Something as joyful as gift-giving can become a point of tension when you’re co-parenting. Going into the holiday season with a plan for how gifts will be handled can reduce the stress considerably.
Open communication is vital in co-parenting but becomes even more critical during the holiday season. Talk to your co-parent about the gifts you plan to buy for your children. Share lists or shop together, if possible. This collaboration can help ensure you don’t purchase duplicate gifts and stay within a reasonable budget.
Keep the focus on the kids
The most important part of gift-giving is the happiness and well-being of your children. Prioritize gifts that would genuinely make them happy or benefit them somehow. This isn’t the time to get overly competitive or outdo your co-parent.
Planning is crucial when it comes to gift-giving as co-parents. Early discussions can prevent last-minute stress and allow for adjustments. Maybe your co-parent wants to give a more significant gift this year because they missed last year’s festivities.
Even with the best-laid plans, things can go wrong. Perhaps a gift you ordered online didn’t arrive on time, or your child suddenly changed their mind about what they wanted. Being flexible and adaptable can prevent minor hiccups from turning into major issues.
Another consideration is what’s going to happen with the gift once it’s given. While it might be tempting to say the child has to leave gifts at the home of the parent who purchased it, that may not enable the kids to fully enjoy them. Instead, consider letting the children take gifts with them as they want.