Platonic parenting: The future trend for mum and dads?

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Platonic parenting occurs when two or more people raise a child together in the absence of a romantic relationship.

Platonic parenting, also known as ‘co-parenting’, refers to people who are not romantically involved with each other but raise a child together.

There are several reasons to become platonic parents. LGBT friends may decide to form a family that departs from the traditional heterosexual household. Or long-time heterosexual friends may decide to raise a child together.

There are no official statistics about platonic parenting. But participation in global online communities for prospective platonic parents has been growing.

Criticism surrounding platonic parenting

Some say commuting between different homes is stressful for children. This is if the kid’s co-parents live apart.

But platonic parents are not unlike a divorced couple that manage the upbringing of a child together.  They make things work.

Furthermore, issues including commuting and other delicate decisions can also be addressed with the help of a family therapist.

Critics also say kids may miss out on witnessing romantic love. But Rachel Hope, author of Family By Choice: Platonic Partnered Parenting, says this is not justified.  

“Kids can be exposed to that type of love through their parents’ romantic partners. They will also witness other romantic couples around them,” says Hope. 

Evolving families

Interestingly, our language may change to accommodate growing interest in platonic parenting.

“We lack a vocabulary to match these types of families,” explains Hope. “People hear the term ‘husband’ and expect the father of your child. However, that may not be the case.”

Hope also believes the physical architecture of homes and neighbourhoods will change. “Right now our homes and neighbourhoods are designed for the nuclear family unit,”

“We may need new communal space, like compounds where platonic parents can co-exist in close proximity to collectively raise children,” says Hope. 

This type of parenting is not for everyone. But there is  no evidence that a child raised by platonic parents will suffer. The kid also learns that romantic love is not the only type of love in this world.

Platonic Parenting

Kids with platonic parents can be emotionally healthy and happy. | Image Source: Unsplashed

Here are  3 types of platonic parenting methods: 

1. Platonic Marriage

This occurs when couples that fall out of love (and end their romantic relationship) choose to stay together for their children. It maybe the most commonly known co-parenting structure. 

2. Platonic Co-Parenting

This is a couple with a child but without the romantic relationship right from the start. Modamily is a global website that brings aspiring parents, not romantic partners, together.

3. Family Constellation

This is a family with three or four elective parents. This family structure can be seen in the LGBT community. Here, a child to have several parents (in a country with an enabling legal structure).

Also read about mindful parenting and free-range parenting

Source: BBC and The Good Men Project

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Written by

Elaine Boey