To Birthday Party or Not to Birthday Party

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With every year comes another debate about whether to throw a birthday party or not to throw a birthday party. Do we need to rent a petting farm, invite the whole class and make a three story cake, or can we just go out for dinner somewhere fun and call it a day?

Helpful tips to make birthday plans - To Birthday or Not to Birthday...the eternal parenting dilemma!

There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide whether or not to throw a party for your child's next birthday.

How to Decide If It's Time for a Birthday Party or Not

1. Can we afford it?

If you or your child have big dreams for a party that aren't remotely practical it might be time to reel yourself or your child in a bit. Try to meet in the middle, if they want a baseball party decide if it's more economical to plan a fun family day at the ball park or to invite 20 friends over for a ball-themed bash. Here are some budget-friendly tips for celebrating birthdays-.

2. Does my child want a party or do I want a party?

As parents we all have big dreams for our children growing up. Are you the one going overboard when it comes to party planning? Will your two year-old really remember the bounce house and cotton candy machine at his second party? You can make a birthday party simpler than many people realize.

Making birthday party plans - How do parents decide whether it's time to birthday party.

3. Will we be able to invite the people we want to invite without hurt feelings?

Sometimes it can be hard to balance friends and family and feelings. If you need to invite the entire class in order to play fair and that's not in your budget this year maybe lunch somewhere fun with a best friend might be a better idea. If extended family is offended you aren't inviting your second aunt's cousin, try scaling the day down to just immediate family.

4. Is there an alternative to a party that my child might prefer?

Even though we have our children's best interests in mind, a big bash might not be what they want. Do they get overwhelmed by lots of people or are they extremely shy? A fun day out with the family or a few select friends might be much easier on them and on your wallet. Consider alternatives to the traditional gift giving as well.

5. Are we setting a pattern that we might not be able to continue?

Did you throw a party last year? Do you have other children who will want a party when you may not be able to throw one? Are you planning to host a party every year until your child is old enough not to ask for one? If you start throwing parties for every child every year it's hard to skip a year. But if you plan ahead by throwing parties every other year or once in grade school, once in middle school, etc. you might be able to avoid party-overload in the future.

Making birthday plans

Do you throw parties for your kids every year? Would love to hear your thoughts on why or why not.

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Jessica Watson is the mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. When she's not doing the minivan shuffle she's homeschooling her kiddos and cooking things they won't eat. She blogs with her heart on her sleeve at Four Plus an Angel, co-directs Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit and writes for sites such as Huffington Post, Mamalode and SheKnows.


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