27 answers

Ex Boyfriend Wants to Buy My Daughter a Nice Gift. Do I Let Him?

I dated someone for almost three years. After six months, I allowed him to meet my children and they became very close. We broke up about four months ago but he has made a point to call the kids every few weeks, send them a note or stop by for just a few minutes here and there. The kids really miss him so I think the short visits and calls have helped. He is a really great guy, just not the guy for me and is a good role model. He would never bring harm to me or my children. We broke up b/c we seem to make better friends than significant others. My daughter's birthday is later this month and he has told me he is going to buy her a new bike. This is the type of gift he would have given her when we were together. But do I let him give her such a nice gift now or will that confuse my 9-year-old? I really don't think he has a motive by doing this. He and I agreed our relationship wasn't working.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If the two of you parted amicably (sp), then I say why not allow them to continue contact with them. It may make the whole transition a bit easier on them. If you feel like they are old enough to comprehend it, you may explain to them that the two of you are no longer in a relationship, but that doesn't mean that they and he can not still be friends.

2 moms found this helpful

As long as the relationship ended on a good note and you still talk and are friendly then let him buy her a bike if he wants to. There is nothing wrong with that. I know it is different because you two aren't together anymore but he seems to be a nice guy and wants to do good things by the kids. I think that would be a nice gift to come from him.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.

1 mom found this helpful

G. I see nothing wrong with it as long as there are no strings attached.
It sounds as if he really cared about the kids and it's a shame it didn't work out for the two of you. So many times you hear the guy doesn't get along with the kids or vise versa.

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In general, if he's a trustworthy, nice guy and would be a good role model for your children, then I say let him continue to be in their/your life. Children know the difference between a friend and a boyfriend - as long as you don't 'blur the lines' and send mixed messages. You need to make it clear you are no longer together and there's no romantic attraction there, but you can still be friends. Children can never have too many positive male role models - especially those who don't have a dad around. Just by being friends with him you'll show them that it's possible to be nice and civil with an ex -- something they may need to know when they are older.

2 moms found this helpful

If the two of you parted amicably (sp), then I say why not allow them to continue contact with them. It may make the whole transition a bit easier on them. If you feel like they are old enough to comprehend it, you may explain to them that the two of you are no longer in a relationship, but that doesn't mean that they and he can not still be friends.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi G.,
I think that every child can use a good role model in their life. If he seems to be a good guy then I say why not.

Be sure it's not a tactic to win you back or something HE is hoping will help win you back anyways.

I come from a family of 6 siblings and we are all firm beleivers that just because example "my sister divorced him, we didn't" people become "family" to you and just because it don't work out between 2 people doesn't mean hatered and resentment has to live in the lives of everyone that knows them.

Hope that makes sense as I don't even have on cuppa coffee in me yet this morning lol..
S.-michigan

2 moms found this helpful

my last relationship ended well, over 3 years ago, and we had been together for a very long time, bought a home ect and he was very close to my children, for months after we split up he was around about once a week, always with my there just to see the kids and such, over the course of that first year it became less and we haven't seen him now in about 6 months but for the kids, who were young and ahd already een through the divorce it made a lot of difference, i saw what it did to my kids when their father's girlfriends left and they always missed them terribly, when this relationship ended they were fine, they didn't feel abandoned and adjusted very well, because we took into consideration thier relationship as well instead of jsut thinking aobut our own. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Is he a good influence on your children? Does he follow your wishes when it comes to your children? If the answers to both questions is yes, I think you would be selfish not to let a relationship continue. Its difficult enough to raise kids these days...if you have someone in their lives that could be a positive influence on them, you should let it continue... however, have you thought about what may happen when you have a new man in your life? I guess you need to make sure he is not hanging out with your kids to stay close to you ....
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

I think it is great. Esxpecially that the two of you are able to break up but still get along. He is a good guy who realizes that being in these kids lives was something that makes you a rolemodel for the kids forever. How the two of you handle this break up is just as important. When people allow men or womaninto their kids lives and then they leave, it teaches kids ( In this case) Men always leave. So your son will be a leaver and your daughter will date men who leave her. HOWEVER, in this case, you both are saying realtionships can end or CHANGE and that people who love you never really leave. The amount of time they spend with you can change but, they dont leave you. Let him give the gift and keep him around as ole' uncle fred. Obvioulsy he values your kids adn they value him and having a healthy relationship with a male is a good good thing.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the experience of being the child in this sort of relationship. My parents divorced when I was 6. My dad dated a woman for several years and even called her his wife. We called her 2 kids our step-siblings. They split up and she re-married. We did keep in contact with her after the breakup for several years. We even spent a few days at a time over the summer with her and her new husband. I see no reason why your children cannot have continue to have a relationship with this man. If he is still willing to be a part of their lives, he is a better man than alot of "real" fathers out there. It may taper off after a few years as everyone moves on with their lives, but it shows great maturity and love for your kids to allow them to continue this friendship even though the 2 of you have moved on.

