We're here because we know co-parenting is what's best for our kids. We want to be able to work with our ex's in order to make things better for our kids, but for a lot of the people reading this - it's not an option. Whether your co-parent refuses to work with you or even communicate with you or your co-parent isn't involved, sometimes co-parenting isn't an option.
Let's talk about what your options are.
- Parallel Parenting may include some communication, but each parent sets up their own set of rules and expectations on their own time.
- Single Parenting is for those parents who don't have a partner, or a partner who is barely there. You are making all of the decisions and following through on them, but there is very little to no help from your co-parent.
When you're parallel parenting, some of the difficulties include your children having trouble transitioning when expectations are vastly different. In parallel parenting situations, some of the extra-curricular activities are missed because parent's don't communicate on what is happening. There is no back-up when giving your children consequences in a parallel parenting situation, all consequences happen at your house. The positive is that because it limits communication quite a bit, it helps prevent arguments that would have otherwise been there.
In Single parenting, kids struggle the most emotionally. Research shows that kids who grow up in 1 parent households are less likely to graduate from high school, go onto advanced education, and are more likely to use drugs and/or alcohol. That doesn't mean it happens in every case, but it is a risk. Though having 2 parents, 2 different personalities is difficult for the parents, kids fare better. You may be in a situation that you cannot control, though, and single parenting isn't a choice. When that's the case, make sure you are taking care of yourself, still making time for fun with your children, and giving them as many people to look up to as possible (e.g. coaches, Big Brother/Sister, teachers, etc.).
The biggest tip is to accept the situation for what it is. Co-Parenting isn't an option for some, but that doesn't mean it never will be. Keep doing what you can to keep things positive and re-evaluating the relationship you may have.