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4 tips for a peaceful family gatherings for co-parents

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Child Custody

Co-parenting is always challenging, but co-parenting at parties and family events can bring a whole new set of challenges to the fore.

Even couples in intact relationships can run headlong into disputes over gift-giving when it comes to the kids, so how do you navigate this situation when you’re no longer together? You’ll need to communicate with your co-parent and see if you can agree on the following guidelines.

No competitions

Sometimes parents will try to outdo each other when it comes to giving the kids the “best” gift or the most gifts. While it’s easy to get carried away with gift-giving, that can set a precedent that’s harmful to your children.

Coordinated gifts

Whether you split your children’s wish lists in two and each works half the list or you go shopping together, coordinating your purchases helps avoid overlap. This also helps avoid competition: If there’s something special on a child’s wish list, you can agree to split the purchase and give that gift to your child together.

No undermining

Parents often disagree about what gifts are acceptable for their children – but adopt the same rule that many couples use when it comes to disputes: It takes two to say “yes,” and only one to say “no.”  If your co-parent vetoes a gift idea because they find it inappropriate or unsafe for some reason, make your case but respect their decision. (Do not go behind your co-parent’s back and buy that Red Ryder BB Gun anyhow once your co-parent has forbidden it.)

Full possession

Once the gifts are given, agree that they fully belong to the kids – which means the kids decide if a gift goes with them to the other parent’s house. When parents make it a rule that certain gifts have to stay at the house of the parent who purchased them, that can make a child feel as if nothing is really their own.

Getting through birthdays and family gatherings with your sanity intact can be tough. Sometimes, situations come up that illustrate problems with existing parenting agreements. If that happens, you can find out more about your rights and options by seeking legal guidance.