A child’s birthday party should be about creating the ultimate experience and offering the child a say in the matter. What do they want the party to be like? Who do they want to come?
For divorced parents, this can get a bit tricky. Does your child want you and your ex to have separate parties, meaning that one party will likely not be on the child’s actual birthday? Or do they want you to hold a joint party where you are both involved, despite your divorce? As you learned during your divorce, the child’s best interests should be the focal point for most decisions. How can you honor that here?
Every child is different. The key is to open up a dialogue. Be honest. Talk to your son or daughter and ask their preferences. Never assume that you know what they want.
That said, experts do agree that most kids would rather have a joint party and see both parents on the same day. Birthdays are very special for children. They don’t want anyone to be left out.
Of course, the key is to make sure that you and your ex are on good enough terms to pull this off. You have to be civil. You have to work together. You have to put the child’s feelings first, even when it’s hard.
At the same time, it may be important to consult your child custody agreement. Make sure you know exactly what options you have if you and your ex do not see eye-to-eye. When opinions differ, your custody order is the final arbiter.