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Time With The Kids: A Dad’s Guide To Nesting

Are you and your contemplating nesting for your parenting plan? Here are some guidelines to help your entire family benefit from this child-centered arrangement. A Dad’s Guide to Nesting:

1.     Set boundaries. In order to get the most out of your parenting time, it’s important to set boundaries in your nesting agreement. You and your ex need to respect each other’s space. Establish a rule that neither spouse has access to the house during the other parent’s nesting time. This will also strengthen your relationship with your kids.

2.     Determine housekeeping responsibilities. If your spouse wrangled the chores when you were married, it’s time to step up your housekeeping game! To avoid arguments, make sure you leave the house clean for your ex’s arrival. Turn “pick-up time” into a family activity by delegating chores to your kids. Taking an active role in housekeeping will help your children learn responsibility.

3.    Help your kids understand your arrangement. Some children may misinterpret the nesting arrangement as a sign that you and your spouse are temporarily separated. Make sure your kids understand that the two of you are getting a divorce so they don’t expect you to get back together. They also need to know that you’re in charge during your nesting time, not your ex.

4.     Remember why you chose nesting. Nesting requires two parents who put their children’s needs before their own. You need to adapt to your new schedule so you move in and out of the family home with ease. If you’re resentful, or become disorganized while coming and going, your stressful emotions will trickle down to your children. The arrangement won’t last forever, so try to rise to the occasion.

5.     Establish expectations for new partners. Bringing a new partner into the home too quickly is bound to make waves. It will intrude on your time with your kids and may cause conflict between you and your ex – especially if you’re all sharing the same bed! Prevent confusion and disagreements by including a clause in your nesting agreement that details expectations around new partners.

Nesting requires maturity, flexibility, and strong communication skills. To ensure that your arrangement is successful, consider seeing a family therapist to help you formulate your nesting plan, or at the first sign of trouble.