June 25, 2010,
K.M. asks from Mesquite, TX on June 24, 2010
What Age Did You Stop Throwing Birthday "Parties" for Your Kids?
My daughter's 8 soon to be 9 and we've decided to let her have a FUN day this year on her b-day instead of the routine b-day party we do every year.
We're bringing her favorite cousin who is like her sister along with us to enjoy the day but I was just curious to know when other moms out there stopped doing the traditional b-day party. I'm not sure if this is going to be how we keep things every year but already a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders by not having to plan a party, invite guests, decorate, buy goodie bags, and make sure everything turns out perfect..........but I feel a little guilty that she's missing out by not having her party this year.....even though she seems very excited about what we have planned. We're also saving a lot of money by doing it this way.
So anyhow, would love to hear your thoughts.
L.A. answers from Chicago on June 24, 2010
F.H. answers from Phoenix on June 25, 2010
I know I'm in the minority but we have never "started" having bday parties for the kids! (my kids are 14, 10 and 7) We take cup cakes and balloons to school for their bday, so that's their celebration with their "friends". And then for their real bday party, we tell them they can pick what they want to do, movie, bouncy house, bowling, etc. And we just have family over. The kids have never done anything different from this so I guess they don't know any different. I'm so happy that we have never had to do the big party and invite kids from school and parents I don't even know. I know this doesn't really help you but wanted to let you know what we do (or don't do!). Good luck!
B.C. answers from Los Angeles on June 24, 2010
I find the other answers interesting. Some for and some against birthday parties.
My mom honored me with my last birthday "party" when I was in my 40's. My wife turned 55 last year in November and we honored her with a birthday party. She did the same for me when I turned 59. I drove 1200 miles with my family to give my dad a 75th birthday party. He didn't know we were coming and he happened to open the door when we rang the door bell. Our family sang "Happy Birthday" to him while standing on his doorstep. We did the same for my mother's 75th birthday. Thwy remembered that the rest of their lives.
One teenager, invited to one of my kids' parties, asked my son why we (his parents) threw him a party. My son replied, "because they love me." The teenage friend, looked down and sadly said, "I wish my parents loved me that much." After I heard that and told my wife, we decided to hold parties or honor my children as long as they lived close enough to do so. And we've done so. Some parties are just family get togethers, but with 8 kids and spouces and grandkids it always seems like a party.
For the kids that live too far away, my wife and I call them, (we try and do this when we have others around) and all of us sing "Happy Birthday" to them over the phone. We've also done this with my kids spouses. One DIL was adopted and never had much of a home life and lived with adoptive parents that never did birthdays. When we called her and sang on her birthday, we happened to have 3 or 4 of our kids and their families over. She came over with tears in her eyes and gave my wife and I a hug. She said that was the first time she could remember having family sing happy birthday to her.
Never miss a chance to do good, especially for family. "The smallest good deed is worth more than the grandest good intention." It brings family together and helps smooth over any ruffled feathers.
Birthday parties can be expensive. But would you like your child to say to someone, "I wish my parents loved me that much" (to honor me with a birthday party)? Most of the parties we did for our kids cost less than $30. Is that too much for improved family togetherness? I think $30 for family harmony and to make one of my kids know we think they are special and loved is super cheap.
Good luck to you and yours.
4 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on June 24, 2010
My daughter is now 7... but for the past 2 years, we have not had a "party" party. It is just due to budget. My daughter was okay with that. We explained it to her. It was fine.
But we just celebrated as a family, got a cake, had dinner with her favorite foods at home, presents etc. It was still fun and special for her. And I decorated the house.
I have found, that a LOT of our friends, are not doing Birthday "parties" as well. It is due to budget and the economy and many people do not have jobs.
For our son, well he is only 3... but we have not had a 'party' for him. Again, just doing a family celebration at home, for him. He is fine with that. He is young. Its okay.
Don't feel bad. Many families are not having 'party' parties.
all the best,
2 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Chicago on June 24, 2010
My youngest ( 8 yr old twin girls) had a small party this year, they each invited 2 friends and we went ice skating and out for pizza. Next year we will probably just do a sleepover.
2 moms found this helpful
A.J. answers from Dallas on June 24, 2010
I have some friends that have never done the traditional b day party with their kiddos and usually go the "fun day" route.My daughter gets the birthday parties but that's because she enjoys the big social events. My 3 boys don't care how many people track cake all over my house! It's about how special you make your child feel and if she's excited then you know you are doing the right thing.
1 mom found this helpful
T.T. answers from Dallas on June 25, 2010
My oldest son's birthday is the week before Christmas and my Daughters is the last week of January...
My oldest son stopped having parties (like with balloons and brewhaha) when he was like 8 or 9 maybe. But...USUALLY it was his last day of school or close to it and with the permission of his teachers I would bring something for the class or when he got into high school, sing happy birthday during announcements just for good measure (he actually was upset that I didn't show his sophomore year because I didn't want him to be embarrassed)
Now my daughter was older...maybe 10...but we have never had a time when we didn't celebrate their birthday.
Normally it was one or two friends, a cake and a movie or girls makeup day or video games at the local mall time or something...but as for parties...8 to 10 is ok...my kids turned out alright...
smiles to you!
A.D. answers from Minneapolis on June 24, 2010
I think my 10 year old daughter is done with birthday parties. She really didn't enjoy her last one, which was 6 girls combination waterpark/sleepover. Sounds fun, but she mostly wanted to play with just one girl, and some of the other guests were a little ignored. Then she just got overly tired at the sleepover when the other girls wanted to stay up all night. Acutally, groups of girls are just always hard for her. She prefers to hang out with friends one at a time, so maybe we'll do something special with just one friend, or just as a family. My 8 year old has always just had small parties, never wanted the bigger groups, probably feeling cautious after seeing all of the drama at her sister's parties.
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on June 24, 2010
I think parties evolve more than anything from the big event (we just had one for our 4 year-old on Saturday) to a smaller gathering of close friends in which case you're likely going to lose a night's sleep worrying about them.
My personal opinion is to do what the birthday girl wishes (within reason). If she wants a party with 10 friends to go to a movie and pizza, so be it. If she wants her best friend to go get a pedicure (which I've never had) and dinner with your family, great. My soon-to-be 14 year-old niece likes to get tea with her mom, aunts and grandmas, and that's perfect for her. I've had other friends take me to an amusement park with them for the day which was AWESOME!
In my experiences, sometimes the simplest things are the most enjoyable.
Because the economy has been so rough, we indicated in the invitations for our son's party (which was at a free splash pad at a local park) that gifts were not expected and that the child's friendship was the greatest gift our son could have. Everyone still brought something small, but I didn't want anyone to feel obligated. We had pulled pork, kettle corn, fruit and cake. The shelter was a $50 rental, and we were done in 4 hours with no mess to clean up at home.
K.B. answers from Houston on June 24, 2010
We ask our children each year if they want a big party with their friends or a family fun day. My son is 8 and has done the family fun day for the last 3 years and my daughter who is 6 continues with the parties.