Ideally, I’m sure most people would like to co-parent but that dynamic just is not an option for a lot of blended families. In my experience, over the last few years, parallel parenting has been the best option for my family. We have discussed our views and parenting style and it does not always align with the other household and that’s ok. There are rules and expectations we have set for our home with my bonus baby and although some of the things may be similar in his other home there are also things we do differently. There isn’t one set formula for raising a child so it’s going to look different in each home. We all have our own past experiences, and ideas of what parenting looks like. Everyone’s childhood and upbringing are not the same so it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to parent the same way you would. Your expectations of the other parent/household need to match your actual dynamic instead of what you think it should look like. Disappointment will be a constant if you are waiting for the situation to look how you want it. Be honest with your current situation and align that with how to move forward. Lead with the child in mind and what style would be the best dynamic for everyone involved. Over time things may shift in your parenting situation that may switch which option is best for your family. Make the effort to stay in tune with your reality to help you as you navigate your parenting journey.
Coparenting vs Parallel Parenting
- Parents work together effectively. Communication is not an issue between parents.
- Shared parenting styles/views
- Parents can communicate regularly w/ little to no conflict.
- Set rules and routines are discussed and followed in both homes.
- Attend events/meetings together.
- Shared holidays and celebrations.
- Communication is limited due to high conflict, and tension amongst parents.
- Individual parenting style
- Each home has its own set of rules and routines.
- Some collaboration may occur w/ both homes when necessary for major decisions.
- Separate parent conferences or meetings.
- Limited interaction when both parties are placed in the same environment.
- Separate holidays and events.