If you have ever experienced stress from planning a child’s birthday party, then you can utilize these tips on party invitations.
You may have thought that you’d left all of the drama behind in your high school years, but think again: Once you have a child of your own, the playground squabbles and mama drama can feel a lot like being a teenager again. This is never truer than when it comes to birthday parties, since the guest list alone can cause serious problems. When your little one has an impending birthday on the way, it’s time to start thinking about who you’ll invite – and why.
Let Your Child Lead
One of the easiest ways to choose who to invite to your child’s party is to let your child be in charge. That way, your little one gets to celebrate his/her birthday with those they want and the playground politics no longer apply. When making up the guest list, you can try the old age plus one rule of thumb: let your child invite as many kids as the candles on his birthday cake, plus one extra. So a child during six would get to invite seven other children to the birthday. This makes for a fair guest list and ensures you’re not totally overrun by kids.
Some families choose to skip the “friend party” and stick with family members only for the first few parties. This helps reduce hurt feelings among the other parents in your playgroup and ensures your child gets to celebrate with those who really count in their life. If you’re not up for the drama of a traditional party, invite grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to your home for a low-key family party until your child is old enough to prefer a friend party instead.
Based on Activities
If you’re having a traditional party with games, cake and ice cream at home, or setting up a children’s disco, you may have the capacity to invite more friends to the party and therefore, cause less drama with the playgroup moms. If you’re going somewhere for the birthday party activity, however, you may be more limited in who you can invite. Heading to a fun center or museum may cause more problems because you’ll have to pay for admission and drive kids there. Therefore, if you know that your child wants to invite lots of classmates or playmates, you may be better off with a simple at-home party instead.
If you know that your child is only inviting a select number of kids from their class, hand out the invites in a discreet manner. Don’t allow your child to take the invitations to school and make a big deal out of handing them out to a handful of friends. Instead, be discreet and bring the invites to their homes or send an Evite to their parents. That way, you don’t end up inviting even more kids to your child’s birthday party because you feel guilty about the process.
If all else fails, feel free to explain yourself to the other moms as an effort to head off playground drama before it begins. If you’re only inviting a few, try: “Hey, we decided to have a smaller birthday party this year and I let Johnny choose the guest list. I hope you don’t feel left out.” That way, other parents can’t complain if their child is one of the kids who doesn’t receive an invite, and your child has the opportunity to celebrate with the friends that he truly wants there – not a bunch of acquaintances that are invited because you’re friends with various playground moms.
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