Some parents cannot resist the urge to get one over on their ex on their child’s birthday. They try to outdo their co-parent on everything from the size of the birthday cake to the cost of the presents they buy for their children.
If your co-parent is like that, it can be easy to get dragged into their game, but you should resist. Here is why:
One or both of you might not be able to afford it
Most people find divorce a significant financial strain. Maintaining separate households costs more than sharing one. So there is little point in getting reckless with the spending.
While your kid might ask for the latest iPhone, it doesn’t mean they expect it. While they might initially be impressed by the fact that the birthday party you throw for them outdoes those their classmates get, it’s unlikely to be that important to them. They’ll be more interested in having fun with their friends.
Making the other parent feel bad could make your relationship more difficult
Things between parents can be difficult during and after a divorce, and one parent trying to outdo the other won’t improve the situation. That, in turn, will make things more difficult for your children. It’s not necessarily an issue that one parent can spend more on a birthday. It’s more about the attitude and motives behind doing so.
Perhaps the best gift you can give your child is to work together. By doing this, you can hopefully work it so that they can spend at least some time with each of you. That is likely what they most want and need after your divorce. How you can do that is one of the things to consider when creating your custody plan.