own principles and beliefs. It gives parents more time to do other things. Parents who feel that they are consistently overdoing everything may find this a significant source of relaxation.

When to Choose Parallel Parenting?

When parents do not have a positive relationship and frequently argue with one another, there is a greater possibility for problems in their children's lives and futures. Some divorced parents believe that parallel parenting is the best approach to co-parent a child after a divorce or separation when the situations are similar to those described above.

If you and your ex-partner have trouble in effective communication or disagreement on major decisions, or if there is a high conflict case between you and your ex-partner, then parallel parenting can be a good choice for you and your children.

How Can I Create a Parallel Parenting Plan?

You're probably wondering how you'll manage parenting after your divorce if the two of you are no longer living together. You and your ex-spouse will be able to continue to play an active role in your child's life if you and your ex-spouse create parallel parenting plans and be good parents to their children. However, you will still have some privacy due to this arrangement.

There are a few ways for a successful parallel parenting plan.

  • Create a workable schedule

It is essential to have a schedule that works for both parents. This schedule should be specific and contain all activities, pick-ups, and drop-offs of the child, among other things. When creating your strategy, you must think about your work schedule and other responsibilities, such as child care.

  • Set a time-splitting plan.

The plan for parallel parenting should include specific points of how the parents will divide their time with the children each week or monthly, as well as the total amount of duration they will spend with each parent. Both parents should have equal parenting time for their children.

“Your children need your presence more than your presents.”

According to the Parallel parenting custody order, parents should decide and plan the days of visits, specific start and end times of visits, and many other responsibilities of a child. Both parents must pay attention to this while creating a parallel parenting plan.

  • Communication rules

A strategy for parallel parenting has to lay out the rules and boundaries for communication. In order to reduce face-to-face interaction, you can decide to only communicate through emails or messages.

  • The Timetable for Pickups and Dropoffs

Create a complete timetable that specifies the specific parenting time and locations of pick-up and drop-off for both parents in order to eliminate unnecessary interactions between the parents, as well as misunderstandings and disagreements.

Tips for Successful Parallel Parenting

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One most challenging aspect of divorce is learning to parallel parents with your ex-partner. It can be difficult to communicate with someone you’re no longer in a relationship with but it's important to try to make it work for the sake of your children. Here are some tips for successful parallel parenting:

  • Keep minimum communication

When it comes to parallel parenting it’s important to keep minimum communication with your ex-partner. Only communicate with your ex when it is necessary otherwise you need to limit communication.

You can use parenting websites or co-parenting apps to help coordinate schedules and activities. You can also use it for communication which helps you to share information and schedule time with your child without having to interact directly.

  • Respect and accept each other’s parenting style

Just because you may do things differently than your ex-partner does not mean that their way is wrong. You need to respect each other’s parenting style and decision-making process.

You also need to accept your ex-partner for who and what they are. Everyone has their own parenting approach to raising their children, and accepting each other’s parenting styles can help reduce conflict and move forward.

  • Communicate with your ex directly, rather than through children

Don’t use your children to communicate or deliver messages to your ex, this may cause conflict and confusion. So to help avoid confusion and conflict use email or parallel parenting apps to communicate with each other.

  • Keep open communication with your children

Both parents need to keep open and honest communication with their children. So that they could feel comfortable talking to both parents about their feelings and experiences.

  • Schedules digital calendar

A parallel parenting plan should include a digital calendar that includes all the times and dates for the child’s activities and school events.

In the schedule, it should be noted who the child will be with on which days when school events are going to take place, and what extracurricular activities he will participate in.

Both parents should have access to it, and changes to the calendar should alert the other party. Many websites and apps are designed for communication and event tracking for parents engaged in parallel parenting.


In this blog, we have discussed everything about parallel parenting. When divorced parents want to share responsibility for raising their children well, parallel parenting can be an excellent option.

If you and your ex-partner believe that you can maintain a healthy relationship while still being independent co-parents, this could be perfect for you. However, both parents must have the same understanding of the boundaries that should be maintained concerning the emotional and practical parts of this parenting style.

In contrast to this, divorced or separated parents can have traditional joint physical custody of their child where they can make a mutual decision suitable for their child’s future.

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