How to make your child’s birthday party more meaningful on Fox5 San Diego
I’ve heard so many parents share their frustrations with throwing their children’s birthday parties, and how they feel they have to “keep up with the Jones’.” (I have talked with many parents about this and most want to make parties simple again, but feel social pressure around doing so).
Parties nowadays are far more about the “stuff.” Gifts, goodie bags, hired princesses, farm animals, magicians…..there’s even a reality show about outrageous kids birthdays on TLC.
Here are just a few quick ideas for how to make it more meaningful, and help show your child (and guests), that birthdays are about more important things than just presents:
Invite close friends instead of everyone and their brother
- so many parties (especially with younger children) parents invite everyone in the child’s class (to be inclusive, which is nice, but what does that teach?) and then siblings come as well, and parents, and you end up throwing a party for 75 people which is a huge undertaking! It is overwhelming for the young child and teaches quantity is more important than quality.
Consider a unique gift policy
Many parents on invites write “please no gifts” because they don’t need more “stuff.”
This can be instead of a gift, and can also be the party favor….recycles books around the group and the children love picking these out from the table
Here’s a quick video on doing a book exchange:
Pick a charity
Have guests bring some canned food or clothes to donate to a local charity of the bday child’s choice instead of a gift
Goodie bag alternative:
Rather than get a junky goodie bag, full of things that parents don’t want littered around the house, why not give a more meaningful parting gift….ie. a small photo frame (there are many cute ones that are not expensive) and add a photo to it of your child and their friend from the party). Here’s a previous post I did on goodie bags…..with more details.
Give gratitude notes
(this can be instead of a goodie bag or in addition to)
The earlier we start this, the better – then the children really have a different vision for what birthdays are all about. :) But it’s never too late to start.
Some parents are afraid the other children will not have as much fun, and that somehow that will reflect negatively on their child. (I’ve helped parents throw these types of parties and the feedback from both parents and children has been AWESOME).
Kids have fun at all parties – why not help teach them some great values at the same time?