Birthday parties for kids are supposed to be a time for fun. Unfortunately, because of expectations that are unrealistic, they are often a time for stress, both the emotional and financial kind.
Many parents feel pressure to spend a small fortune to throw their children birthday parties that include live entertainment, inflatable jumping houses and gourmet food. The truth, though, is that most children are happy to simply play with their friends in the backyard while munching on hot dogs and birthday cake. If your finances are tight — and today, many parents are dealing with tighter budgets — then cut down on the birthday party frills. Your children won’t mind.
The emotional stress of birthday parties for kids can be an even more vexing problem. For instance, how do you decide how many children to invite? Which relatives will receive an invitation? Katherine Lewis at About.com recommends that parents invite one playmate for each of their children’s birthday cake candles. In other words, two-year-olds can have two playmates at their parties, five-year-olds five and so on. Lewis also recommends that parents start small when throwing birthday parties for their kids. It’s easier, she says, to make next year’s party larger than it is to scale back once you’ve set a big-party precedent.
The Work It, Mom blog recommends that parents outsource as much of the birthday party chores as possible. For instance, parents can ask that a relative or friend pick up the birthday cake the morning of the party. Parents may ask a relative to help them with addressing and mailing the party invitations.
Finally, as the Work It, Mom blog says, parents should never expect perfection, especially when throwing birthday parties for younger kids. As the blog says, parents should expect their over-stimulated children to have at least one emotional meltdown during the party.
Sources: Work It, Mom; About.com