If you have children and are going through divorce, you will remain in a partnership with your ex-spouse long after you finalize the paperwork. Parenting is a lifelong job as it is; if your children are in their minority you will still be raising them with your ex-spouse, likely in a joint custody situation.
If your ex-spouse shows signs of narcissism or if there is simply a very high level of animosity between you, the idea of co-parenting may seem unrealistic. In this situation, opting for parallel parenting may be the best choice both for you and your children.
What makes parallel parenting different?
With parallel parenting, the parents are rarely in the same place at all. For example, in a traditional co-parenting relationship parents may come together for events like a child’s birthday or dance recital.
However, with parallel parenting, the child may have two completely separate birthday parties. Instead of both parents being at a dance recital, one parent may be in charge of everything having to do with dance, while the other parent takes care of sporting activities.
Keep your sanity with parallel parenting
Parallel parenting allows your children equal and fair access to both parents while removing the children from whatever the conflict is between the parents. In some situations, particularly ones dealing with a narcissistic parent, a permanent parallel parenting arrangement may be best for all involved.
In situations where the relationship between the ex-spouses is acrimonious, parallel parenting does not necessarily need to be forever. It is possible that after a period of time spent successfully parallel parenting, the arrangement can transition into a more traditional co-parenting one.