1 mom found this helpful

I think as long as your kids understand that it won't ever be more and you guys are on good terms, there's nothing wrong with letting them stay friends. It can be good to have a relationship with adults outside of your family as they get older and need someone to talk to. I had a woman at church that I still keep in contact with 300 miles away. She was a kind of sounding board when I was going through something and felt like I couldn't talk to my own parents. (And, for the record, no matter how good you think your relationship is, there will be things your kids keep from you.)

Good Luck:)

1 mom found this helpful

Dear G.,

I think any gifts from an ex-boy friend for your children are inappropriate. I'm glad that he still feels affection for your little people. However, they are going to be hurt when he disappears from their lives. I don't think you can avoid the pain. Limited or no contact is probably the wisest choice.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

As long as the relationship ended on a good note and you still talk and are friendly then let him buy her a bike if he wants to. There is nothing wrong with that. I know it is different because you two aren't together anymore but he seems to be a nice guy and wants to do good things by the kids. I think that would be a nice gift to come from him.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi G.,
1 question...What would be the diffrence if her real dad or a step dad (mom's exboyfriend) gives her a gift? He took a big part in all of your lives, especially the kids' and I would say, "Let him be a part of their lives!" He obviously loves them and that's excellent news! My girls' real dad has never been a part of their lives since he left us. I met a man several years ago and he was a good person to the girls but very abusive to me. I decided to leave him, but he wanted to make sure that the girls were alright, so we kept in contact for the girls. I am engaged to a better man now and I still contact the girls' ex-stepdad and let him know how they are doing. And the man in our lives now is so good to them and I that it helps my girls to be happy. If we ever seperated, I believe my girls would hate me if they never got to see him ever again! Just let your kids know that your ex boyfriend is just a friend and he loves them still (like their own kids) but sorry he couldn't be the one to be right there always. I guess. My girls were 3 and 4 1/2 when my ex boyfriend left. And when their real father left us, they were 1 1/2 and 3. And I met this guy when they were 4 and 6years old. My girls now are 10 and 12. If he was a really bad person (your ex) and your afraid he might play games with your kids' minds, than don't do it. Good Luck & Have a nice day!

1 mom found this helpful

If the 2 of you are able to spend time in each others company as friends without any issues, why not? Right now he is a friend and someone that cares about your kids and your kids care about him. I can't see where there should be an issue. Would you hesitate over any other friend? He sounds wonderful and caring. Don't cut him and the kids off from each other. It will hurt all of them. Shannon G.

G.,
I think the relationship with your ex and your children will become very akward after a while. You may want to move on and this will be a "sore spot" for any new relationship that you may develop. Unless your ex is the biiological father of your children, I would strongly suggest that you break off the relationship. His plan to get back with you through the children. Don't allow your children to become pawns in a manipulative game.

Move on and don't allow anymore visits.

J. N

If you are allowing them contact then I see no reason not to allow him to purchase her a gift. If he wants to give her a bike I would let him do whatever he feels is appropriate.

P. R

I think it would be ok.

G.
you didn't say why you and your boyfriend broke up but I would have to say that him giving a gift would be fine as long as the visit was with you there. I would be concerned that the only thing he might be looking for is to get back in with you.
But there diffently would be no visits alone with the kids for any reason.and i assume the kids have a dad that sees them so too much contact may be confusing for them. And if you are clear about your feelings for him and there is no getting back together then the quicker you cut the strings the better for you and the ex boyfriend.i don't think that an ex boyfriend would be the thing to have around when you were ready to start dating again.
Good luck and God bless.
C.

Hi G.,

You have a good combination of opinions.

I can think of my husband. His mother was married to a man who was very kind to them. He taught them karate, to play the piano, was a chiropractor and taught them about that.

He and his mother didn't work out - not many relationships have worked out with her, actually she's still single ;) After 3 marriages and a few other boyfriends.

Anyway, he left and never looked back. Their father came once a year or so and he still never did understand why, after they had such a loving relationship and was like a father to them, he never attempted to contact them. In this case, I KNOW it is his crazy mom.

However, his cousin was also partially raised by a step-dad and he was also his best man and they are very close.

I don't think children should suffer more than necessary. They love and trust him and why take that away, it will only hurt the kids in the long run

Children need and deserve all the love they can get. If you have an ex who is willing to give them love then let him. And be thankful he wants to do nice things for them/

Just think of him as a Big Brother....someone who can spend quality time with the kids....assuming there are no alterior motives.....he isn't a child molestor or trying to win back your love through the kids. I would sit down with him and talk about it....make sure he has a healthy outlook. I have heard many stories of boyfriends becoming attached to their girlfriend's kid(s) like they were their own in a healthy way. It can be difficult for him and the children to make a clean break. If the two of you make good friends then I would say accept the gift as a friend would. Do the kids have a relationship with their father? It can be more difficult for them if they let your boyfriend take on the role of their father. If their dad is in their lives then it may be helpful for him to spend more time with them. Did you and your boyfriend sit down and explain to the kids what happened? As long as you are open and honest with your kids they shouldn't have a problem with confusion. Make sure they know that the break-up had nothing to do with them and your ex is just a friend now.

