April 04, 2016

What Is Important (and what's not) For a Child's Birthday Party

I have birthday's for both of my girls coming up in May and so I've got birthday parties on my mind. This year my oldest is having a joint birthday party with one of her friends. And I think we'll just have our immediate family over to celebrate our baby. Over the past seven years we've had a variety of parties of varying sizes. Today I want to share what I've learned about them.

There Is No Right Party

There are some on the internet that get opinionated at those who they feel go "over the top" for birthday parties. And some feel that if you go too "low key" then you're doing your child a disservice. I say that you are the only one that knows how big is too big and how little is too little.

If your child loves doing crafts then it makes sense to have lots of activities at the party. If your child is uncomfortable in crowds then you wouldn't want to host a party for the entire neighborhood. If your child would rather get a larger gift or take a trip with you instead of a party, then by all means you should go that route.

And then, maybe the key ingredient in what kind of party you host is YOU. Maybe you have the gift of hospitality and love to host others in your home. Or maybe you're the opposite. No one should get a say in what kind of birthday party is right for your child other than you and your child. Although, children often have much grander plans than their parents can accommodate so don't feel bad about scaling their vision down to an acceptable limit!

Traditions Can Change

One year I put on my daughter's invitation "No Gifts Please." You would have thought that I had canceled her birthday rather than just asked for no gifts based on some of the reactions that I received. So, the next year we didn't specify. And this year my daughter and her friend have decided to collect toys for others. You can change your mind on what your birthday traditions are each year. You're never boxed in on traditions, especially when your children are young.

Still, traditions are a fun part of birthdays. I wake my children up on their birthday morning with the same song that my mom woke me up with on my birthday growing up. So try out some fun traditions like writing your child a letter each birthday or having the same breakfast each birthday morning. But don't be afraid that just because you did it once that it has to become a yearly tradition. Try different things until you find the tradition that you want to keep! 

You Are Not Superwoman

Like my first point, you know what you're capable of and what you're not. And if it's not hand decorating a three tier cake then don't stress yourself out trying to make one! Know your strengths, time limitations, and funds available and then work within those constraints. If you love pictures and have the funds, hire a photographer so that you can enjoy the party and still have fantastic shots after the event is over. If you are the craft queen, then enjoy yourself while you hand tie the ribbons on the hand made garland. But don't do anything just because you think you "have" to. It's always acceptable to outsource tasks that aren't in your wheelhouse. In most cases, your child will never know and even if they did they definitely won't care.

I'd love to know what you think about birthday parties for children. And what your tips are for making the most of the occasion without overwhelming yourself! If you'd like, hop on Instagram and tag me in a comment on a picture you have posted about one of your children's birthday parties so I can marvel at your amazing-ness! You can find me at @talesofapeanut.

 

written by VHS contributor//Jennifer Elwell