For my kids, birthday parties are the most exciting thing that can happen outside of Christmas. Are there any good things? Not much.
Over the years, we’ve seen more and more parents plan elaborately themed birthday parties that include Pinterest-worthy decorations and clever little gifts for each little guest.
The children who participated loved taking home something to play with. After all, they just sit there and watch someone open a present, so they can’t help but be jealous.
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But the way I do it, my kids don’t get candy bags at their birthday party.
I’m not trying to be a mean mom — And certainly not an ungrateful guest — But spending a day completely focused on someone else’s happiness is actually healthy for my kids.
I don’t want you to go to your birthday party wondering what loot to bring home. I don’t want them to think that giving a gift means they expect something in return.
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I want my children to develop the ability to prioritize the happiness of others over their own.
I don’t want you to always be the last one, but sometimes you raise yourself and other times you raise someone else.
I want them to learn how to live without being tied down and expecting anything in return. Yes, when you give, you often receive. However, this may not always be the case.
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It is important to me that my children are very comfortable with the idea of giving just for the sake of giving.
Your child’s birthday party is the perfect training ground for me to teach them that lesson.
Yes, I understand that you may be trying to teach your child about humility and gratitude when giving gifts to guests. I wonder if there’s even a way to gracefully handle our attention without diverting it to other people.
No matter how you decide to throw your child’s birthday party, I’m sure you’ll do what seems best for everyone involved. If you don’t take the time to tie a tiny little ribbon to your tiny little bag, I’ll be relieved.
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It’s okay if the world revolves around your child just for this one day.
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Alex Alexander is a pseudonym. The author of this article is known to his YourTango but has chosen to remain anonymous.