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The Third Way
27th August 2016 • Your Family Matters • Naomi Douglas
00:00:00 00:18:20

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There are three types of coparenting, and you basically have to choose one of them.

The first is Cooperative Coparenting. This  is a coparenting system in which the two parents have a  lot of involvement with each other because they discuss and agree upon many of the details of their children's lives. This could include things such as bedtimes and study times, mobile phone and computer use, lunch box choices, and list could go on endlessly. Cooperative Coparenting happens when parents agree on  many things, they get along very well, they communicate often and constructively and they have very little conflict. When there is conflict they are able to resolve it relatively easily.

If you are engaged in Cooperative Coparenting, congratulations. I suggest you do everything you can to keep it happening.  You probably do not need to read any further unless you simply are interested in doing so.

The second type of coparenting is Conflicted Coparenting. This type of coparenting involves a lot of ongoing conflict. Coparents argue over many things, do not get along, have a lot of trouble making decisions together and are not able to, or are rarely able to resolve conflict. This type of coparenting puts children at risk. Studies all around the world agree that ongoing conflict between parents puts children at risk of many problems including mental health issues.

This is why parenting who do not fall into the category of Cooperative Coparenting need to learn the third way.

This third way is Parallel Coparenting. Parallel Coparenting is something that needs to be learned; it is not instinctive. At its most basic, Parallel Coparenting means that parents only work together on making major decisions, and the general day to day parenting is left for each parent to take care of autonomously. This means that parents agree to disagree. They accept that they are different from each other and they approach things differently from each other. For the sake of not being Conflicted Coparents they allow for Parallel Coparenting to take place.

There are two key pillars to Parallel Coparenting and these need to be understood by both parents.

In this podcast I will talk you through these two pillars. I will explain how they go hand in hand with each other but can potential conflict with each other and what you need to do to make these two pillars strong enough to become the structure by which you create a coparenting system that allows your children to thrive and protects them from harmful conflict.

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