In a country where typical marriages have just about a 50% chance of lasting, it’s as common for two parents raising a child to be separated as it is for them to be together. And this all-to-commonplace situation has driven the rise of a parenting trend called "co-parenting," which, according to Divorce magazine, "describes a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage, cohabitation, or romantic relationship with one another.”
As we highlight on our popular series Birth Days, which chronicles the non-stop adventures of parents and their newborns as they spend their first six weeks together, parenting can be tough. But bottom line, being a good parent who's consistently there for your child comes first...and there's plenty of evidence co-parenting can provide that just as well as the traditional nuclear family did.
To learn more about the the trend of co-parenting, let's look at where it's most visible — amongst millenials and celebrities.
Here's How Co-Parenting Has Evolved:
Families aren't all nuclear anymore, a.k.a., two parents (generally a married male-female pair) and their dependant children. Instead, a growing portion of millenials prefer the freedom and simplicity of raising a child in two different households. This Washington Post article discusses how millennials are sidestepping the "get married, then get divorced" part of things and co-parenting with people who aren’t their spouses...and sometimes not even their partners, significant others, or their child's biological parent.
Co-parenting is a term most often applied to couples who have had kids and continue to parent amicably, post-breakup or post-divorce. But another definition of co-parenting makes romance obsolete from the start. Also known as “platonic parenting,” this arrangement involves two or more people who join forces for the sole reason of having and raising a child.” These arrangements can include a gay couple parenting with a surrogate mother, two friends co-parenting together, and endless other parental-figure combinations.
Also on Z Living: How Millennial Moms Are Parenting Differently Than Their Parents
Celebrities Are In On Co-Parenting, Too.
Celebrities are also making co-parenting a regular, and even celebrated, way to raise children. Romper just published a piece about how Scott Disick thinks positive co-parenting comes naturally to him and Kourtney Kardashian. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have been named co-parenting champs for their festive, outfit-matching at the 2017 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. And, on the flip side of things, Hilary Duff recently stated that her experience co-parenting since divorce has “sucked.”
Also on Z Living: 7 Of The All-Time Best Tips For Parenting Newborns
But Is Co-Parenting Better Or Worse Than Classic Parenting?
The biggest positive to take from millennials wider adoption of co-parenting, and positive examples like Cannon-Carey and Disick-Kardashian is that co-parenting can work. Parents who are able to focus on themselves, and stay away from situations that incite conflict, are well equipped to provide their children with a good role model, and an attentive parent. If two parents fight a lot, perhaps it’s best for the child not to be subjected to it.
On the flip side, co-parenting is still a two-way street. Regardless of marital status, if both sides don't agree or pull their own weight, it won't work. There are also other, unavoidable cons to parenting without a romantic, live-in partner. Look at Duff, who's said she’s saddened by the time she doesn’t have with her daughter Luca. She’s also sad her daughter won't have a sister near her age.
The takeaway of looking at both sides of things is, co-parenting is the same as regular parenting. It takes love, collaboration, and imagination. The cool thing about co-parenting, is if you want to have a family, but don’t necessarily see yourself in a state-sanctioned union, there are plenty of other options.
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