According to recent statistics, nearly half of marriages tend to end in divorce. Divorce can be a huge and emotionally draining part of your life especially if you are a parent. Both parents have to come up with an amicable solution on how to cater to the needs of the kids. Everything has to be in the best interest of the children. It might be quite difficult most especially if the divorce was a bitter and painful experience for either one or both parents.
However, whether the situation is challenging or not parents have to come up with a way of raising the kids. Arrangements have to be made on how the children will be taken care of, whether its co-parenting, parallel parenting or somewhere in-between. Similarly, the arrangements should have a positive outcome on the children as some may find it hard to come to terms with the situation.
Also referred to as joint parenting is simply when both parents have an active role to play in their child’s daily lives. In this way, the kid does not feel neglected or less loved by either one of the parents. What makes co-parenting successful is the positive relationship between the two parents even after a divorce. Well, this may not be easy for two people who have just gone through a separation. However, whatever you do will either have a positive or negative impact on the child’s behavioral development. This is why it’s important for parents to put aside their differences and discuss the way forward on how they will handle the situation. And by this I mean, you both have to be on the same page when it comes to parenting. Here are some tips on successful co-parenting
Do not let anger and pain get in the way
This sounds easier said than done. Most of the time the history behind a divorce may not be a pleasant one. There may be anger, resentment, and pain involved. However, as much as it may not be easy, all this has to be put aside and the best interest of the children be the priority. Remember this is all for the kids’ wellbeing.
There should be open communication
Open and peaceful communication is key in successful co-parenting. While this may be extremely difficult for some people, it is important that there be some form of communication between parents. It does not necessarily have to be in person. It can be over the phone, through the internet or even simply via a text. This is to avoid arguments or things escalating and getting out of hand. The best way to avoid conflicts is by keeping all conversations focused on issues regarding the kid.
Kids should not be a part of anything relating to divorce
The kids should not be burdened with issues regarding the divorce. No matter what happened between the two of you, you will both remain parents to the kid. Therefore, never tell your kids bad things about the other parent so that you gain the upper hand. Due to bitterness, some parents may want to destroy the good relation a kid has with their Ex by saying horrible things about them. Doing this will not help your kid in any way and will instead hurt them.
Make visitation an easy process for the children
Moving from one household to the other may not be a smooth transition for your kid. This is because as much as the child will be eager to reunite with one of the parents, leaving behind the other can be difficult too. Try to stay positive and always encourage them as they leave for the other household.
While in co-parenting there is constant communication between parents, in parallel there is very limited communication and only occurs in strictly necessary circumstances. The parallel is agreed upon by the parents if they cannot see eye to eye or communicate without it escalating into conflict. In this case, each parent is allowed to have their own set of rules when it comes to parenting without necessarily having to consult with their ex.
Parallel parenting allows for the tense situation between the parents to cool down and then afterward they may be able to co-parent. This usually works in the best interest of the children as they are not caught in between the constant fights and disagreements of their parents.
Benefits of parallel parenting
More emphasis on the children
When there is very limited communication between the separated parents, this only means there are limited or no conflicts. Each parent is, therefore, able to focus more on the child rather than their own needs. Similarly, when the child has a positive relationship with each of the parent they can develop better especially when it comes to behavior.
No confusion on the child
In this case, the child develops a good relationship with each of the parents. There are cases when the kid may feel afraid of showing love to one of the parents when the other is around. When it comes to parallel parenting, the child can show love to both parents without having to be faced with a loyalty crisis.
Little or no interference
One parent may want to have their own set of rules without the other having to interfere. In this case, you can have your parenting style different from the other household. This reduces disagreements on things like activities the kid should engage in after school. Each parent can make their own decision that is the best fit for the child.
So co-parenting, parallel or in between?
There is no such thing as in between. You are either co-parenting or parallel parenting. One thing to note about parallel parenting is it is not usually permanent. Once things get better between the parents than they can switch to co-operative, this should happen only after they can communicate without conflicts arising. The arrangement that you choose should always be in the best interest of the kids.