Co-parenting at your child's birthday party

Child with birthday cake and candles
Originally published on 10th July 2019 at 3:14 PM

The kids are excited about their upcoming party; however, whilst they count the days until their special do, there's a chance you'll be juggling the organisation, cost and stress of pleasing your child. 

Organising a party for your children when you're separated or separating can be a tricky balancing act. Having just gone through a series of kids' parties with my own, I wanted to share my tips in the hope it helps co-parents out there who are struggling with party preparations. 

1. If possible, involve your ex from the outset

Share the stress and the cost (kids parties can cost up to £300 a pop!). Make sure you're both clear on what needs organising and who will do what. This will lessen the load for both of you and also stop you both from duplicating things on the to-do list. 

2. Attend together

Stating the obvious, two hands are usually a lot better than one, especially when it comes to hyper children and parties! But more importantly, it sets a precedent that you can attend events together that are important to your child. It's much better for your child to look back on birthdays and special events and remember that both parents were there for them.

Some people say that their wedding is the first time they saw their parents together after their divorce, and it was super stressful so if you can pre-empt and remove this stress from your children then do it, even if it creates some awkward moments for you and your ex. 

Enable your child/ren to feel comfortable having you in the same room from the off and remember that no matter the age of your kids - they'll be looking to you for guidance. So be a role model and show them how it's done.

3. Involve new partners

If your kids have a relationship with yours or your ex's new partner, then involve them in party planning. Sure, this may not be easy, and there may be awkward moments, but for me, it helped to build bridges so weigh up the pros and cons of having them involved. For one, it means more adults are around to help out; it also gives new partners a chance to feel involved and have ownership of something.

Of course, the above is not always possible. My situation may be completely different from yours, but this is just what I've learnt so far. If you've got any tips for fellow co-parents, then please comment below. Or if this or any other aspect of co-parenting is causing you stress, why not speak to an expert by booking a session with one of our co-parenting coaches below.

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About the author

Rebecca has a background in family law and has also been through her own divorce. Rebecca is fantastic at offering pragmatic advice and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the legalities around divorce and separation.

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