Parallel parenting strives to limit communication between the two divorced California parents as much as possible while they still raise their children together. If you find it difficult to stay calm when you talk to your ex-spouse, then you might want to draft a parallel parenting plan.
Parental conflict affects children
Children of all ages feel distress when their parents fight in front of them. Raised voices, verbal insults, curse words and physical aggression have a negative impact on kids. Even if a parent slams things around, it stresses children and causes them to blame themselves for the conflict. They may develop low self-esteem, depression and other mental health issues.
Exposure to regular parental conflict impairs development of problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills and social competence. Children absorb the behaviors of those around them and will begin to use the same strategies as their parents when they are upset. They may also suffer from physical health problems, such as insomnia, stomach aches and headaches.
Feel happier around your child
Fighting often with your ex-spouse causes you to be more tense around your child, which negatively impacts your relationship with them. You are able to show up your best when you maintain a peaceful environment. Disagreements sometimes happen in life, but you may want to reduce them as much as possible, not just for your own well-being but also for your loved ones.
How to draft a parallel parenting plan
Parallel parenting plans address the same areas as co-parenting plans: child custody and visitation, communication, school, healthcare, parenting strategies, religion and conflict resolution. Some of these topics might cause heated debates between you and your ex-spouse. You may want to work with a mediator to negotiate the plan. Parents who want limited contact with each other usually have no problem agreeing on a set of communication rules, which may limit communication to a third-party parenting app.
If you and your ex-spouse find it too stressful to regularly talk to each other, then you may want to create a parallel parenting plan. This would reduce conflicts to provide your child with a safe, peaceful environment that supports healthy development of their social skills, emotion regulation and conflict resolution skills.