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What is birdnesting, and how can it help kids cope with divorce?

Ask anyone who's divorcing and they'll likely tell you that it's a difficult process, especially if their kids are involved. If you consult parenting books about how to help your child cope with your split, then they'll likely tell you that the best thing that you can do is to prioritize their well-being. While keeping your cool around your ex is a step in the right direction, employing the "birdnesting" approach to child rearing is another one.

If you haven't heard of "birdnesting," it involves the child remaining in the family home. The parents alternate living with the child according to a pre-designated schedule at that one house. Most moms or dads who use this approach will stay at an apartment that they both share when the other parent is with the kids at the family's house.

The logic behind why birdnesting works is that it minimizes disruptions in the child's life. Kids tend to be less impacted by their parents' separation when their living environment remains consistent.

Birdnesting isn't ideal for all parents, though. Instead, it's best for those who are on good terms with one another. Parents who pursue this approach to parenting should also see it as a temporary solution. Those who intend to live this way for more than six months may give their child a false impression that they're looking to reconcile.

Moms and dads who don't feel as if birdnesting is right for them can minimize the anxiety that their child feels about their divorce by keeping them enrolled in the same school and by maintaining a consistent routine and set of rules at both homes. They can also do so by encouraging their child to have a positive relationship with the other parent and by never arguing with one another in front of them.

Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in spouses. It's sometimes common for parents to use their kids as pawns to get at each other as a result of this. When you and your ex seem to be unable to resolve your differences, a Colorado Springs child custody attorney can help you negotiate a parenting plan that's your child's best interests, as well as your own, through mediation.

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