The complex simplicity of 252
A new trend is developing in the field of visitation schedules with kids called 252. I know a lot about it because I do it with my son Nikolai. It is a bit different than the standard model because I see Nikolai every weekday until about 7 or so. But overall I really don’t like it, and here’s why.
Most custody arrangements are made without including the kids in deciding (especially with littles). Now adults/lawyers/courts have decided the best way to share the children is using the 252 rule—or, as I refer to it, torture. Their father gets our son for two days. Then I get him for two days, and then he gets him for five days. Then I get him for two days, then his father gets him for five days, and then I get him for two days… and on and on.
In theory, it makes the adults feel good because it’s all fairsy. But fairsy is not always fair, and it’s certainly complicated.
In the 1970s and 80s, we were a society that really didn’t value fathers spending time with the kids after divorce. Every other weekend was the norm. Then the pendulum swung to include the Super After-Divorce Dad that did everything. Now we are trying to make a shared plan.
While I agree that kids need stability with both parents and a clear plan in which to do that, they also need simplicity. Sharing equally is super complicated. Asking a child of any age to readjust every few days to a new environment is tough.
I have different plans with each of my kids and their dads. The 252 plan works with Nicolai’s dad, but still seems rougher than the loose plan I have with Ava’s dad. Ava’s father and I do the “kids are with each parent when it works for the parent” plan. This plan requires good communication, loose guidelines of what that looks like overall, and lots of humor and flexibility.
We all have jobs that change, moves that need to happen; travel, sickness, and so on, so why not have what is happening in the real world of our lives dictate what is happening? How can you get to this more humane option? What do you think?