You likely know about “empty nest syndrome,” the sadness or emotional distress many parents experience when their children grow up and leave home. But have you ever heard of birdnesting with respect to divorced parents?
NBC News reports that birdnesting, often called nesting for short, refers to a new phenomenon practiced by a growing number of divorced parents. It consists of keeping the children in their familiar family home while the parents rotate living there with them.
Child psychologists and other professionals who deal with the negative effects divorce has on children, say that birdnesting benefits children in a variety of ways, including the following:
- They continue to live in the home they love.
- They continue to have significant contact with both parents.
- They continue to go to the same schools.
- They continue to have the same friends.
In other words, birdnesting gives your children the familiar environment and routine they need to preserve their emotional health while going through this major change in what they always thought was a stable, never-changing lifestyle.
Before you start worrying about the cost of maintaining three separate households, know that most divorced couples who birdnest share one apartment, often a studio, in which each of them lives when not living with the kids.
Obviously, birdnesting requires an amicable and cooperative post-divorce relationship between you and your former spouse. It may represent the ultimate example of putting your kids’ best interests above your own.
For all its benefits, however, experts agree that birdnesting should be a short-term endeavor rather than an ongoing lifestyle change for all concerned. In other words, they say that birdnesting works best when you and your former spouse use it as a 3- or 6-month transitional solution to the breakup of your children’s family.