Better, Not Bitter:
Parallel Parenting IS Coparenting
I must have missed something in the whole parental labeling trend. I read the other day that, “Co-parenting is possible only when both exes support their children’s need to have a relationship with the other parent and respect that parent’s right to have a healthy relationship with the children.” Say what?
I think this definition from Wikipedia is closer to reality: “coparenting or co-parenting describes a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage, cohabitation, or romantic relationship with one another. In the United States, “coparenting” often describes a parenting situation in which two separated or divorced parents take care of their children.” That’s it. In a couple of easy sentences.
Coparenting is not defined by whether the parents get along after the divorce or breakup. If both are involved in the child’s life after the breakup, they are somewhere on the coparenting spectrum. Whether it’s functional or almost totally dysfunctional, it’s still coparenting.
Let’s be real, there is a range of parental involvement with children even when the parental relationship is intact and they are still sharing a residence. I think it’s pretty rare that parents spend the same amount of time with their child. Nor do we have the same connections with all of our children.
It’s not my job to judge or dictate how my children interact with their dad. That’s their business. They know they can express their concerns and I will help if needed. But that really hasn’t happened since I stepped back and remained in my lane.
It’s really a shame that people have to make others feel their coparenting relationship is not a valid one because the exes are not best friends. Or even friendly at all. In my opinion the goal is to make sure both parents are INVOLVED in the child’s life. If it’s not perfect, that’s ok. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t coparenting.