Parallel Parenting

Under parallel parenting, the parents establish two separate and distinct households. Each parent is responsible for providing for the children their own sets of clothes, copies of important documentation (birth certificates, doctor & dental reports, immunization records, social security cards, insurance cards, etc.), shoes, hats, coats, school supplies… you get the picture! Contact should be in written form and limited to short, factual information.  Whenever possible, the transition should be made as third-party. A time frame is established, for example, father will drop child(ren) off at school in the morning and mother will retrieve the child from school at the end of the day. In this type of arrangement, there is a time buffer and that allows for a safe, healthy, no-conflict transition.

Where very young children are involved, it is important to share all aspects of your child’s functions with the daycare provider when you do the drop-off. Using the same philosophy, it is of paramount importance for parents to share detailed information with each other upon the exchange of the child. Written form is recommended but a short factual discussion may be attempted.  Highlights of important matters regarding your child’s emotions, behaviors, important health information, important school information, etc. during the time the child(ren) are with you about which the other parent should be informed. If written, we strongly recommend that you create the pages electronically. It is not uncommon for these communications to remain “one-way” and you don’t want your hard work to vanish into thin air without a back-up. Don’t let the other parent’s lack of cooperation with these communications stop you from continuing to perform this vitally important function. Always remember the focus is on the children. You should include no opinions about the other parent and conversely, ignore any “editorial” comments that are made by the other parent.


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