Children’s birthday parties fill parents with excitement but it’s not always the case with kids. Children are fickle and unpredictable. They still have to master managing their own emotions.
Here are five ways you and your child can keep your sanity in birthday parties.
1. Get lots of rest before the festivities.
Know your kid’s naptime schedule and work around it. Experienced parents swear by this advice. If you are the parent of the celebrants, start the party after the child has woken up from a nap. As a parent bringing your child to a birthday party, you may want to gradually adjust your kid’s naptime if it falls during the party. The last thing you want is a grumpy kid at the party.
2. Prepare your go-to arsenal.
Get all the details of the birthday party way in advance. Will it be a pool party? A summer barbecue party? Sunblock, cooling gel, and baby powder should be in your bag. And of course, an extra set of clothes just in case they sweat profusely. But don’t just limit the extra change of clothes to outdoor parties. It’s a party where they’ll be running around. Children either sweat or spill drinks.
Parents travel with big bags, and for a good reason. You need to cover all scenarios when you have a kid. Bring medication if needed, comfort snacks (e.g. biscuits), small toys, or books.
3. Don’t force participation.
Your kid is attending the party to enjoy, not to entertain family and friends. It's great to see your child participate in every game and sing along to every song but remember, your child is a human being.
S/he may be too shy at first to play with other children. If so, let your child sit with you and let them warm up at their own pace. Let kids choose games they want to play. Encourage them to be friendly to other kids but don’t expect a chipper mood all the time. Simply put, let them be their best selves at their own time.
4. Don’t stress.
Children feed off the energy of their parents/guardians. Put on an anxious face and your child will probably end up anxious too.
Nothing is ever certain and predictable with a child, so learn to roll with the punches and don’t blow your top if something doesn’t go as planned. Don’t match your child’s meltdown with your own.
5. Take photos early.
Is your child finally wearing that outfit you’ve been eyeing for months? Take a photo of your kid before all the playing and eating.
Kids are generally impatient, so take photos early – and quick! Be decisive with your shots. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle with candid shots. While these are great (and sometimes even better), you need to be on the constant lookout for photo-worthy moments.
6. Children need patience – give it to them.
It’s useless to keep badgering your kid over a meltdown or bad behavior. Exposing kids to social activities regardless of the mood takes time, so try to put yourself in your kid’s shoes and figure out what s/he could be feeling before you react rashly.