Book Review: Mom’s House, Dad’s House, Making Two Homes for Your Child

By Guest Blogger: Melissa, separated parent of 3 children.

This book is a must-read guide for parents who are separated, divorced, or re-partnered. Author Isolina Riccci charts a constructive course for divorcing parents how to navigate the new landscape of two homes for their children.

This book will help you build this new family life, two homes with no fighting. The book encourages parents to start with the basic premise that: “Children Love, Want, and Need Both Parents.” Both parents are the core of their child’s life regardless of “custody” or “access” or percentages of time.

The Family Bill of Rights developed by Ms. Ricci is central to the book:

The Family Bill of Rights

• Each child has the right to have two homes where he or she is cherished and given the opportunity to develop normally
• Each child has the right to a meaningful, nurturing relationship with each parent
• Each parent and child has the right to call themselves a family regardless of how the children’s time is divided.
• Each parent has the responsibility and right to contribute to the raising of his or her child
• Each child has the right to have competent parents and be free from hearing, observing, or being part of their parents’ arguments or problems with one another.
• Each parent has the right to his or her own private life and territory and to raise the children without unreasonable interference from the other parent.

As a separated parent, I can say that this book changed how I did everything once I was separated. When we were first separated I was upset with how the kids’ dad did things in his house, from clothing, to food, to bedtimes. This book changed all of that and really brought home to me what was really important: Our kids, their hearts, and their need to love both of us. The book had real scenarios of how to handle the many changes at separation and new ways for me to speak to their dad so I was heard.

The book also helped me let go of the details of how the children’s with their time with their dad is spent. It helped me shift to thinking about: Were they loved and did they have fun? It helped me realize that it didn’t matter whether they more TV than they would at my house, jumped on the trampoline longer than I thought they should, or ate different things than I would serve them. What was important was: Were they safe? Did they have fun? Were they loved?

This is a must read for all parents who are no longer together where their kids spend time with both of them. The book has 20 amazing chapters covering topics such as:

– Watch Your Language: Words that Help or Hurt
– Mom’s House, Dads’s House: How to Make Them Homes
– Your Children: Giving Them Security and Continuity
– Moving On: Bottlenecks and Breakthroughs

The book is is an invaluable guide with practical and applicable real life advice to keep the primary parent focus on children’s hearts, health, and well-being.

Author Isolina Ricci also has a companion book that we also highly recommend: “Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids”. This book is intended for your children to read to help them understand the changes that come with separation, and gives them real life scenarios to relate to and practical advice on how to cope with all this change. As Ms. Ricci says on page 1: “This book is how to stay strong, feel better, and succeed in life when your parents separate, divorce, or get married again.”