Children’s Birthday Parties Post Divorce

September 25, 2014

A child’s upcoming birthday can cause anxiety for newly divorced or separated parents.  The parents are maintaining two separate households, yet each parent wants to be part of the birthday celebration.  What are the options?

A Shared Birthday Party

Many couples have made a promise to celebrate the child’s birthday together.  Obviously, this only works if the parents and their families are cordial and can all get along in the same room.  Many parents suggest the joint party is easier if it is held on neutral ground, like a park or restaurant.  At a shared party, it’s a good idea to warn both sides in advance that they are all going to be there. Younger kids seem to prefer a shared party, so they can see both of their parents and share the celebration together.

Separate Parties 

If there is tension between the two sides of the family, and there may be some uncomfortable situations at the party, the parents will opt for separate parties.  Other parents just want to keep potential drama out of the situation.  For some parents, separate parties are easier – the parents can have the party at their own house, and the child gets two parties out of it!

Your Child’s Preference

Sometimes, depending on the age of the child, you can ask him/her to decide.  Ask what is less stressful and more enjoyable for the child.  Sometimes the child will tell the parent that he wants separate parties and sometimes the child will tell the parent he wants everyone together.  Either way, parents can make the sacrifices to make it work.

Whatever your family decides, remember that it is your child’s day, and just try to keep the “happy” in the party – we do say “Happy Birthday”‘ after all.


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