Should You Buy a Gift for Your Ex? (Birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc)

Father’s Day is around the corner and a lot of co-parents are asking, should I get my ex a gift from the kids? I’m sharing my experience on this topic today, and there’s going to be a challenge at the end of the post, so don’t miss out!

If you have kids together and your ex is in the children’s lives, the answer is… YES!

This applies to Mother’s Day, birthdays, etc.

If you share custody consistently with the other parent of your child, I strongly suggest you help your child get a gift for their other parent.

The one exception to this advice is if there’s been domestic violence involved. I would never tell a victim of domestic violence how to cope with their situation. That’s beyond my scope, and I would never want to steer someone wrong who has been through something traumatic.

But for the parents who share consistent custody with another parent, get your ex a gift.

Before you say that you disagree with me on this one, hear me out:

  • It’s not about doing something for your ex.

  • It’s not about making your ex happy.

  • It’s not about what your ex is or isn’t willing to do for you.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up (ha, gifts, wrapped… get it?) in the mentality of “Mother’s Day came and went, and I didn’t get anything from him!” Or “My ex would NEVER do something like that for me!” Or maybe you’re still hurt or have a lot of negative feelings in general from the divorce or separation—listen, I get that. I promise you, I’ve been there too. But getting a gift for your ex when you have a child together is not about ANY of those things.

Getting a gift for your ex is about what YOU are telling YOUR CHILD by doing that.

It’s telling your child that you recognize that their relationship with both of their parents is important, and that you support them.

It’s showing your child an example of how to treat others, especially people that they love—that doing something nice for someone else makes YOUR CHILD feel GOOD.

It doesn’t have to be something expensive—and let your child come up with the idea and be creative. Give them a spending limit, maybe just $5-10 to pick something out at Target or Walmart, or if you really can’t afford anything, have your child make something themselves. It doesn’t have to be big to have a positive impact on your child, and that’s what this is about.

I told you there was going to be a challenge at the end of this video, and here it is—get a gift for your ex. Help your child pick out something, or make something for their dad this Father’s Day. Anything you and your child decide, whether it’s a small gift with your money, with the child’s money, or something made from home—help your child get a gift for their other parent. Dads, if you’re watching and you want in on this challenge, maybe mom has a birthday coming up or you can have your child make something nice for the other parent “just because.”

When you’ve got your gift picked out or made, take a photo of the gift and send it to me! You can add me on Instagram @smallstuffbigfamily and post a photo of the gift and tag me in it, or DM a photo to me, or you can email me a picture to When you send it to me, let me know if you want it to be anonymous or if you want to be tagged, and I’m going to share all of the results from the challenge in my YouTube video after Father’s Day as well as in my Instagram stories on IG.

The challenge will end on Friday, June 14, 2019, so send me what you and your child got your co-parent, and I’ll show it off for you. I’m so excited to see what you all come up with!

Before you go, consider following me by email so you’ll be notified of my next post, and leave a comment below—tell me if this is a new idea or if this is something you already do for your child’s other parent!

Thanks so much for being here!

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