Have you recently gone through a complicated divorce or breakup? Were you unable to get full custody of your children and are left having to co-parent with your narcissistic ex-spouse? If so, you may want to consider partaking in a parallel parenting plan with a narcissist.
But what is parallel parenting?
Parallel Parenting Definition
Parallel Parenting happens when you cannot “co-parent.” Parallel parenting involves co-parenting between two parties that do not require extensive communication.
This process allows the two divorced parties to detach and not engage with each other. There will not be many discussions about daily activities or parenting issues.
When choosing to do a parallel parenting plan with a toxic ex or narcissist, each parent is responsible for the child(ren) and all their child’s decisions when under that individual parent’s care. When your kid is staying with you, you will have full responsibility for your parenting choices.
The parents will only need to communicate in case of emergency or other major issues. Otherwise, they will not need approval from their ex-spouse when it comes to child-rearing decisions. If you and your ex simply cannot coexist, parallel parenting may be the best choice.
There are significant benefits of parallel parenting for both children and parents. Below, we outline five reasons why parallel parenting with a narcissist is beneficial.
Please note: Not everyone can have a healthy co-parenting situation. That is ok. You just need to figure out the best solution for your children and their well-being. That means protecting your interests and making sure they have a healthy living environment. This is where parallel parenting can really be beneficial.
One benefit of parallel parenting with a narcissist is that you will have your own parenting style without any interference from your ex-spouse.
You will not argue with them about why you let your kids take part in some activity or why you restrict your child from certain hobbies, activities, etc.
However, with less interference, each parent will have more responsibility when parenting their children individually. When you co-parent, you have the support and partnership of the child’s other parent and work as a team.
What takes place with each child – whether it is a grade on a homework assignment or a sprained ankle from falling off a bicycle – will be the sole responsibility of each parent.
In such cases, each parent may want to rely on other family members or friends to assist if they have parenting questions or need a babysitter.
Regardless, you will benefit from parallel parenting and less interference, arguments that are not necessary, or judgments from your ex.
Stress Reduction for Parents and Children
Children are often exposed to excessive stress due to a hostile divorce or a contentious breakup. Parents who choose parallel parenting often have serious disagreements, and excessive arguments, which is why separating their parenting duties is advantageous.
The emotional turmoil and stress among both parents and children will be greatly reduced through this parenting style. It will reduce conflict and, therefore, decrease stress for the whole family. It will protect children from the negativity of conflicts and foster a more peaceful environment for your kids.
If the parents no longer interact or communicate, there will be no arguments or conflict between the two parties, and the entire family will have less stress as a whole.
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Reduces Negative Impact on Child’s Mental Health
Parental divorce can already be quite taxing to your children, let alone additional conflict and arguments. Witnessing hostile encounters between parents will negatively impact the relationship children have with their mothers and fathers and potentially cause added strain and trauma.
If you know you and your ex-spouse have difficulty getting along, you may want to distance yourself for the sake of your children.
If your children ever experienced even minor forms of domestic violence or large bouts of arguments, then parallel parenting is essential to ensure your children’s mental health is taken care of.
Adding some separation between the parents will minimize arguments. As such, this may be the best thing for the entire family.
Do you think your ex-spouse is potentially a sociopath or narcissist? Then you will find that parallel parenting with a sociopath may be a healthier option for you and your children.
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Enables Ex-spouses to Heal With Parallel Parenting
If your divorce is left with bitter feelings, resentment, hurt, and fear, it may take years to heal from the stress and heartbreak of your past relationship. A divorce can be a traumatic experience, which will require you and your children to grieve and heal from.
Parallel parenting is excellent for avoiding conflict since you will not need to make nearly as many parenting decisions together. It will allow you to heal when you do not need to spend as much time communicating with your ex-husband or ex-wife.
This will also allow your entire family to heal since your children have likely been stressed from divorce proceedings as well. Parallel parenting will allow the parents to avoid spending time together while remaining a vital part of their children’s lives.
You will likely need to communicate by email or text messages, which will prevent anger and arguments. A healthy way of co-parenting and creating a boundary is a co-parenting app such as Our Family Wizard.
The Five Best Co-Parenting Apps–A Simple Guide
In addition, you will not need to see your narcissistic ex-spouse as much, which will also help avoid conflict and give you time to heal; this is important in healing after narcissistic abuse and creating boundaries for you to heal.
Strengthens Relationship between Parents and Children
Through parallel parenting, you will be able to conserve a healthy relationship with your children. This parenting style will allow both parents to establish a strong relationship with their son or daughter without input or judgment from their ex.
Parenting responsibility is shared equally among the parents. Neither parent will have greater control over parenting the children. Each parent will still influence the child’s life and make decisions when the child is residing with them.
If your ex-spouse is a narcissist, you will find that you will be facing as many arguments as possible through parallel parenting. Without as many disagreements, you can focus more on establishing a strong relationship with your children.
These five reasons should give you some insight into why you should consider parallel parenting with your ex-spouse, especially if they are narcissists. Not only will it help you avoid conflict, improve your children’s mental health, and reduce stress, but it will also allow you to heal from your divorce.
If you want to have an emotionally healthy life for yourself and your children, this type of parenting style may be the right choice for you and your family.
- What is Parallel Parenting and Why You May Need to Use it
- Best Books on Co-Parenting With a Narcissist- You Need the Tools
- The Best Books on Parallel Parenting and Healthy Boundaries
- The Best Books you Should Buy Your Children on Divorce
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