Why Young Kids Should Spend Equal Time with Divorced Parents
If you’ve decided on a shared custody agreement with your ex-spouse, you now face scheduling time between you and your children. Depending on the age of your children and the nature of the communication you have with your ex, you may be concerned for your child’s development and how the split will impact their dynamic with you in the long run.
Luckily, the following study showcases how positive children respond to a separation: all it takes is the dedication from each of you to nurture and encourage them as they spend time with you and especially when they are with your ex.
The time spent with you should never encourage derogatory feelings from your children towards your ex, to keep the process as positive as possible.
When parents separate or divorce, they often wonder what’s best for their young children: should they spend more time with their mother in order to maintain a strong relationship? Or, should time be split equally?
A new study may offer the answer. Researchers found that children of divorce benefited from spending time, including sleeping over, at both parent’s homes.
And the adult children who went on to have the best relationships with their parents were the ones who spent equal time at both their mother’s home and their father’s home when they were very young, according to the study, published today (Feb. 2) in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law.
Previous research suggested that when a child spends too much time with his or her father early in life, it can damage the mother-child bond, which had been viewed as the more important relationship, the researchers wrote in the study.
However, the researchers found that “not only did overnight parenting time with fathers during infancy and toddlerhood cause no harm to the mother-child relationship, it actually appeared to benefit children’s relationships with both their mothers and their fathers,” lead study author William Fabricius, an associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University, said in a statement.
The researchers included more than 100 college students in the study whose parents had separated or divorced before the student was 3 years old. These students were asked to assess their current relationships with each of their parents.