December 10, 2023

8 tips for successful alternate custody

1 - A good parental agreement
When the alternating custody is the result of a court decision, it is rare that things happen serenely. Thechild becomes the issue of a war between the ex-spouses.
If the parents hate each other, thechild will have difficulty to make the synthesis between two partitioned worlds, he is likely to build his personality on a cleavage. How to flourish in such conditions?
"We can not love each other anymore," explains Jacqueline Phélip, author of Black book on alternating custody, but we must keep an esteem for the other parent. "
A psychic continuity is necessary for the good development of thechild. The latter must be able to feel free to say "I miss mom" when he is at his dad and "I want to call daddy" at his mother.

2 - Intelligent cooperation between parents
The parents must be on the same wavelength in education. It's good that the rules are the same for dad and mom. There must be a link between the two universes.
Both parents must have access to the real life of thechild, to all that is part of his daily life: go get him to school, meet the mistress, take him to his best friend ...
It is good to set the same sleep / wake rhythms and the same rituals of sunrise and sunset. The passage of the blanket, which serves as a transitional link, is very important for a successful alternating guard.

3 - Geographical proximity
This condition is essential to the success of alternate care. If the parents live too far away from each other, thechild can not follow his school curriculum normally. For everyday life to be manageable, it is better to live close to the former spouse. The ideal being to live in the same neighborhood, because thechild can keep the same friends, the same benchmarks.

4 - A room for the child
This parameter is not essential, nevertheless, it is very desirable that thechild have his own room. He must have the feeling of being at home at each of his parents.

5 - Respect for the notion of attachment
The notion of attachment for a baby must be respected. It ranges from 0 to about 3 years. Some early childhood specialists advocate waiting until the age of 6 before considering alternate care, but it is difficult to generalize. Everything depends on thechild.
What is certain is that the baby should not be separated from his attachment figure, who is usually the mother (but sometimes the father has cared for the baby and has become his parent) . In the youngest children, the removal of the attachment figure for more than two days causes significant disturbances: nocturnal awakenings, anguish of abandonment, psychosomatic disorders, stomach ache ... child presents these disorders, it is better to put an end to the alternating guard.

6 - The implementation of a flexible formula
Ideally, parents must be attentive to the needs of their child and adapt to his situation. We must avoid setting up a shackle system. The parents can try a formula and then discuss it to see if things are going well, if there are things to improve. Better to be able to modulate the calendar in good intelligence.

7 - Listening to the child
When the'child is old enough to formulate his wishes, his needs must be understood. Some teenagers prefer a rhythm of 15 days, less restrictive. By the age of 9-10, many little boys need a greater paternal presence. We must listen to these requests and adapt the pace of custody.

8 - Get out of ideological fighting
Obtaining custody of a child must not become a social claim.
To think in terms of equality between father and mother is a mistake because it is a matter of complementarity.
A child needs his father and mother for different reasons. We do not share a child in the name of equality.

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For further :

Successful alternate custody of Gérard Poussin and Anne Lamy, at Albin Michel, Collection "C'est la vie aussi"

The Black Book of Alternate Guard from Jacqueline Phélip to Dunod editions

FL-311: Child Custody and Visitation Attachment (Part 1) (December 2023)