Co-Parenting vs Parallel Parenting
Parallel parenting is needed when you have a parent that hates their ex more than they love their children. How this is possible is beyond my comprehension but it occurs. I've been researching Parallel Parenting for high conflict parents and upon my reading here's what I've found. In an ideal world, both parents can put their disagreement, anger, and hatred aside when it comes to the well being of their child. However, their are some parents that are unable to move past the fact that their spouse has left and had the audacity to create a life without them. According to Wikipedia, "co-parenting is commonly referred to the shared parental responsibility of two, separated or divorced parents...". Co-parenting is when both parents are able to discuss their child rationally and understand that the common goal is said child. Same rules for the child apply in both households, the parents understand that co-parenting is done for the betterment of the child and no one speaks ill about the other parent. It's essentially a team effort and everyone is on the same page. The healthy atmosphere, happiness isn't 100% of the time, probably close to 70-85% but it's working.
We have insistences as unfortunate as it is, that one parent narcissistic ego is driven solely by being right at all times, selfish and bitter attitude brings misery to every situation for their own personal gratification. This parent has zero desire to communicate with their ex regarding their child, this type of person sees themselves as the victim and everyone including the child must cater to their needs and wants. Co-parenting gives an abusive or narcissistic parent a clear path of verbal abuse, power, and control over their ex and the children, the thought process is that they own them, instead of protecting the well being of the child. Co-parenting can bring out all sorts of emotional and manipulative mind games when involving the abuse or as the person sees themselves, the parent that has been wronged. This parent thrives on making life a living hell for everyone. This is not gendered biased, not all men are bad and not all women are great. With this type of parent, Parallel Parenting is recommended. Parallel parenting is evenly distributing parental responsibility between each parent. When one parent is stronger in a certain area, that's what that parent is held accountable for. Each parent assumes complete responsibility for the kids on their time, everything is run and done with their rules in their home. There is no consistency and routine. The children are subjected to two different homes with opposite rules, expectancies and whatever else may follow.
As the other parent, you can't give feedback to your ex, there isn't any discussion regarding the children's school, doctors visits, etc, you two are not on the same page regarding the children. There is absolutely no agreements between the parents regarding anything and there is no flexibility with one another. Communication between parents is solely done via email or family wizard. In regards to Parallel Parenting if your kids are in any sports, gymnastics, whatever extra curricular activity, it can not be scheduled during the other parents time.
Decision making regarding a certain situation, when Parallel Parenting, is solely done by the one parent that has been assigned that task. One parent will take over education while the other oversees religion. One might spear head sports while the other highlights museums and anything that's has to do with creativity. Specific roles, with very specific expectation and responsibilities, are given to each parent. Basically, the children will lead double lives. Neither parent gives feedback, there are no disagreements and sadly the children don't have a solidity. Truthfully, in my opinion, I think that if you can co-parent, do it! I'm not to keen about Parallel Parenting because the child doesn't have consistency, children thrive on stability. If you can sit your ex down without putting yourself in danger, have a clear cut discussion that this isn't about the two of you, it's about the kids and decides that it's more important to be on the same page then confuse the children. As parents, it is your duty to do everything for the comfort of your child. Repeat this, "I am doing this for my child, this isn't about me or us". If you find yourself being verbally abused, please, don't expose yourself to this type of behavior. Remember when a parent is safe, happy and well adjusted your children will see this and you will be a better parent. Parallel Parenting then will come in handy for you. Sign up for Family Wizard and communicate only through the Wizard because everything will be in black and white. No fuss, no confusions, and no backlash. However, you find yourself parenting just remember, you're not alone. You'll survive what you're going through and be strong. It's the storm that brings the rainbow.