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www.divorcedparents.co.uk


they would swap the best birthday present to have their parents stop fighting. It’s also true that many children say that one of the benefits in having divorced parents is that they receive double presents. Both these sentences describe children beautifully. When our children have their birthday, they are given the opportunity to finally come out on top from the ‘traditional family’ kids. The inconvenience of their disruptive living arrangements as they shift between two homes fades very quickly when they get double bonus time. While I don’t necessarily think it’s a smart idea to have double parties, certainly double presents helps. If you’re the parent who has the empty bedroom on your child’s birthday morning, remember to make the call first thing in the day to let them know you’re thinking of them. If you’re the parent with the full house, allow your Ex to be part of the special day without a comment, look or suggestion that they’re intruding. After all, quite possibly next year the shoe will be on the other foot and it’ll be your turn. I believe that birthdays are important to celebrate. This is because in a world where our children sometimes struggle to feel significant, we give them one day each year that is uniquely special to them in our family culture. It’s a chance to remember and celebrate their life in our home. Annual celebrations, repetitive in


nature, offer both the conflict and the resolution. If you can agree upon the importance of the day, perhaps you’ll have more chance of avoiding (or at


18 Divorced parents | www.divorcedparents.co.uk Home My story How can I help? What are the benefits? Finding least) resolving any tension.


Here are four simple tips to start removing the conflict: ● Let your child see both parents on their birthday if they want to - even if it’s only brief and messes up your routine.


● Each year, alternate who puts on the Birthday Party. Taking turns with who will host is empowering and lets both parents have an occasion to make special in their own way.


● Play to your strengths. Some parents are exciting birthday party parents and they give experiences that children cherish into adulthood. Some are not. It’s about recognizing what you’re good at and becoming comfortable with it. If you’re a more quiet birthday celebrator, have a quiet one while you go the extra mile to make it special.


● Avoid the temptation to compete. Stop asking probing questions and avoid comparing or expressing your disappointment in happenings inside the Ex’s place.


It’s one day that your kids want to live childhood dreams - let them do it free from any disagreements between their parents. Remember: make Birthdays special and keep the reason for them in focus.


Jill's book Parenting with the Ex Factor covers many subjects ● How to tell your kids you're getting divorced


● How to create the best routine for your family and more...


WEBSITE: www.complexfamily.com


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