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Parallel Parenting Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

by | Oct 27, 2023 | 0 comments

The term “narcissism” on this blog is used to describe a specific set of personality traits. It is not intended to be used as a professional diagnosis.

Parallel parenting is an amazing tool if you are co-parenting with a narcissist, but there are right ways and wrong ways of doing it.

This approach is all about focusing on what’s best for your child while maintaining your sanity.

When done right, parallel parenting with a narcissist allows you to minimize direct contact and avoid conflicts.

But everyone is bound to make parallel parenting mistakes – and that’s okay!

Being aware of the do’s and don’ts will help you stay on track and make the most out of this co-parenting tool

So, let’s take a look at some parallel parenting tips and parallel parenting mistakes to help you through this challenging situation.

Parallel Parenting Tips: The Do’s

Do Focus On Your Child’s Best Interests

Your child’s well-being should always be your top priority. Regardless of how you feel about your ex, focus on what’s best for your child.

Make sure their physical and emotional needs are met, and make decisions with their best interests in mind.

Remember, your child’s happiness and stability should guide your choices.

Do Maintain Consistency and Routines

Consistency provides your child with stability in an otherwise turbulent situation. 

Both households should have similar routines, rules, and expectations. This also includes expectations when it comes to discipline.

This consistency will help your child adjust and feel secure.

If your ex refuses to cooperate, just do the best you can to provide consistency in your own home. At least your child will know what to expect there.

Do Limit Communication

Limited communication is a godsend when it comes to reducing conflict!

Try to avoid face-to-face or phone contact with your ex whenever possible. Written communication, like texts or emails, can help you document disputes and avoid confrontations.

Plus, having a moment to think before you respond to a text will help you respond in a calm and factual manner. Doing so avoids escalating the situation.

Do Encourage a Healthy Relationship with the Other Parent

Even if you have concerns about your ex’s behavior, it’s important to encourage a healthy relationship between them and your child.

Support your child’s interactions with their other parent as long as they are safe.

This shows your commitment to your child’s well-being and your willingness to co-parent respectfully.

Do Stay Organized and Document Everything

Maintain a detailed record of all communications. This includes questions and comments, as well as agreements and disputes.

This can be a useful resource and may be necessary for legal purposes. If you need a court-ordered plan, this can be used as evidence.

It can also help you stay on top of your parenting responsibilities and ensure that everyone is held accountable.

Parallel Parenting Mistakes: The Don’ts

Don’t Engage in Power Struggles

Your parallel parenting relationship isn’t a competition. It’s not about “winning” or proving that you are the better parent.

Avoid engaging in power struggles or trying to outdo your ex. These battles are only going to create more stress and instability for your child.

Don’t React to Provocations

Narcissists love to provoke people into arguments. They will make accusations, blame, and insult others just to get a reaction.

It’s important that you don’t take the bait!

Responding to their provocations only fuels the fire and makes the situation worse.

Instead, maintain your composure and stick to the facts.

Don’t Use Your Child as a Pawn

Under no circumstances should your child be used as a pawn or bargaining chip. Avoid involving them in disputes or expecting them to take sides.

For example, don’t schedule extracurricular activities during your ex’s parenting time just to piss them off. 

Using your child in this way can have long-lasting, damaging effects on their emotional well-being.

Don’t Neglect Your Self-Care

Taking care of your own well-being is just as important as caring for your child’s.

Neglecting self-care can leave you emotionally drained. It can also make you less capable of providing the support your child needs.

Make time for self-care, seek counseling if necessary, and build a support network to help you navigate these challenges.

Don’t Ignore Your Ex

Unless your ex is going on about nonsense that has nothing to do with the child, it’s important that you respond.

I know this can be stressful. You never know what kind of response you’ll get in return. But if it’s about your child, your ex can’t be ignored.

Take advantage of written communication, like I mentioned above. When you’re ex is attacking you or being ridiculous, take a moment to clear your mind.

Come up with a straightforward response that doesn’t play into their nonsense. Then send it.

Is Successful Parallel Parenting Possible?

It’s hard to define successful parallel parenting.

On one hand, we want to be able to parent with our exes with cooperation and respect. But when that ex is narcissistic, that’s nearly impossible.

That’s why I believe that a successful parallel parenting arrangement is one that makes the situation better.

Parallel parenting is not a perfect solution, but it can reduce conflict and give you back some control over the situation.

It’s a practical and effective strategy to protect the well-being of you and your child.

And you will make parallel parenting mistakes along the way – we all do! You’re going to lose your cool once and a while. You’re going to do something out of spite. That’s all normal.

What’s important is that you recognize any flaws in your approach, and you try to do better.

I mean, honestly, it’s more than what your ex is doing, right?

Empower Your Co-Parenting Journey With These Parallel Parenting Tips

Parallel parenting with a narcissist is hard, but you can create a more stable and nurturing environment for your child.

By following these parallel parenting tips and avoiding parallel parenting mistakes, you can safeguard your child’s well-being.

Remember, you can’t change your ex, but you can prioritize your child’s best interests while you walk this challenging path.

Do you have do’s or don’ts to add to the list? Anything that worked or didn’t work for you? Share your experiences in the comments! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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