Having a birthday party for your child should be a fulfilling and happy experience. As any parent knows, you want to make the absolute most of your time with them while they are young – it’s no lie that they do grow up so fast that you blink and one day you have a teenager on your hands! There does come the point, as well, in your parenting life where your child will start to edge away from having elaborate parties at home with all their friends. It is a natural part of life for a child’s social circle to get more precise as they get older, as they start to work out who they have a genuinely close relationship with. When they are young, however, they will tend to want to invite half their school round to celebrate their big day – and that’s something you can either reject or get on board with! Of course, it is never an easy feat organising a child’s birthday, as so many things can go wrong in the run up to it and on the day. Kids are unpredictable, and you may need to be prepared to have the patience of a saint to pull the whole thing off. Like any good parent, though, you know that overall it’s worth it; there’s nothing quite like seeing your pride and joy enjoying themselves, and all the hard work paying off. Here are a few things you can do while planning your child’s party and during the event itself, to make sure that everyone is happy and having a good time.
Keeping the numbers low
As mentioned before, there is a pretty strong likelihood that your child will want to invite just about everyone they’ve ever met in their life to their birthday party. Birthdays are huge milestones for children, and when there is a big party coming up, it tends to become the talk of the class. But before word gets round, sit your child down and discuss with them how many people you can host. The amount of children you can have over depends on the amount of adults you can have present on the day too – try as you might, you simply won’t be able to manage 20+ kids on your own. Try and abide by the golden rules, if you can. If you are only inviting a few people from your child’s school, ask them not to spread the party talk around. But if you are inviting nearly the whole class, you may as well go the whole way and invite those few extra kids as well. Need to keep tabs on the numbers? Party invites might feel old-school, but can be very useful. Use a site like Pure Invitation to craft yours, and don’t forget to add a RSVP option. This will make it much easier for you to determine who is turning up on the day.
Breaking up any arguments
Birthday parties are heightened environments, and it is easy for the children in attendance to become hyper and highly strung. If you notice things getting a little out of hand, make a point of breaking it up as soon as you can. All it can take is for one silly argument to escalate, and before you know it you’ve got fifteen kids in total meltdown. Have a chat with your child beforehand to explain that you expect them to be on their best behaviour and that there will be a reward if they stay calm throughout the day. Make sure you have all the parent’s phone numbers written down so if anything does kick off, you can call them straight away and ask that they come and pick their child up.
Keeping certain areas out of bounds
Why is it that you can throw an adults house party complete with copious amounts of booze, but when you’ve had ten kids at your home eating party rings THEN the place looks like a bomb has hit it? The last thing you want to do after hosting a children’s birthday party is spending the next week trying to get stains out of the floor and repainting the wall where someone spilt juice on it. You don’t need to be too strict in your tone of voice, but make a point of explaining to your child’s friends when they arrive that certain areas (like upstairs) are out of bounds. You can also cover your back by making sure that they all eat on a picnic table outside, and that they know to take their shoes off when re-entering the house. It might seem like a lot for them to remember, but it can be worth putting these rules in place so that you are not a nervous wreck throughout the whole event.