With school back in full swing, so are birthday parties. When the invitations start coming week after week, it starts to get out of hand. It puts a strain on time and on your purse. But it goes with childhood.
Today here is also a lot of pressure on kids about whom to invite to their parties. Most schools ask parents to invite everyone in the class if those invitations come in with the child. That can be hard on some families, for a variety of reason. One salutation is to send those invitations through email or the snail mail.
If you must invited your child’s whole class, put limits on what you do. If you can get away with inviting only a small number of children, avoid the debacle over which friends to invite by talking with your child about limits. Perhaps it’s best to just have a family celebration — a nice dinner with close relatives, you can suggest.
Kids do want to celebrate with their friends and you should let them, but be ready for the fallout. Celebrations with friends can get out of hand, especially with girls, if a person does not get an invite. People who are not invited who think that they should have been may talk and create drama for your child. This stuff happens, party or no party. That means it’s the likely conversation topic between you and your child.
There’s also a lot of pressure to get the perfect gift and to decide how much to spend on that. Let’s be honest here. You don’t want to look cheap, but you don’t want to break the bank. My daughters were often invited to parties where they were asked not to bring a gift, but contribute to a charity of the child’s choosing. I think that was nice, but there is still pressure to not look cheap with your donation.
Here’s an idea — make a list of items you would like people can bring to donate to a shelter or soup kitchen. This could be simple things people need, such as bottles of water, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, a pair of socks, gloves, a hat and more. At the end of a party, have the kids make care packages with these items to give out at a later date to the homeless. This way no one breaks the bank. You are doing something good and teaching the value of empathy and giving. Who knows, maybe the idea will catch on?
This world is so in need of love and spreading good, so why not show others the way. After all, a birthday party is about celebrating life. Why not celebrate by making someone else’s life a little easier?