What if Will and Grace had a child?
“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”: goes the old saying, but for many people, their friends are their family.
Two besties, Lynda Collins 42, and Natasha Bakht 44, have just made history by becoming just that. They’re not romantically involved, never have been, but have decided to co-parent their son Elaan 7 years ago. After a 2 year battle they share legal, financial and medical responsibility for Elaan. These two lawyers from Ottawa have a friendship bound like no other and a solid foundation for a family. For these two college professors it was heart-warming to see the legal system responding in Elaan’s best interest.
Today many people are platonically partnering up to raise kids. There are many ways to have a happy, healthy family that fall outside of the traditional nuclear family unit. Millennials are embracing this more because they have fewer preconceived notions of family. What if you don’t want to be in a traditional relationship, or simply can’t find “the one”, but still want to be a parent? “Platonic parenting” involves two or more people who join forces for the sole reason of having and raising a child.
Look at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. They’ve uncoupled but haven’t divorced. They stayed married and stayed put. They just removed the romantic and sexual aspect of their marriage, but remained loving and respectful to each other, and focused on co-parenting. Not only are they raising their kids together, but they have a support system. They have transformed their marriage into a parenting marriage, modelling the true definition of parenthood.
There’s a reason the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” became an adage. Child rearing is a serious and lifelong commitment, one that is often made easier with the support of others.
True, platonic parenting will most likely present some logistical challenges, but, on the other hand, divorced couples deal with those every day. This parenting method may not be for everyone, but no parenting method ever is. For instance, there are very few housing situations conducive to this kind of autonomous living. Apartments in the same building, a house with a cottage on the property, or houses on the same street are good choices. This way everyone can live in close proximity but still have their own space.
Yes, it can be complicated. Living situations and financial commitments must be negotiated and, there’s a lot of grey area when it comes to the legal rights of the co-parent. Individuals are encouraged to seek legal council before entering a platonic parenting relationship.
There aren’t any studies that indicate that kids need their parents to love each other – but, there are plenty of studies indicating that kids do need parental warmth, love, consistency, stability and a relatively conflict-free environment.
Truthfully, kids need parents who love, support and educate them – what they do in the bedroom is not relevant.
Could platonic parenting work for you? Definitely something to think about, right?
Source: thewest.com.au, www.parenting.com, www.quora.com, www.iol.co.za, myfamilydigest.com, www.todaysparent.com, goodmenproject.com, www.mamamia.com.au, www.telegraph.co.uk, theguardian.com, www.romper.com, www.whimn.com.au
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