No matter how amicable a divorce may be between parents, the separation can still be incredibly difficult for children. Experts agree that the best way to support children during this time is to make it as conflict-free as possible.
For some couples going through a divorce, that means utilizing a practice called birdnesting.
What is birdnesting?
As described by NBC News, birdnesting refers to the practice of allowing the child to stay in the primary home while the parents take turns staying with them. Essentially, it is the opposite of traditional divorce visitations where the child has to share their time between two homes. Instead of maintaining two separate houses, the parents share the main house and an apartment.
One of the main benefits of birdnesting is that it minimally disrupts your child’s schedule and they get to stay in the home that they are familiar with. This can help the child feel safe and secure while the divorce is taking place.
Does birdnesting work?
Birdnesting can work, but only for a short duration of time. For example, if you want your child to finish out the school year, birdnesting could be an appropriate solution. If it becomes a long-term solution, your child could become confused and filled with the hope that you will eventually get back together. At some point, it will be healthy for your child to understand what it is like to have more than one home. For a transitional period, however, birdnesting can work quite well.
It is important to note that birdnesting is only successful if the parents are on the best of terms. If one or both parents are talking badly about each other, it will only add more stress to an already tense situation.