What's better for the children?(7 Posts)
Can anyone refer me to any published recommendations about what living arrangements are best for small children (i.e. under 5s) after divorce? Some say it's better for a half and half split while others say that doesn't provide them with stabililty.
There is a lot of Australian research, sorry I don't have links but try some general googling.
Basically they found that shared care can work ok if parents have harmonious relationship. If parents don't get on itnis very difficult for children and they report they don't like it.
In my experience, shared care has only worked if parents can live very close to each other and schools.
It is easier for younger children but once they get to school age I think they need one base where all their stuff is, not to keep moving from one home to another.
But there won't be a blanket rule, it will all depend on particular circus and particular child.
However I think shared care is usually more about appeasing the parents than putting the child first, just because in many cases the logistics are against it.
Thanks spero, that's very useful. If you find those links, I'd be grateful to receive them. I will try googling as you suggest in the meantime.
We have 50/50 access and it works extremely well - we've done this since we split (kids were 4 & 5). I don't always get on with the ex, sometimes we revert to text contact only but we don't drag the kids into any issues.
We've done this for nearly 6 years now and the kids are happy, so we're happy. We do have an established routine - Mon/Tues nights are at dad's, Wed/Thurs mine, and alternate weekends - but that way we all know where we are, and the kids manage to revolve their social life around this too. I know a number of people with similar patterns and in each case, it's the kids who benefit.
Years ago someone organised in Mumsnet a "poll" between grown up children of separated parents to find out what would be convenient from the point of view of the children.
From what I remember, alternate weekends was the way to go as the children had opportunity to have quality time with both parents away of the school days routines. + one weekday.
Some people suggested that for alternate weekend contact it was better to do a friday to monday weekend rather than having "half days", meaning not being able to use a weekend day properly as children had to be picked up at midmorning and/or returned before bed/dinner time on last day.
People mentioned that it was better to have a house as a "base" rather than having two "bases", especially as they grew older, as they found it difficult to keep what they needed for homeworks in both houses, and also to spend time with their friends (this last was particularly important for teens)
IMO, any arrangement can work well for the parents, some arrangements will work better for the children, but everything will work well for everyone if you and your ex have a good relationship and keep communicating about the children needs.
Thanks memysonandi and yofluffy. I think there is a good point well made there about good relationships and effective communication. Unfortunately, not all people are reasonable so it's a challenge trying to establish a routine that's going to work best for the children when one person wholeheartedly disagrees based on how the routine is going to impact on them emotionally.
I'm interested about this poll though as it comes straight from the mouths of the children directly affected. Do you have a link at all?
I was unable to find the poll thread as it was posted on chat at the time (I'm sure I have it printed somewhere but I can't find it) I have sent you a message with some details and suggestions.
Best of luck!
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