If you have a co-parent who’s always trying to be your child’s favorite, seems to be determined to make you look bad at every turn or maybe just feels guilty that they can’t be there for your child as much as they’d like, the holidays can be particularly stressful.
Many parents go over the top on lavish gifts for their children for these reasons and others. If your ex is one of them, you may feel like you can’t possibly compete. Even if you can, you may not think it’s good for your child to always have the latest phone, laptop and sneakers.
Either way, if you want to at least try to get your co-parent to make their gift-giving more reasonable, you can propose that both of you abide by a spending limit on individual or total gifts for your child. If your child needs or really wants something pricey, you can both pitch in and make it a joint gift or one from Santa.
What if the overspending continues?
What if your ex continues to outspend you on extravagant gifts for your child or experiences like concerts and trips that you can’t afford? You may want to consider seeking a modification in child support (if you’re the recipient) or at least suggest it. If they have that kind of money to spend, they should be able to contribute more to your child’s support. You may also seek a modification to your parenting plan to address gift expenditures.
If you don’t think the situation is serious enough to warrant changes to legal documents, you can resolve to let your child enjoy these gifts in both of their homes. As they get older, they’ll better understand that good parenting (and the holidays) are about a lot more than buying presents.