There are several things to consider.

For example, do you have an amicable relationship with the ex-boyfriend? Are you able to keep him close as a family friend? Is he a healthy influence on your family?

I believe it's important to keep healthy male and female relationships for your children within your circle of friends and family. I believe it takes a village to raise a child. We all need a network of people to make it and be happy in life.

I have kept ex-boyfriends as good role models in my boys' lives. They can come over for outings, lunch with the boys, to the zoo with us, birthday parties.

I think it is sometimes hard to keep the line of more than friends closed to ex-boyfriends, so you have to be sure it's the right decision for you and your children.

-S.

i think you should, he sounds like a father figure. after all i have two dads. a step and a real. i know you are broken up but kids do not understand that. all they know is this man that acted like a dad is gone.

Hi G.:

I like your question.

Any relationship issues that involve children can be potentially fragile situations, I think. Maybe it's the role of "love as protector" from a mom's standpoint. I dunno. Anyhoo, I'm taking the 'rhetorical question/ advice giver' approach here: If your children were in your shoes as grown-up parents in a similar situation and facing the same question that you are now, what would you lovingly and supportively say or do for them to guide them?

Our kids model our behaviors and actions. I laugh at myself when I hear my inner voice saying to my daughter "do as I say, not as I do," b/c that's just not the reality of how the chips fall, as much as I would like to think so in the comfort-zone of my own rationalizations : )
thanks for mamasourcing. warmly, M.

Even though the two of you may not have worked out, he may very well be a great guy. He may have formed a bond with your kids and truly does care for and about them.

When kids meet our boyfriends, they have a tendency to become very attached. Snatching someone out of their life can be traumatic, which is why the experts say not to introduce a new bf until you have been together long enough to believe things are serious.

If this guy is not an abusive or controlling sort, I think him continuing to see the kids is a positive thing.

One of my ex-boyfriends had two kids (8 and 6) that always wanted to call me "mom" while we were dating (3 years). When we split up, I was more worried about them than anyone else (b/c their mom left them when they were 2 and 6 months). They would call me and invite me to dinner and I went a couple of times - just to be sure the kids were ok. It was awkward because I felt like I had too much baggage to try to date someone new with my "ex-family" calling all the time, and he was trying to make the kids keep his dates a secret when I was there. It only took a little while before I realized that each time I went over there, the kids would get their hopes up that I was going to stay. Then if I would say no to coming over, they would get upset and cry and tell me they missed me. I finally just had a talk with them that I was not with their daddy anymore, and I was going to have to stop coming over. They cried and I cried, but it enabled them to get over me, and they were able to stop rejecting everyone he would date. I saw them a couple of times after that (out in public), and they were doing just fine. I wanted to make the split easier for them, but it seemed like keeping contact made it tougher on all of us in the long run. If you are sure that there will be no sore spots about either of you dating, and if you can be 100% sure the kids understand that you are only friends with him now, then sure, let him keep contact. Otherwise, it may confuse them, make them reject any new guy you date, maybe start to blame you for him not being there anymore, and it will be tougher if you drag out the "final split." They may get used to him stopping by and calling, then if he (or you) starts a new relationship it may suddenly stop and hurt them even more. It would be like breaking up twice. This is just my opinion and what I saw happen in my own life. Good luck.

Cut the ties now! There is something wrong with this man. Yes it is nice to think he wants to keep contact with your children but you had a short relationship with him and he is not their dad and usually when a man shows this kind of attention to small children it is not because he wants to be daddy but because he is a pedophile or has some dark motive. Since he is not their dad any other relationship will just confuse them. I know what i am talking about. I was in your shoes and the man molested my 5 year old. PROTECT you children from this man. He may be harmless and i may be overreacting... but do you want to risk your children's lives on it. My daughter has never been the same. She is 20 now. God Bless You.

Why did you break up with him would be my first question. And my next question would be why hasn't the x boyfriend moved on??? Then the third question, where is the father to the child.
I would not trust him with my daughter, nor would I allow him to continue seeing them or interacting with them. I also would not subject my children to my boy friends---I don't care if it is one day or thress years.

G. I see nothing wrong with it as long as there are no strings attached.
It sounds as if he really cared about the kids and it's a shame it didn't work out for the two of you. So many times you hear the guy doesn't get along with the kids or vise versa.

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