We have Ann Gold Buscho, PhD. On THE Amicable Divorce Expert today with Judith M. Weigle to discuss one creative option to co-parenting: Birdnesting, or Nesting as it is often called. There are many creative ways to organize the co-parenting plan: 2-2-3, 5 & 5, alternating weekends, and Nesting/Birdnesting. Dr. Buscho explains one option, Nesting, that allows for physical stability for the children, in that the parents move in and out of the family home while the children never move. They remain in their family home while their parents move in and out on their parenting time.
This option is a little more expensive because both parents share the financial cost of maintaining the family residence, along with another residence that the parents also share as their adult headquarters.
Nesting also requires that the parents have good communication skills because they are still occupying the same addresses. Good communications skills are absolutely necessary in order to maintain a calm household for the children, to create a game plan for daily chores, to manage food purchasing for the parents and the children, to keep the home clean and the outside grounds maintained, to attend the children’s school and social events, and to model good behavior in front of the children.
It can seem unrealistic to have parents continue to live together via the Birdnesting approach, but parents who have respect for one another and who can communicate effectively verbally and in writing, find this form of co-parenting beneficial.
Dr. Buscho has many different checklists and questionaires in her book to help parents decide if Bidnesting is right for them. She even has lists of Birdnesting deal breakers, lists of concerns that would make nesting ineffective at the least, and contributing to the imbalance of their children’s emotional health at the forefront: Parenting power struggles, mental health challenges, forgiveness, parallel parenting vs co-parenting, inability to stick to plans, maintenance of the environment, and parenting styles.
Lastly, Ann discusses ways in which to end Birdnesting. There has to be a plan in place so that the transition for the children and the parents can be smooth. Nesting can last months or years; it just depends on what approach services the family best.
Parents can learn to cooperate through the exercise of nesting/birdnesting. This arrangement can, in a good way, force parents to communicate and modify their behavior for the betterment of this new version of their family unit.
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About Our Guest Dr. Ann Gold Buscho, PhD.
Dr. Buscho is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in family issues and issues related to divorce., parenting, parent planning, and co-parenting counseling. She has professional and personal experience in nesting, co-parenting, stepparenting, and single-parenting issues. She has presented widely at state and national conferences for attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals on collaborative divorce, forgiveness practices, nesting during divorce, and consensual dispute resolution.
Dr. Buscho is also a founder of a residential treatment program for traumatized emergency responders and their families at which she volunteers regularly. A graduate of Stanford University and the California Graduate School of Psychology, she lives in San Rafael, California.
Ann writes regularly for Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/better-divorce?eml) and other online publications, and has been a frequent guest on podcasts and radio programs relating to family issues.