Parallel Parenting Problems

While we are strong proponents of parallel parenting in a high-conflict post-divorce situation,  it won’t be without its fair share of headaches.  Keep in mind that the goal of parallel parenting is to minimize the level of conflict and reduce the stress and anxiety in your lives.

  1. High-conflict or personality disordered individuals will always challenge the boundaries afforded you via parallel parenting.
  2. Communication is often “one-way.”  That is, the “normal” parent will share important, relevant information pertaining to the children, the high-conflict ex will generally not return the favor.
  3. Parenting notebooks (if used) will vanish with regularity.
  4. Homework or bookbags will be “forgotten” and used as means of keeping the normal parent engaged with the high-conflict parent.
  5. Communications with peripheral entities will take more work.  (Coaches, schools, doctors, dentists, etc.)
  6. The high-conflict ex will attempt to litigate frequently over unimportant matters not shared with them.
  7. If face-to-face exchanges must take place, the high-conflict parent will  often try to engage the target parent in argument.
  8. No control over what takes place at the other parent’s home.  (This takes time to “get over” or come to grips with.)
  9. Extra care is required when discussing complaints from the children about what takes place in the other household.  Be sure it is in an age-appropriate manner!  Resist the urge to overtly bad-mouth the other parent.
  10. Different households with different rules will result in difficult transitions with the children in the early stages of parallel parenting implementation.

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