Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy Birthday - to me!

It's funny you know, as you get older your birthday seems to have less and less significance! This year our little family had a little celebration for my birthday, but really it was for the sake of my kids - my oldest has realized that birthday parties are fun. He loves the cake and the candles and even blew out half of my candles :) It's great to see him so excited. This summer me and kids went to one of their little friends birthday parties. This was a no gift party - the first one I'd been to - giving gifts has always been a part of birthday parties in my experience. It brought up a new way of thought for me. Should I have no gift parties for my kids? Are we selfish if we do have "gift" parties (not that that is specified or expected)? How do I find the balance in this?

I know it is important to me that my kids learn that "things" do not make you happy - the more gifts does not equal more happiness. On the other hand, if we all went "no gift" then we would also not be teaching our kids what it is to give. I am one of those people that loves to go shopping and come up with the perfect gift for my friend/husband/family member and can't wait to see the look on their face when they open it!! It's a personal thing for me - depending on how well I know the person. And I always loved giving the ones that were handcrafted ideas too! I want my kids to learn the love of giving! We went to several little kids birthdays this summer, and even though my kids are too little to really pick out the gifts - I did ask if they thought if their friend would like it and tried to involve them.

There are also a few other lessons to be learned at birthday parties - no the presents are not for you, they are for ____. you have to wait until it is your birthday. Taking turns when playing games, sharing, playing together. Really a kids birthday party is an excellent parenting opportunity, with lots of great fun and food included :)
*I am not saying that kids and parents both can't get out of hand where birthdays are concerned - when that happens things need to be pulled back under control for sure!!

No comments: