When a couple with one or more children separate or divorce in Maryland, the children can struggle to adapt, and parents need to give their children what they need to transition through this process. If you find it impossible to get along with your ex-spouse but want to make it work for your kids, parallel parenting might be your best option.
What is parallel parenting?
When you share child custody with your ex-spouse, you need to find a way of parenting that works for everyone. You might have heard of co-parenting, and you might be confused as to how it is different from parallel parenting. In short, parallel parenting is the option for parents who absolutely cannot work together to parent their children. In this model, contact between the parents is very limited, and they make decisions on how to raise the children parallel to each other rather than working together. For instance, each parent might have their own list of rules that the children must follow when the children are staying in their home. Parents make decisions together on a limited number of things, such as where the children go to school and health decisions for the children. Communication is often confined to email, text, and other written forms that can document what was said. In contrast, co-parenting emphasizes working together to parent the children.
How to help children adapt to a separation between parents
When you want children to adapt, it’s especially important that you communicate with them even as you’re trying to reduce communication between you and your ex. Additionally, you need to establish a consistent routine from the very beginning with your ex because children thrive with routine and suffer under upheaval and inconsistency. You should explain to them what’s happening, and you need to give them time to adjust.
When you’re going through a divorce or separation, it’s important to remember your children’s needs even when it’s easy to become engrossed in the drama between you and your ex.