December 24, 2006 10:27pm CST
Do you buy gifts for the children to give to your ex?
26 Dec 06
Hi there :) I used to buy gifts and send them to my ex, marked from the children. He got gifts for his birthday and for Christmas and he would send the same to them. (I have full custody and he lives across the country from us). However, he never seemed to really appreciate what they sent and didn't make it a point to call and let them know that their gift had arrived. Then, when he stopped fulfilling his obligations to call them on a weekly basis, I found myself feeling less and less inclined to send the gifts (I even had it mentioned in our divorce documents that he was to call them at least once per week because I had a feeling that, over time, he would stop making an effort with them... unfortunately, I was right). Now that they have a little bit of their own money, they like to shop at the dollar and discount stores and buy little gifts for family members. They never ask to buy and send anything to their father and when I ask if they want to do something for him, they say no. I feel there comes a point where it becomes their decision to make and I respect them for that. They didn't even want to speak to him on the phone for Christmas this year (because it had been over two months since he last got in touch with either of them) but he had sent them each a gift card so they knew that they had to be polite and say thank you. It's really an awkward situation at the best of times, isn't it?
• United States
26 Dec 06
I know that this was intended to be a discussion about Christmas gifts and that I'm a day late, but it also applies to other occasions, especially birthdays. I think that if the children are small the custodial parent should buy gifts for the ex, even if this is not reciprocated. It's not a matter of whether or not YOU get a gift in return that's important; what is important is that you are teaching the child to be considerate, thoughtful, and giving. The child may be afraid to ask you to buy a gift for the ex; children are smart, and they may be aware of hard feelings between his parents even if there is not a lot of fighting.