I’ve seen it over and over and over, parents go all out for their child’s birthday parties and invite as many guests as possible. I understand it’s a numbers thing and you never know if anyone will actually respond to that RSVP request you added to each invite, but seriously, please stop inviting the entire neighborhood to your child’s party.
- Some birthday children are easily overwhelmed with the noise, the busyness, and all of the extra attention.
- Inviting everyone so that no one gets left out will not prevent a children from feeling or getting left out at the actual party.
- Kid’s don’t learn realistic social graces and may expect to go against what they really feel in fear of not hurting a friend’s feelings.
You may be thinking, the point of a large crowd is to ignore some people! Yes, yes, I know the quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
However, I can guarantee you that he was referencing an adult party and not a child’s party. The parties he wrote of could be equivalent to a ball or to the club and there should be no clubbing for kids! Besides, the Etiquette Coach in me cringes to even consider such a notion. There is an art to hosting and it includes the rule that not one guest feel uncomfortable or left out.
Here are five reasons children’s parties with small guest counts are better:
- Smaller numbers equal intimate moments for children. There is often more time to do activities, play, dance, interact, and no one has to feel rushed to do anything. Everyone (adults and children) can truly enjoy socializing the way it should be – slow and relaxed.
- Less anxiety and stress. Good God, yes, to this one! The birthday child with a small number of friends is often joyful, involved, and the parents seem equally so. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed the opposite where kids at larger parties are utterly reserved and even intimidated by everyone around them and all that is going on. Less is more.
- Children develop good social skills. What better way to practice good manners than in an appropriate setting. It’s much easier for children to play and enjoy their time with a small number of friends in a short amount of time.
- Easier on your budget. Spend your money on better things. You shouldn’t have to spend a month’s worth of your food budget to feed every guest. Give yourself the opportunity to afford quality over quantity.
- Space. It’s always nice to have walking room or sitting room. The less guests you invite, the more room and comfort you will have per guest.
A good rule to go by is inviting as many guests that your child can appropriately host or one friend per each year of age.
Author, Etiquette Coach, & CEO of Girl Adored