Dealing With Gift-Giving Dilemmas

wrapped gifts
Dec 20, 2018 | Sara Khaki

When it comes to giving gifts around the holidays, what parent doesn’t like to see their child’s face light up after ripping off the wrapping paper? Wanting to buy that special something for your kid is understandable, but make sure that you avoid getting caught up in the vicious game of trying to out-gift your former spouse. For most children, the holiday season is the time they’ve been waiting for all year long, but a present battle between parents can quickly ruin their entire experience.

This holiday season, remember that you are a parent first and a divorcee second. No matter the emotional turmoil you might be forced to suffer through this Christmas, try to remind yourself of the ultimate goal: infusing your children with positive memories. We know this is easier said than done, so we’ve compiled some tips that might help.

Coordinate Gifts

If possible, make time to consult with the other parent about how to handle holiday shopping. If there is an expensive gift on your child’s list, consider suggesting a joint purchase. If you don’t have a cooperative relationship with your former spouse, then do your best to purchase responsibly and save receipts in case double purchases occur.

Cut the Strings

One common gift-giving dilemma that can put a lot of pressure on kids is deciding where the gift should stay: at Mom’s house or Dad’s house. Of course, it can be difficult to purchase your child something nice and see them take it to the other household to play with. But if a gift is truly a gift, then the child should be able to take it with them when they want to.

Take the High Road

Children will often want to give gifts to both parents, but they don’t have to means to purchase or make something nice. While shopping for a Christmas present for your ex-spouse might sound awful, it’s important to separate your feelings from your kids’ needs. Try to keep gestures appropriate and help your kids make good gift choices.

When kids grow up, they will most likely not remember exactly who gave what to whom, but they will remember the general sentiment of the gift exchange process. Create wonderful, peaceful, and generous moments with your kids that they will pass on to their own families.


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