The holidays bring about good feelings for many. However, for single parents, holiday gift-giving may cause stress and anger.
Disputes between co-parents may escalate as gift-giving events approach. One parent may feel pressure to keep up with the other parent’s spending. Gift duplication may prove a real prospect and cause anxiety. To help, learn some of the ways parents may avoid fighting over gifts.
Communicate with each other
For some parents, communication is key to avoiding conflict. If there is any question as to how to handle gift-giving, send an email. This is particularly important for larger gifts such as cell phones. Since duplicating a phone may prove a costly mistake, parents may want to determine who is buying it. Doing so in email also provides a history for parents to go back and read should anything become unclear.
Avoid putting children in the middle
When parents separate, children feel torn. They may try to please both parents and keep them from fighting. A parent who puts children in the middle of parental discussions does more harm than good. Children should not play messenger between parents. Questions about gifts should remain between the parents and not involve the children in negotiations.
Do not give with conditions
In some situations, gifts given to children come with conditions. A common one is not allowing the children to take the gift to the other parent’s house. Setting a condition on a gift is unfair to the children and may cause further strife between co-parents. It may prove better to forego a gift that warrants terms, especially if it causes children to feel stress and discontent.
Giving children a peaceful holiday without parents fighting may prove more beneficial for everyone in the family.