The effects of divorce on your family can show up in places we may least expect. Spoiling your kids during divorce can be a real point of contention for co-parents. Understanding your past behaviors and relationship with money can be helpful in preventing the desire to spoil your kids during divorce. As co-parents it’s important we are willing to learn how to prevent spoiling your kids during divorce
We all have a different relationship with money and that’s okay.
How we were raised and the financial situation of our childhood often plays a part in how we spend money as adults. Here are a few examples of how money patterns and behaviors show up as adults;
- If you grew up in a home where there was never enough money, as an adult you may save every penny out of fear you will never have enough
- In your household as a child if there was always plenty of money and all of your childhood needs and wants were always met, as an adult you may have a hard time saving because you are accustomed to immediate gratification
- When your parents let you down when you were a kid, did they try to win you over by rewarding you with something you loved? Then as an adult it may feel right to buy things for your kids when you feel like YOU have let them down
If your childhood experience was any of these extremes it can also lead to negative behaviors in spending. Being aware of your experiences and behaviors when it comes to money can empower you to make reasonable and thoughtful decisions when it comes to spending money. Having awareness can help impact how you spend money in general. This awareness can also be helpful when it comes to how you spend money on your children during and after a divorce. It is helpful to understand your past behaviors and will allow you to learn how to prevent spoiling your kids during divorce
Overparenting and Under-Parenting
In our course, Parenting From Two Homes we talk about the concept of overparenting or under-parenting. This concept is similar to “over purchasing or overspending” on behalf of your children. Co-parents can tend to overspend with the hopes of their kids “loving you more” or “hoping the pain can be soothed with new toys.” These spending behaviors are NOT helpful. Overspending and spoiling the kids are especially detrimental if these habits are not within the normal structure of how you or your co-parent typically spend money when it came to your kids.
As co-parents you have to be willing to learn how to prevent spoiling your kids during divorce. Kids are very intuitive. If they sense you are trying to “buy their love” it feels manipulative and insincere. It’s also important to remember that kids have a hard time voicing these things when tempted with new, shiny toys, clothes, or electronics. As an adult it is our job to remember buying our love is not healthy, for anyone. It’s important as a co-parent you stay consistent in your spending and gifting tendencies so you do not do undue damage to the relationship with your kid. No one ever wants to feel “bought” and during or after a divorce, circumstances are no different.
Look at it this way…divorce is a time of incredible change, adjustment, and transition – instead of making BIG spending or purchasing changes to your typical habits, try to make “micro-adjustments” during this time.
To be sure you aren’t spoiling your kids during your divorce here are some questions you can reference if you or your co-parent are concerned spending and purchases are out of alignment:
Questions to ask myself to ensure I am not spoiling my kid…
- Is this in line with something I would have bought prior to the divorce?
- Can I afford it?
- Is this something that I am buying for the kids’ pure enjoyment?
- By making this purchase, am I helping accomplish anything we set out to achieve in our family vision or dream board? If you aren’t sure what this is, we help you create a dream board with your kids in our Parenting From Two Homes Course -check it out!
- Is there any correlation between this purchase and my feelings of guilt, anger, shame, grief, or loss?
- What other thoughts or emotions are coming up for me as I think about making this purchase?
This is a time of immense transition and adjustment for all of you. Having a helpful guide allows you to step into the reasonable and logical side of your brain. It will also allow you to honor the emotional side of your brain. It is when you use the two together, you’re better able to make WISE decisions for your children
If you find these tools and information helpful, our self-paced, online course has more to offer you, check out Parenting From Two Homes. In case you feel like this may be something you and your co-parent could benefit from – use this language and share our resources with them in a neutral, non-threatening, neutral way.
“Hey [co-parent] Parent Team is a co-parenting resource that focuses on what’s best for kids with two homes. This blog was helpful with some good tips for co-parents. Feel free to read it if it feels helpful and just thought while I was doing some research on the kids and the divorce you may want to have this info too.”