If you are like many parents facing divorce, shielding your children from unnecessary emotional trauma is a top priority. You may wonder how you and your spouse can continue to be loving, effective co-parents while you navigate your separation.
While not for everyone, “birdnesting” offers a unique approach. Under this arrangement, children remain in the family home, while parents take turns visiting and providing care. On “off” days, parents may stay with family, friends or in a shared off-site residence.
How might birdnesting benefit children?
Ideally, birdnesting helps to minimize disruption to your child’s daily routine and his or her sense of security. In familiar surroundings, children may be better able to adapt to unfamiliar changes during a major transition in their lives.
How might birdnesting help you as parents?
Birdnesting may also give you and your spouse an opportunity to explore life as single parents without necessarily rushing to set up separate households. This may give you both time to figure out what works and does not work in terms of sharing parenting responsibilities. It may also help you each to continue fostering a positive, supportive relationship with your children.
Honesty, communication and trust are essential for making the birdnesting approach work. While you and your spouse do not need to agree on everything, it is important to establish a detailed plan. If you are unsure where to begin, a family law mediator may be able to help you explore your options for moving forward as an effective parenting team.