We all love birthday parties, but… A Few days ago I shared a post I came across through GoParents Facebook Page about a 5 year old who missed a birthday party and have been invoiced for the cost of the party. (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/19/five-year-old-misses-friends-birthday-party-and-has-to-pay-1595?CMP=soc_567)
It really triggered my thoughts on birthdays, and one of our members Joy gave her feedback… So for the purpose of today's post, let's talk about our children's birthday parties… Why do you celebrate your child's birthday with a party? What is important when celebrating a birthday?
When I was growing up, birthdays were our special day and a day we really looked forward to. You see, on our birthdays, in Asia we would receive red packets (a gift in the form of money) from our elderly relatives, i.e. grandparents, parents, and gifts or presents from relatives.
We would normally have a birthday party with our relatives, and on that day, we would have a birthday cake and special birthday noodle dish. Being an Asian, noodle symbolises longevity, so a noodle dish is a must for all birthdays. We did not invite friends, as we celebrated with our immediate relatives.
Personally, I love birthdays, because it is a day where you can feel special. Birthdays are where parents or loved ones make an extra effort to cook your favourite dishes, have your favourite birthday cake, and you receive wonderful and thoughtful gifts, have fun celebrating together with relatives and friends, and build special and happy memories together.
For my children it was different. As we did not have relatives in Australia, we celebrated our children's birthdays both at our home and at other venues like bowling clubs, MacDonalds, in the park and Time Zone, and we had birthday noodles privately at home.
So…Why do we celebrate our kids’ birthdays?
Do you believe in birthdays?
Do you celebrate your child's birthdays?
Self-esteem and confidence
A birthday is the day they feel special, important and being the centre of attention, and it is a day that is uniquely just for them.
Through the singing of the happy birthday song, with everyone singing, clapping and cheering, wishing your child a happy birthday, your child feels belonged and loved. Most of all, your child is having fun.
This is a very important part of your child's development, as it empowers your child's confidence and self-esteem. They feel safe to be themselves, and know that they are supported, loved, valued and respected.
Social and Emotional Intelligence
Social gatherings empower social intelligence in your child, especially when he or she shares the birthday cake and the gifts with the cousins or friends.
Learning how to share and taking turns are big steps for many children. They have to learn how to maneuver between the fear of other children taking their toys away, and how to negotiate with friends/relatives on who to play with and how to play, while at the same time trying to be friends with everyone.
This is a very challenging exercise for any young child, and even for adults. Just imagine having to share your precious gifts with your friends who are waiting eagerly to try out your new gadgets; you are worried whether you will ever get it back in one piece, or when will they give it back to you, or what if you do not want to share… how would you tell them and how would they feel?
Sharing and taking turns are essential skills that children will benefit greatly if they are taught how to from a young age. Don't force your child to share their special gifts until they are emotionally ready. Through birthday parties, your child has a great opportunity to empower his or her social and emotional development through sharing.
Birthdays are big deals, whether it is celebrated at home with close family and friends with birthday cakes and your child's favourite dishes, or celebrating with friends in the park, as long as you make that day a special day for your child. It is all about the birthday child, so that they can feel cherished, and can reflect back…with a smile on his or her face.
Connections and relationships are built on love and shared memories. It does not have to be a lavish party; it is about building relationships and creating memories, as well as an opportunity to empower his or her character.
How do you celebrate your child's party? Please share your feedback below.
Have a connected day with your family!