City were leading thanks to Rory McArdle's first half finish but they were denied their fourth win in succession when Scunthorpe substitute Hakeeb Adelakun netted with barely seconds remaining.
Coming so close to the final whistle, the goal was understandably a kick in the teeth for Parkinson and his men after leading for so long but, in truth, Scunthorpe had more than deserved to get something out of the game following a dominant second half showing.
Parkinson admitted after the game that Scunthorpe had got the better of City after the restart and that his team had probably sat back too deep, inviting the visitors onto them a bit too much in the game's latter stages.
With City up to eighth thanks to the draw, seven games unbeaten now and still only a point off the Play-Off places though, Parkinson was also keen to remind supporters that, despite the frustration of conceding late, the Bantams still had plenty to be positive about going into Christmas.
Parkinson conceded: "We were disappointing in the second half.
"It wasn't a conscious decision as a management team or as a group of players to sit back as deep as we did during times in the second half, we just didn't play well enough to get out.
"We didn't put quality (passes) down the sides of their centre halves to release any of the pressure on us and we didn't keep the ball well enough - we didn't really have any good periods of possession in the half.
"Because of that, we got pinned in for too long and Jordan (Pickford) has had too many saves to make.
"Scunthorpe are a good side and you have to give them credit. They played really well in the second half and we didn't.
"I knew before the game that this would be a challenging afternoon for us though. Despite their lowly position, they are side who have spent a lot of money over the summer on forward players and they have got that quality in the final third.
"The performance might not have been there for us in the second half but the effort the lads put in to try and see us over the line was magnificent.
"We enjoy the victories together as a group and we also must take these disappointments on the chin.
"We move on now - we are seven games unbeaten. We would obviously have loved to have won the game today (Saturday) - we haven't - but we keep the points tally ticking over.
"We are annoyed with ourselves today because we didn't play well enough. We can't say we were unlucky because we didn't do the things in the second half that we should have done.
"I don't think it was a lack of effort, just a lack of thought at times perhaps.
"We have an honest group of players here though, they keep putting in honest performances and I suppose you can't win every week.
"We take this one on the chin today and we move on together. We are looking forward to coming in Monday and working towards the next one."
As they looked to hang on in the second period, City's defence was tested on more than one occasion by Scunthorpe's attacking play.
Man of the match Rory McArdle capped off his goal-scoring day with a committed display at the back, however, while Jordan Pickford produced more than one key save during the game, with one stop in particular from Paddy Madden in the second half certainly catching the eye.
Parkinson continued: "Jordan has made some great saves today - it was a shame that he wasn't on the winning side this afternoon because his performance was superb.
"He was too busy for our liking during the match but he was outstanding when called upon.
"(Rory) McArdle's performance was right up there as well today. He had a great overall game in terms of his recovery speed, his heading and his blocking.
"His goal as well was a brilliant finish from him - his third goal of the season - he is certainly chipping in with his share of goal from defence so far for this season."
On a challenging afternoon for the Bantams, Parkinson revealed City picked up a couple of knocks during the game.
Filipe Morais damaged his shoulder and Billy Clarke injured his knee - both issues Parkinson admits will have to be checked over ahead of Friday's Boxing Day clash at Fleetwood Town.
Parkinson added: "We have a few knocks from today.
"(Filipe) Morais hurt his shoulder in the first half and Billy Clarke has damaged his knee ligaments. He could have come off at half time but he wanted to stay on.
"We have to make sure those two are right for this Christmas period."