As parents look forward to the return to a somewhat normal life, the possibility of treating their kids to extravagant birthday parties is just one way getting back to normal. Even before the pandemic put a temporary stop to gatherings like birthday parties, it seemed to me that children’s birthday parties had gotten a bit out of hand. Perhaps I am a big meanie, but it sounds a bit outrageous to invite the entire kindergarten class, hire a caterer, and cap off the event with a trip to the amusement park.
Have times ever changed! I remember getting really excited when I had two friends over for my 7th birthday. We gorged on cake and ice cream and ran around the yard like wild animals. It was great!
I feel sad for kids who are raised to need massive amounts of excitement. For them, life can often feel pretty dull without external source of excitement. Does all of this make it harder for really responsible parents who won’t, or simply can’t, keep up with the Joneses? Love and Logic parents focus on teaching their kids to value people for their kindness, their love, and their honesty—not on the material things they have, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, etc.
What’s more important? Is it more important to keep up with the Joneses or to teach kids healthy values regarding relationships? Give yourself a break! The next time you’re planning a birthday party, remember what kids want and need more than anything else—the closeness and love of their parents. Most people find it next to impossible to be close and loving when they’re trying to orchestrate a complex party for their kids.
Instead, take good care of yourself by following some guidelines:
- Keep it simple.
- Don’t invite the entire town. Two close friends are better than 20 distant ones.
- On the invitations, write, “No gifts please.”
- Have brief talks with your child about why friends are more important than toys.
- Don’t forget to have lots of genuine, healthy fun!
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Thanks for reading!