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First birthday party in a new school and in a new country

(12 Posts)
expatinspain Wed 20-Sep-17 08:59:27

My DD is going to be 8 in October. She has started this term at a new school in Spain and is very much still in the settling in stage. She has some girls she plays with, but I wouldn't say a firm friendship group yet - it's only been two weeks. She is also still picking up the language and although she can communicate, is by no means fluent. I also haven't spoken to any of the mums as my Spanish is very basic at the moment.

So, my quandary is what to do for her birthday. I want to make it special for her as the transition has been hard and I know she misses her friends back in England. The thing is, I don't want to run the risk of organising a party and inviting loads of kids and them not turning up. The Spanish are quite casual with RSVPing etc and the mothers are a bit of a closed group, especially with me not being able to communicate well with them and them with me.

So, should I just go for a family party (her stepdad is Spanish, so lots of family members to come, but not many kids, could invite kids of friends, but they are a little younger than DD) and maybe also do something just us, like go ice skating/to a theme park, or try to do a party with kids from school and risk not many turning up? Maybe they will, I'm just anxious they won't!

What would you do in my situation???

AtlanticWaves Wed 20-Sep-17 09:04:59

If you don't get many replies, try posting in the living overseas topic - there will be posters who know Spain well and could advise.

We're in France where whole class birthday parties are extremely rare (at least, where we live) - it's usually around 10 children from the class who are invited.

Could you try and invite 2 or 3 girls she's friendly with to do an activity?

Or suggest that you do a family party in October and a "birthday" party in March or April when she know the children better?

Are there any expat forums in Spain that you could ask on? (there's one called Message in France).

expatinspain Wed 20-Sep-17 09:39:54

Atlantic I think whole class birthday as rare here too. I was thinking about inviting just a couple of girls, maybe just going bowling and for food and a cake. I will try on some expat forums, although I live in a very Spanish large town. I am one of the very few brits here. I would think most others on expat forums in my region, Costa Blanca, live in areas with many more expats, so their experience might be a bit different.

I'll try on overseas too smile

TimeIhadaNameChange Wed 20-Sep-17 10:05:13

Could you speak to her teacher about it?

Pikachuwithyourmouthclosed Wed 20-Sep-17 10:09:39

We had the same situation recently; new country, birthday in the first week of a new school.

I checked with the teacher and sent in cake for the whole class. Then we had a family birthday at home.

AtlanticWaves Wed 20-Sep-17 10:19:34

Yes birthday cake for the class might be nice, although again they might organise it. Where we are they celebrate all the DCs with birthdays in the same month on the last Thursday of the month. Someone brings in cake, someone juice, someone sweets etc.

Then all the birthday children get sung to individually and blow candles out individually.

expatinspain Wed 20-Sep-17 10:45:19

I'm having a meeting with her teacher tomorrow, so will mention it. Birthday cake for the class and family party sounds the safest bet for this year. At least she will feel special at school on the day and no chance for disappointment if people don't turn up to a party. Just the thought of that and how disappointed she'd be is causing me massive anxiety at the moment!!

Wheresmytaco Wed 20-Sep-17 11:05:31

I would invite the couple kids she knows out for a special day. A theme park/soft play / ice cream bar etc.No paper invites, ask the
Parents directly use the translate app or your husband.

Wheresmytaco Wed 20-Sep-17 11:07:01

They might be a closed group but no one wants a kid to be sad and alone on their birthday. I'm sure they will make an effort. Maybe even arrange to collect them?

AtlanticWaves Wed 20-Sep-17 11:08:00

I'm not surprised!

DS1's bday is in September and every year I contact the parents as soon as we're back at school to "book" the birthday party - cos often people go away a lot in September cos it's still nice weather.

I was on tenter-hooks this year because I immediately received 3 refusals and only one yes!

Fortunately his main gang have all accepted now (after me chasing up some replies) but it's so hard to see one's DC disappointed

Mamabear12 Wed 20-Sep-17 11:14:12

I would say, have a party and invite some kids from the class! Its the best way for her to make friends etc. I did this for my daughter and it helps kids bond and get to know each other.

expatinspain Wed 20-Sep-17 11:54:11

Mixed replies! I'll talk to her teacher tomorrow and see if she has any advice and have a think. Even if we decide to go down the family party route, I'll make sure she has a good time and there will be a few kids there and lots of presents.

Unfortunately a couple of the girls she plays with are dropped at school by an older sibling, so will probably have to rely on paper invites. She only really talks about four girls she likes, I think the language is a barrier at the moment to her getting to know a wide range of kids.

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