Children's birthday parties(16 Posts)
There's a report in The Times today on a survey of 1500 children and their attitudes to birthday parties
-Almost half of the children (49%) get stressed about their big day amd nearly a third of parents worry about not meeting their child's expectations
-Nearly half of 5-13 year olds want a birthday party bigger and better than their friends
-Nearly half worry that their parents will embarrass them, a third will not rest until they find the 'right' outfit and wearing the same outfit twice is a crime
There are other stats but as I don't have school aged children I was a bit shocked by all of this. Would others say it was a fair reflection of how their children feel?
I did DD's first ever proper party a couple of weeks ago. She was 3 but we had 17 friends from nursery, family friends, etc. Have to say that I wasn't wrried at all and we all had a lovely day. Not sure if I thought much about my clothes at all. It was at Gymboree so just jeans and top so I could join in easily. Did think more of DD's clothes, but only because she had her photo done in same outfit too.
I really hope that as DD gets older parties don't get stressful - kind of counteracts the reason for having them surely? Find it a bit sad really
TBH the only stress-inducing thing was the parents who couldn't be arsed to reply or replied at the last minute (as in 12 o'clock when the party started at 2). As it was a village hall, self-catered thing it was hard to guess how many plates, party bags etc. to do.
Was a brilliant party and exactly as DD wanted though!
But what does this mean in terms of a survey? If you ask a child: "Do you want a birthday party bigger and better than your friends?" what child is going to say "No!" It doesn't mean it's something they are really bothered about.
If you asked my ds2 that Q he would probably say "yes", but in actual fact he has chosen for his 6th birthday to take just two friends out for the day on the trains/steam trains, and have a picnic and walk (if the weather's up to it) to a waterfall.
He could have had a bigger party - i.e. far more invitees, but has chosen not to.
As far as 'meeting expectations'; we discuss with the boys what kind of party they would like, and we make it clear what is and is not possible (for various reasons including budget and parental sanity). They know what the party is going to be like in advance, and on the day have always been delighted.
roisin - yes, it would be interesting to see the actual questionnaire because some of these questions could have been very leading (this is me with my market researcher hat on ).
I do know my friends little boy was 'stressed' about his 4th party but not just cos the focus was going to be on him I think and he's quite a sensitive little boy.
that should be 'that's just because the focus was going to be on him'
It's probably parents who get more stressed from trying to compete with all the other parties. can't say I've noticed any stress in my 5 years old.
Refuse to join in the competitive partying at playzones. Just took a few of his friends bowling.
Roisin, you wouldn't be taking them on Ratty to Stanley Force would you?
Ds has been uttering brave words all Spring about wanting a lovely fancy party with all his friends, but when push came to shove and we started planning it seriously, he has once again asked for tea party at home. Not sure whether I am or at this, it was a huge amount of work last year (sodding pinata, "selective eaters", two guests tipping up an hour early , did dd eat a balloon and do we all race round to A & E NOW, etc)
Marina - yes! We go on the 'normal' train from the station 10 mins down the road up the beautiful coastal route, then change at Ravenglass. You can get tickets from the BR station which include the Ratty line, and it's ridiculously cheap - especially with a family railcard
And they've just built a new station at Dalegarth apparently, which I haven't seen yet.
Now let me think - would I rather do that with four children (my two and two very well-behaved ones!), or have 20 or 30 and a bouncy castle ...?!!!
roisin - sounds lovely, might try that when I'm next up visiting JT
Let me know when you're up GDG, and we could meet up at Ravenglass?!
I would consider relocating to that neck of the woods for Muncaster Castle alone
What a shame there are no universities or colleges or even large libraries nearby
.. or bookshops or museums or art gallieries or anything else necessary for a cultured and civilised life
But the sea and the countryside are very attractive!
Maybe it's a towm thing - there doesn't seem to be much stress about parties in our small village. Our most successful have involved doing stuff eg cooking party (7th birthday) when they made fairy cakes and canapes and parents were invited to the "cafe" afterwards to try the food. Must say, all mine are winter babies and I opt for girls' parties in the house and outside activities for boys... As for the clothes thing, I blame the parents!
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