There are a lot of emotions that come with your child turning another year older, but not all of the emotions are positive. There’s a long list of tasks to tackle as you try to plan the perfect birthday party that your child will always remember. This planning process creates a lot of unnecessary emotional stress and mental anguish. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way!
No matter how you add it up, there are only so many birthdays before adulthood hits. Don’t waste your time worrying about the small details that don’t matter. Instead, focus on what does matter. And remember that birthday parties don’t have to be a lot of work to be successful!
You can create a birthday party your child will never forget following these five easy steps. It will be incredibly rewarding and will absolutely bring your entire family closer together.
- Let Your Child Help Make the Decisions
We hate to say this, but kids don’t care how many hours you spent scouting Pinterest for party ideas. You can save time and effort by letting your child help make some of the decisions. And here’s the best part. Your child is guaranteed to like the outcome!
Let your child have a say on the food, theme, and activities. Nine times out of ten, if your child wants to play kickball, all of their friends are going to have fun playing kickball too. Sure, those well-thought-out decorations and hard-to-make themed treats make for a great photo-op, but your child isn’t likely to pay much attention to that stuff.
Don’t feel guilty about not having mountains of planning to do for the party. If your child wants something as simple as pizza, provide pizza at the party. Pizza is easy to provide, all of the kids attending the party will love it, and you’ll have fun watching them have fun!
Do you know the best part of letting your child help make the decisions? It will help your child grow! Your child will feel empowered and accomplished when their friends have a great time. But be careful because your child may want more responsibility and decision making in the future!
- Stay Fully Present
We get it. It’s hard to live in the moment when you’re hosting a party. As a parent or grandparent, you’re running around and making sure everything is just right. Before you know it, the party is over and you didn’t get to be a part of it or really even enjoy it. Don’t let this happen to you!
Remember to put the phone down and be present with your family throughout the party. It’s the small moments your child will remember, and so will you. Give yourself the time and space to take it all in.
For example, you can recruit a friend to take pictures and have all of the food and drinks accessible for guests to easily grab. Complete any necessary tasks before the party begins and delegate any that arise to others who are willing to help.
Thinking through a few of these simple, time-saving tips can allow you to enjoy the party and make this a milestone birthday to be remembered!
- Focus on the Experience
The party matters to everyone, including the special birthday child. Invite the entire family and all guests in on the fun with activities you all can do together. It will be an experience everyone remembers.
The kids will have more fun seeing the adults on roller skates or climbing a wall than they will if the adults are sitting on the sidelines. Enjoy the experience with the kids!
Make cake time an activity with a cupcake decorating competition or create different cheers for each guest as it’s their turn in the game. Everyone needs a little break from the stresses in life and a little birthday fun is a great place to start.
It’s enjoying moments like this together that lead to family stories told for years to come. Remember when Grandma won the potato sack race at Johnny’s birthday party or how funny it was when Uncle Matt slipped and fell while roller skating? Memories are priceless and sharing fun experiences brings families together.
- Truly Enjoy the Day
Don’t get caught up in the birthday party comparison trap. Your party doesn’t have to be bigger and more over the top than the party hosted by the parents down the street. It does need to be special for your child.
You’re a great parent and you deserve to relax. Kids can feel stress, but what’s great is that when you let go and start enjoying yourself it will rub off on your child. And who knows, you might even trick the rest of the parents at the party into having fun too!
The ability to enjoy the day with your child doesn’t have to start and stop with the party either. Make every opportunity special. You can start traditions that are recreated every year and become highly anticipated.
Great ideas include finding a unique way to wake up the birthday child in the morning like breakfast in bed, using a unique place setting/birthday plate for dinner, or documenting the milestone through photos and videos. Starting a tradition in documenting the special occasion can be whatever your family wants! Maybe you take a funny photo every year or you have the birthday child record a resolution that you all re-watch together the following year. The possibilities are endless and so are the memories.
- Close the Circle
The party doesn’t have to be over when the last guest leaves and the cake is gone.
Continue the celebration far after the actual party is over! Take time to unwind with your child and talk to him or her about why the party was so much fun. Speak about the special things you did together while the memories are still fresh.
You’ll learn what is important to your child and how he or she sees the world, but better yet, your child will remember you always being right there with them.
One final step to a meaningful experience and closing the circle is you. Take time alone to reflect on the experience. This may sound weird when the entire day is about them, but it is about you too.
Take a moment to recap events, pick your favorites, combine them with the special things your child mentioned, and write a letter. This letter has power. Gift a bundle of the letters written over the years to your child when they turn 18 or when they become a parent themselves. Not only will it hold meaning from past birthdays, but it will flood your child with love and memories all over again.
The gift of you to your child is the best gift of all!