As an adult, your birthday is just a reminder that you are another year older. For a child, however, every birthday is a celebration. It is probably the only day all year when everybody focuses on them and makes a big deal about their preferences and personal achievements.
You and your spouse have probably always gone out of your way to make birthdays a special event for your children. From the perfect presence to coordinated decorations and birthday cakes, there are many ways in which you let your child know that celebrating them is your top priority on their birthday each year.
Now that you find yourself sharing custody, how can you continue to make birthdays special for your child?
Coordinate with the other parents
Even when your parenting plan already includes scheduling rules for alternating birthdays and similar special events you still need to proactively communicate with your co-parents about all of the details of your child’s birthday celebration.
From what kind of party you intend to throw and the location of said celebration to the presents that you get, there’s a lot of information that you should share with one another to create the most magical experience possible for your child.
Be realistic about scheduling
One of the best situations from a child’s perspective would involve having the entire family together like always on their birthday. However, if you and your ex will fight with one another, that may not be a realistic arrangement.
You need to evaluate yourself and your relationship with the other parent to see if you can all be present together. When possible, that is the ideal arrangement. You will also want to include their family as appropriate, as they undoubtedly love the birthday celebrant as well.
Otherwise, you should communicate with one another to arrange for celebrations across both houses that will help your child feel loved and supported. As more time passes than your relationship improves, you may be able to alter the approach that you employ for sharing special days like birthdays with the other parent.
Considering the situation from your child’s perspective can help you arrive at the most effective custody arrangements for your family.