Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrating Your Child's Birthday

Birthdays are important milestones that deserve to be celebrated but we need to ask ourselves, “If we are going to all of this effort when they are in preschool, what will they expect for their sweet sixteen, graduation or wedding celebrations? Is this really something I want my child to see as important?” It is possible to have a wonderful celebration and create special memories without spending a lot of money. Birthday parties are held for the child and their friends. There is no need to feel as if you must keep up with celebrations held by other families.

Consider the age of your child when deciding on your guest list. Young children can be easily overwhelmed by lots of other children. One suggestion is to invite one friend for each year of age. When your child turns three, inviting three friends to play is manageable and will probably be much more pleasant than a group of twenty. Decide what your family rules are. Some families choose to have family celebrations and only invite friends every second or fifth year. You may decide to celebrate with a party on certain milestones birthdays. Whatever your family decision is, do not be afraid to abide by it. Involve your child in the planning process. Often their wishes are simple. If they are more extravagant than your budget, do not be afraid to let them know. Setting guidelines, including a budget, is an important skill for children to learn.

If you are feeling a bit intimidated going the party route alone, find another adult, a family member, friend, or even a teenage babysitter, who will be willing to help at the party. You can find party games in books or on the internet. Simple crafts are also fun for the children. Very often children simply appreciate the opportunity to play together and lots of planned activities are not needed. It is also important to have a discussion with your child ahead of time about which toys can be shared with friends and which cannot. Those which your child does not want to share should be put away before the guests arrive. Remember, whenever you are responsible for another person’s child, it is important to have some basic information such as an emergency phone number and be informed of any allergies or special needs that the child might have. Finally, take some time to stand back and enjoy the day, knowing it will be one of many special memories your child will have for years to come.

1 comment:

Fran Alloway said...

Hi Sue,
Good information!