Should you give your ex a gift for holidays on behalf of your kids?
As I sit here I’m thinking of all the people I need to buy a present for and one of the people on that list is my ex, my sons father. You’re thinking why would I buy a present for my ex, let me explain and when I am done I hope you do the same for your ex. Our son is a toddler, at this age the concept of going shopping and purchasing a gift is nowhere on his radar. However when he gets older he will understand what goes into gift giving but until then it is up to me to set an example for him. I want to be clear, I am NOT buying a gift on my behalf, I am purchasing a gift on behalf of our son and the card will read, “Merry Christmas Dad”.
Your ex, whatever type of co-parenting relationship you currently have, is your childs other parent. It’s important to teach your child now that the foundation to any successful relationship is respect. The gesture in itself is extending an olive branch, this is a great way to show your children that you are able to place aside your differences for the sake of family. By this one act of giving you are teaching a few valuable lessons, respect and manners, setting aside differences (be the bigger person) and, thinking of others whether you like them or not.
Unfortunately some parents are so wrapped up with themselves (ego) that they can’t see the negative impact it has on the children. As your kids get older, elders will question the kids, “what did you get for mom and dad?” and the child is now placed in a predicament, they start to feel horrible that they don’t have anything. Don’t use your child as a weapon against your ex, your gesture of purchasing a gift on behalf of the kids is strictly for your child. Children no matter what age feel ashamed that they can’t even show appreciation in the smallest gesture, help them, that is why you are the parent.
Choose wisely with your gift, a gift can even be looked at as a negative thing, it can even become a terrible mistake that can and will transform a nice gesture of kindness into a small fight. Make sure their isn’t an underlying or passive aggressive meaning with the present you have in mind. If you are still questioning, “why should I do this,” remember the example you are setting for how you treat the other parent is going to significantly shape how they see and treat the people they have relationships with as well as affect their perception of relationships.
So put on your big girl panties and go shopping. Here are some helpful suggestions.
Picture frame with the kids picture in it (Just the kids)
Movie tickets for two
Sports ball, ie: Football, Soccer ball, Basket ball, so they may be active with the kids
Board games, again to play with kids
Starbucks card if they are a coffee drinker
Does your ex have a favorite author? Books are great
Candy or Chocolate
Have the kids draw a painting or picture and frame it
Have the kid DIY ornaments or snow globe
You get the idea, something small, the holidays are a time to place the anger and hostility aside. This is your first step in building a healthy co-parenting relationship and allow the the kids to celebrate by giving a gift, it’s a tiny act you are providing for the children but it will mean the world to them.
~ Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely. Roy T. Bennett