Your children’s birthdays are often pretty stressful occasions, it has to be admitted. They’re happy days, but they definitely require a lot of preparation in terms of choosing and buying gifts, picking a party theme, and making sure that all your little one’s closest friends have been invited. In comparison, their friends’ birthday parties hardly seem like a big deal at all. But in actuality, they can be extremely stressful. Gone are the days when you could drop your kid off and screech away for two hours. Now general practice is to wait around until the party’s over. Here are some tips to help you get through it…
Get Involved With The Kids
Now is one of your best chances to get to know your child’s best friends. As a parent it can be hard to let go and detach from your child as he or she grows older – this is a chance to connect with their everyday life and to meet the kids they spend almost every single weekday with at school. Buy the birthday child a good gift – art supplies, books or clothes like young Versace are always appreciated. If the party is soft play, keep an eye on the kids and go to help out if there are any little arguments brewing or any bumped knees. If you don’t fancy having any conversations with fellow adults, this is the way to go.
Observe Your Own Child
Now is a golden opportunity to watch your child and to observe how she or he interacts with other children. The social wellbeing of your child is as important as its physical and emotional wellbeing but it’s often the hardest for a parent to pay attention to, especially if he or she is an only child. Make sure that they’re being gentle with other kids, that they’re learning to share, and that their interaction with the others is normal for that age group. That means that you’ll know exactly what to work on in the future.
Catch Up With The Other Parents
If you feel like it, kids’ parties are a great chance for you to meet other parents, to share parenting problems you might all have, and to form new bonds and friendships. You can meet your child’s best friends’ parents so you can facilitate future playdates, and you can all share a little gossip and information about the school that your kids all go to. Make sure that you don’t get too caught up in any more unpleasant gossip – but bear in mind that you could make some great new friends.
Take Regular Breaks
If you don’t take a break every now and then, you’ll probably be forced to take to your bed with headache pills and possibly a bottle of gin for the next few hours after you get home. Make sure that you pop outside every now and then to get a break from any neon lighting and, of course, from the dulcet tones of a room full of five year olds. Never underestimate the importance of natural lighting and a little fresh air on your mental and physical state. Then… deep breath… and get back to that party!