By Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D.
The Parent's Guide to Birdnesting:
A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce
Protecting the children during and after divorce is the most important thing. And that's why I wrote the book, The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce.
Described as “A perceptive and essential guide to an uncommon family arrangement.” by Kirkus Reviews
Nesting, or “birdnesting,” as it's sometimes known, refers to a transitional or temporary arrangement where parents alternate time in the family home and take turns being “on duty” with their children. Their children stay in the home full time, which gives them more time to adapt to changes in the family. Like birds who rotate in and out caring for the babies while the babies remain safe and secure in their soft, protected nest, parents work together to create a home for their children that is safe, stable, and loving. Parents also use this time to consider the future of their marriage, decide to work on reconciliation, or move toward separation or divorce. It is a healthier way to begin the process of separating or divorcing.
Join Our Newsletter List
How Will Nesting Help Your
Kids and You?
- The continuity of stable routines for your kids
Conflict, especially between parents, damages children the most. Separation is painful and overwhelming for children and nesting makes it easier for them. They stay in one home and their routines don’t change. It gives your kids time to adjust to the changes.
- A break from the tension between you and your spouse
Nesting shields your children from the conflict between you and your partner. You get a respite from the difficulties in your marriage. Nesting also provides you, the parents, time to reorganize and stabilize yourselves.
- Time to develop co-parenting while figuring out your next steps
You can ease into a co-parenting relationship without moving kids back and forth between two homes. You have the time you need to focus on the future of your relationship.
Nesting is the perfect temporary solution to a breakdown in a marriage. It can be a positive step toward reconciliation or divorce if that’s what’s going to happen.
To start, you need a small amount of trust in your spouse. If necessary, you can cultivate that trust. And you have to be able to put your kids’ needs ahead of the conflict. You don’t have to be good buddies, just good parents. I will show you how to create a successful nesting arrangement, step by step.
Quote from Ann:
“What story do you want your kids to share about your divorce when they are grown? The decisions and actions you take now, shape their future narratives. Nesting offers your children the chance to create a story of a healthy and amicable separation or divorce.”
Why I Wrote This Book
When my ex-husband and I divorced in the early 1990’s, we nested. Nobody had ever heard of it and we just figured it out, day by day. We kept the conflict away from the kids and put our kids first. We made some mistakes and I learned some powerful lessons. I wrote The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting so that others don’t have to re-invent the wheel. You can nest successfully and this book will guide you every step of the way.
The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting is long overdue. I’m not advocating for divorce. I’m advocating for a good divorce if there’s going to be one. My hope is that this book will help families make the transition to a new family structure in a way that protects kids and is healing for the whole family. The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting will help you create a successful nesting plan for your family.
Acknowledge the loss If this is the first time your family is not together for Christmas, Hanukkah, or other winter holidays, your kids will feel a sense of loss. They will grieve the loss of the traditions they enjoyed in the past. In addition, they make feel caught between you and your ex. They might worry about the parent they aren’t with or...
Holidays without your kids during divorce feels awful. Here are four tips. Published previously on psychologytoday.com Oct 01, 2019 I don’t know how I will survive Thanksgiving this year. It’s the first time I won’t be with my kids. My soon-to-be-ex is taking the kids to his parents for the holiday, as we always did as a family. But this year I...
A house is just a building, but a home is filled with hopes, dreams, and memories. The attachment to the home can be almost as strong as an attachment to a living being. The attachment can be long-term – you’ve built a relationship with your home as you transformed it from simply a house to your home. It isn’t unusual for people...