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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › QOW #13: Birthdays

QOW #13: Birthdays

Laura
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 73
Looks like it's time for another question, so here it is. This one is primarily directed to those with a school-age child or children, but, of course, anyone with an opinion is welcome to weigh in.

How do you handle birthdays/gifts for the other parent? Do you help your child get a gift/card? If so, does it bother you?

What about for the kids? Do you have one joint celebration and/or do you collaborate on what gifts will be given, or does each parent do their own thing?

A former member
Post #: 3
I have my son call his mother and sometimes I will purchase a birthday card for him to sign and write a sentence or two. Gifts are out of the question. My son just turned 12, so this was for the age 5-11 range. Incidentally, my ex-wife lives in another state.
A former member
Post #: 7
Looks like it's time for another question, so here it is. This one is primarily directed to those with a school-age child or children, but, of course, anyone with an opinion is welcome to weigh in.

How do you handle birthdays/gifts for the other parent? Do you help your child get a gift/card? If so, does it bother you?

What about for the kids? Do you have one joint celebration and/or do you collaborate on what gifts will be given, or does each parent do their own thing?



Gifts to ex: I offer to take her to lunch (with the kids). Or, I may get flowers and have kids deliver (but stipulate that flowers are from them). Or, I encourage kids to help celebrate.....but do not support financially.

Kids birthday: I always host a party for each kid. Ex is not invited to attend or participate. BTW..... I really dislike the way U.S. is going in terms of materialism, so I stipulate "no presents" from the guests. Ex, in turn, has also hosted parties for the kids in addition to mine. We each give gifts to the kids independent of each other.
A former member
Post #: 1
Looks like it's time for another question, so here it is. This one is primarily directed to those with a school-age child or children, but, of course, anyone with an opinion is welcome to weigh in.

How do you handle birthdays/gifts for the other parent? Do you help your child get a gift/card? If so, does it bother you?

What about for the kids? Do you have one joint celebration and/or do you collaborate on what gifts will be given, or does each parent do their own thing?


I think the right thing to do is to assist your child(ren) in selecting and presenting a thoughtful gift to their other parent. Great modeling for the wee ones, positive feelings will generate from the ex-spouse, and your graciousness just may be returned to you on your own birthday when your child(ren) are similarly assisted on your behalf. :)
Jane L
user 9999308
Madison, WI
Post #: 14
We have it written in our decree that the 'birthday' parent gets custody of the child on their respective day, that is generally the 'gift' . For Christmas we still exchange gifts but just at the point of exchange day closest to the holiday.

We have seperate celebrations for the kids and we don't talk about what gifts each child will 'get', as I recently found out my son has three sets of golf clubs - a little overboard, and two scooters! Some kids get lucky having two seperate households and sets of toys.
Sigrid
user 6453007
Madison, WI
Post #: 4
It looks like birthdays are handled based on how good your relationship is with your ex.

I have a very good relationship with my ex. But like most of the replies, I suggest presents or have my son think of a present for his dad. I purchase it. It's never anything very expensive. Around the $25 range unless it's something they both can use (like a video game). It's always from my son to his dad. And, he does the same for my birthday. We also do this at Christmas.

Basically, it's the same way it was when we were married. The only thing missing are gifts specifically directly from one to the other.

Regarding kid's birthday parties. The ex is always invited, regardless of whose weekend/day it falls on. We've never considered leaving the other person out of our child's party. Even when things were tense at the beginning of the divorce, we decided we could suck it up and both be present at important events for our child (like birthday parties, karate belt tests, school functions). It wasn't easy and we stayed on separate sides of the room the first couple of times, but you get used to it.

We also do not do presents at birthday parties. We each give our son a gift, but we do not allow the party guests to bring gifts. It's stated explicitly on the invitation. We do ask that if they feel the need to do something, that we will have a jar/container/box to collect donations for the animal shelter where we got our cats. Then my son gets to go to the shelter and give them the donations. He loves it (since he's helping all the cats that I won't let him adopt). Parents have told me their kids look forward to his party because they like helping the animals. I think this will be the fifth year we are doing it.

Sigrid

A former member
Post #: 1
I, like Sigrid, have a good relationship with my ex. 3 plus years divorced. We share in all celebrations including attendance. I have to say though, that neither of us has a "significant other" in our lives as of yet. I anticipate a bit of a change if that were to occur. We are both very respectful of each others' boundaries and are able to put all (ok, most...;-) differences aside to enjoy our son and his birthday, Christmas etc. When (I'm optimistic!) another person is introduced into the mix, we would certainly remain amicable if for no other reason than to keep the peace for our son.

As for gifts, our son picks something out in the reasonable range and the other parent purchases it. Its what works for us and our situation.
Laura
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 74
From Jeff, via email:

I had this come up recently... luckily i am still on good terms with my ex~inlaws. So i sent my ex mother in law an email and simply told her that she is in charge of the kids buying stuff for their mom.
Monica
user 12395857
Baraboo, WI
Post #: 13
I wish my ex could read this and see how normal it is for the other parent to help the child acknowledge the birthday parent's day! We had this going for a while (birthdays, Christmas, and Mother/Father's Day), but out of nowhere, he stopped. I hate it. I just had a birthday and he has one in a few weeks. I think it's important to help your child honor the other parent. He doesn't agree I guess....another big surprise for me in the divorce package!
A former member
Post #: 1
my daughters birthday was in the middle of our "proceedings" I invited the mother to attend, she chose not to. My son's b-day is Dec 21 (makes Christmas an issue) - because I planned my daughters party, my ex gets to plan my son's party. I will be attending, but have no responsibilities. Each parent gets to plan a weekend with family separately. it gives the kids 2-3 birthday's really (one with both parents and school friends, one with mom's family, one with dad's family). My kids are young (21 mos and 4 yrs) so they don't really get it yet.

For Christmas the none placement parent gets to send 2 gifts, not to exceed $100 total. Just to keep the idea of mom/dad in their head when they are not there. Then we obviously have 2 Christmas' as well.

I love reading the responses for older kids, gives me some ideas on how to handle in the future.
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