Splitsville: The Best Gifts To Give Your Ex

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Welcome to Splitsville. This weekly column will focus on parenting after a divorce, break-up or one-night stand thatdidn’t end like a Katherine Heigl movie.

My daughter and I were out shopping for Christmas presents this weekend, finishing up the last of our holiday purchases. All year long, I’ve let her “play Santa” picking out the perfect gift for her cousins and stepfather. So as we wandered through the mall and came upon the last couple names on our list, I asked my little one, “What would you like to give to Daddy this year for Christmas?” Being the thoughtful and giving three year old she is, my daughter said, “A new car. I really think he wants a new car.”

It was at this point that I realized she was going to need a little guidance to get the right holiday gift for her dad. Obviously, she thinks big.

Every child wants to pick out a special present for their parents, and that doesn’t change just because the parents are separated. Both sides should be completely willing to their child out shopping and help them pay for a gift to give the special people in their life, whether you’re all living in one house or not. But that doesn’t mean that parents can or should spent a fortune on their ex, just to placate their little one. To be fair, I also wouldn’t let her buy a pool with a diving board for her grandmother.

But here are a couple of thoughtful, child-centered gifts that you could steer your kids towards if they are having trouble with a realistic Christmas gift for your ex.