Since I ended the marriage earlier (detail removed by Moderator), we have continued to buy each other gifts from the children for Mother and Fathers Days, each others birthdays. The children are too young to buy their own cards/ presents. They can’t write their names. It has only been a small, token present each way. But as time goes on and his behaviour towards me has become worse since separation, I’m less inclined to want to do this. Is it ok to leave it until the children are old enough to do it more independently?
What do others do in this situation where you have left the relationship but have children who are too young to mark occasions without some form of input from you?
Ive been involving my children so it is from them as much as possible such as letting them choose which card to buy and giving them an option of presents to choose from. As well as this they’ve decorated their cards and envelopes with scribbles and stickers.
But I’m wondering if I should even be doing this given the contempt with which he has treated me?!
No I would not encourage my children to give a present to a man who abuses me. I think you should start as you mean to go on that means as little contact as possible. It also means being consistent in your behaviour towards your ex. If you show them that abuse is normal behaviour and is even rewarded with gifts then that’s what they will learn. I’d be empowering them even at such an early age to understand that you do not need to have an abuser in your life even if that is a close relation, if he abuses you, you can bet he will abuse them. In fact abusing the mother is child abuse. Talk to women’s aid and look at the Freedom Programme.