Birthday parties should be a fun event for both adults and kids alike. But there are times when parties cause hurt feelings and undue stress. Some may think that it is only the adults who experience the pressure in preparing for a party. Think again!
Children also can be negatively affected by a lot of seemingly small things – not being invited, wearing the wrong costume, not having the best costume, losing a game, etc. These things make a child feel sad and unwanted at times.
As parents, we should find ways to make our children understand that disappointments are a part of life. But realistically, most parents would want to shield their children from situations that may disappoint their children.
How can we make a child understand this at such a young age?
Our children should be aware that they will not be invited to every party that their friends are invited to.
Build their self-esteem to a level that would make them be okay with that. Talk to them. When situations are explained well to a child, they understand. Shielding them from disappointment will not do them any good in the long run. Children are actually easy to talk to. As long as you are careful with how you talk about the problem and how you present a solution, they will be able to get a grasp of the situation.
How can our party be a pleasant event for everyone?
Go through the guest list to make sure that you do not leave out anyone. If your child is old enough, make him part of the decision-making. It is his party so he should decide who he wants to invite. Guide him so he does not forget any of his peers. Kids sometimes get caught up with the excitement of the party preparations that they unintentionally forget to invite some friends.
This does not mean though that you should invite all the children in your neighborhood to avoid hurt feelings. It is your child’s day so invite only those who matter to him.
What if it is your child who ends up not being invited?
It is important to make your child see that it is no big deal. He will intently watch how you will react to him not being invited. So if you they see you get mad, they will feel that they should be hurt too. Be careful not to ignore the disappointment your child might feel for not being invited. Make him see that you understand how he feels. Share with him what you would do if it happened to you.
Make it a fun conversation. Laugh with him. Make him see that these things happen.
Children are more resilient than we think. Allow them to be sad, but give them more than enough love, support, and understanding to help them cope with it.