Birthday Party Life Lessons
A birthday party may look like just a birthday party to you now, but what I see is a breeding ground for life lessons kids can learn that will carry them through their lives to help make them successful, happy and kind. Read on to check out a few teaching opportunities for your child’s next birthday party!
Graciousness and Disappointment
I’m lumping these two together because they seem to go hand in hand. The birthday child gets disappointed by not getting something she really wanted or sometimes not getting anything she really wanted at all during the entire party. That’s when it’s time to step in and talk about how disappointment is okay, but that we should be gracious about it. It’s kind of like being a sore loser versus being a happy loser. Even though there is disappointment going on, you want your child to learn how to say thank you and show appreciation for the gift giver’s time and money or skills that went into the gift.
Yes, it’s your child’s party, but consider where everyone would have a good time when planning your party venue. If it’s at your house, think up some fun games everyone might enjoy and build in plenty of time for just playing around. Have a friend with food allergies, such as gluten or dairy? Make sure to pick up something special for that friend--cookies or their own piece of cake--it’s easier than ever these days.
Your kid may get some pretty good stash at his birthday party, and other kids are certainly going to want to play with the new goods. Explain to your child before the party that she is going to be getting some cool new stuff and that she can put some of her favorite things up right away but that she should share some of the things and play with them with her friends and not hide them all away.
Giving Back and Donating
This year, consider having your child ask for gifts for someone else. In my town, our local food bank supplies a birthday cake and all the fixings as long as the guests bring canned goods, take the tour and help out for a bit. Also, if your child has a particular love for, say, animals … how about hosting a birthday party for or at a local animal shelter? Instead of presents ask guests to bring donations like pet food and other supplies.
Instead of lecturing, which we all know gets tuned out anyway, get your party on with some cool hidden lessons that will take your kid beyond their kid years and into a fun and full life!
Did you know?
Children’s Mercy makes it easy to host a party that gives back! Check it out at Give.ChildrensMercy.org.
Kerrie McLoughlin lives in Peculiar, MO, and puts on five chaotic birthday parties per year for her kids and lives to tell about it at TheKerrieShow.com.