Written By Divorce/Break-up Coach Prudence Henschke
There are plenty of reasons why you wouldn’t buy a gift for your ex. They never did anything for you on special occasions. They don’t provide enough financial support for the kids. They have a new partner who can buy one for them. And the list goes on and on.
So why would you go to the effort? Here are a few reasons why you might decide to acknowledge special occasions and holidays with a card or gift for your ex, from your kids.
It aligns with your values. You are loving, kind and generous. You are a good person. You are a good parent. Buying a gift for your ex, as hard as it may be, says a great deal about you as a person. Taking the higher ground, isn’t easy but it may mean you are staying true to your values - values you want to impart to your children.
It fits with your big goals. For most parents, separating with minimal conflict and upset to their kids, is one of their highest priorities. The special occasions arrives. Your ex gets nothing from the kids. How are they going to feel? You may not care, but presumably you do care if it adds to the angst between you and makes your life harder – if it escalates or extends the fighting. If peace and harmony, dignity and grace are big goals for you, don’t underestimate how little actions, like how you approach special occasions can make a difference to how things turn out longer term.
It sets an example for your kids. As our children navigate life, undoubtedly they will be wronged and hurt by others. Think about how you want to teach your kids to be in difficult relationships and challenging circumstances. Do you want them to see you as a dignified and respectful person, who was loving and kind even when you had every reason not to be? If kids learn by watching you, what do you want them to see?
For your children – Special occasions are about your children and their relationship with each of you, as their parents. Not your relationship with your ex. Children love to give gifts (almost as much as they love to receive them). The excitement and pride children get from having something special for their mom or dad on a special day is a good a reason as any.
They gave you the greatest gift of all. For all your ex partners faults and what they have put you and the family through, together you made the beautiful children you are blessed to call your own. No matter how you may now feel about your ex, you love your kids and without your relationship with your ex, you wouldn’t have them – and that is worth recognizing.
Prudence is a certified divorce coach with over 14 years of experience as a family lawyer. In her role as a coach, she specializes in helping working mothers feel supported, calm and confident as they navigate the practical and emotional challenges of a break-up or a divorce. You can connect with her at www.prudencehenschke.com
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