Has it been in an abusive relationship that ended in divorce and separation? But you have a child together that you want to continue parenting? Then there is a way to do this while still limiting contact with your ex-spouse. This method is known as parallel parenting. It helps people who are involved in high conflict, domestic abuse relationships that ended in divorce. So what is it, and how can you parallel parents?
What is parallel parenting?
Parallel parenting is a little different from co-parenting. In co-parenting, you can work in cooperation to bring up your child. But in parallel parenting, you do not have to communicate to parent your child, thus increasing your safety from abusive ex-spouses. The major decisions need to be agreed upon together, but each parent can implement their parenting method when they are in their care.
This allows you to stay away from unwanted grief and emotional trauma due to your ex-spouse and ensure your child receives the care and love of both parents. Since every situation is unique, you can consider getting help from a professional family and divorce lawyer in Houston. Here are some tips to follow when parallel parenting.
1) Devise a plan
Planning will leave no room for disagreements and fights. So create a detailed parenting plan so that there is no need to contact your ex-spouse later on. This will minimize stress for you and your child. Make sure that you agree on the visitation times and dates, know how to handle cancellations, write down how often and how long the child will be seeing each parent, who will take the child to doctor’s visit and functions, who will pick and drop them, where your child will be spending specific holidays and birthdays, and the financial responsibility of each parent.
2) Healing is important
When children are present between you and your ex-spouse, it is impossible to completely cut them from your life. Some form of contact will always be present. But you should also give priority to yourself and your needs. To reduce stress, you need to give yourself time and create new long-term goals.
3) Learn to accept
Parallel parenting can be difficult and challenging. So there may be emotions of anger, frustration, regret, guilt, and other such negative feelings. This will make it difficult to accept your ex-spouse as a parent for your child. So you should learn to accept the situation and try to focus your strength and attention on parenting your child with love and care.
4) Avoid unnecessary communication
Only communicate when it’s absolutely necessary and when you do contact your ex-spouse through an email or parenting app keeping the communication to a point. Keep a record of your conversations, only discussing your child. Never use children as messengers.
5) Work with a mediator
If there is a lot of conflict between you and your ex-spouse, and you may be feeling a threat from your ex-spouse, then you should hire a mediator. This will help you reduce conflicts, make wise decisions and plan out an effective parenting plan to ensure your child’s safety.
If you were involved in a high conflict or abusive relationship with your ex-spouse, then it is important to distance yourself from them and avoid unnecessary communication. Even when children are involved, you can practice parallel parenting to prioritize your children and keep your peace of mind.