How Old Is Too Old For A Boys Theme Party The Ethics of Birthday Party Invitations

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The Ethics of Birthday Party Invitations

One might think that there is nothing more innocent and free-flowing than the act of sending birthday party invitations. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Because planning children’s birthdays and offering invitations is a minefield full of ethical stumbling blocks and mines. Here are three guidelines to help you navigate the maze.

Indicator #1: The invitation is sticking

How tempting it is for a child to withdraw an invitation to a birthday party after friction enters the friendship. “You are no longer invited to my birthday party!” is a common schoolyard refrain. However, it is important that your child knows that an invitation, like a gift, cannot be returned. It is best to wait until four weeks before the party date before issuing invitations, verbal or written.

It is a rare child who does not know about the upcoming birthday. I once heard Sam’s nine-year-old older sister say, “So, Sam, you’re going to see all your friends this afternoon.”

He looked up. “Why?”

“Today is your birthday!” she exclaimed, exasperated.

“Oh,” he said with a shrug. “Right.”

Other youngsters begin planning the next birthday party in earnest the moment the ribbons are swept off the floor of the current celebration. In between are children of various inclinations. Here’s your cue: As soon as your child starts verbalizing plans for the next birthday party, say, “Remember, wait to invite anyone until [give a date four weeks before the party or a reference point such as a holiday, beginning/end of school, etc.] You never know who you’ll hang out with later. Because once you give an invitation, it sticks.”

Indicator #2: The guest is 100% invited

Guest stacking is another common dynamic. Youngsters will freely announce who is “next in line” at their birthday party. However, lining up on a waiting list all too clearly shows the waiting children their secondary, lower ranking. Your child better understand that if a guest is invited, the guest is one hundred percent invited.

Friends who aren’t invited to the party may ask your child, “How come I wasn’t invited to your birthday?” or even follow up with, “You have been invited to mine.” Your child might respond by saying, “I was just allowed [#] guests. Do you want to come over to my house to play soon?” Then arrange a play date.

In the suburbs, it is not uncommon for children to invite a large number of guests to an afternoon party, and to invite a smaller number of their “closest” friends to stay for dinner or the night. If your child suggests such an arrangement, don’t believe for a second that guests who aren’t invited to stay won’t find out about a more desirable, later party. Word will spread faster than the speed at which a birthday present can be opened. Those who are not invited will become instantly and sadly aware of their diminished stature. More than once I have picked up my daughter from a birthday party to find her fighting back tears while other parents nearby similarly comforted their children, also left behind, and knowing the real one the party was just getting started.

Make sure your child understands that when a guest is invited, the guest is one hundred percent invited.

Pointer #3: Distribute invitations discreetly

Filling out and sending out birthday invitations is a chore. It’s no wonder parents are tempted to streamline the process by personally delivering birthday party invitations at school.

When my younger daughter Hana was in preschool, I noticed that parents were inserting birthday party invitations into the children’s open boxes. Although this method was not a problem when all the children in the class were invited to the party, when some children were invited and others were not – especially when the invitations were in brightly colored envelopes – it was all too clear to them that they were not invited if there was no envelope. their cubbyhole. In preschool age, it is better for parents to deliver invitations directly to other parents or guardians. Or, if that’s not possible due to work schedules, let’s bite the bullet and mail them. Better yet, send invitations by email if that’s an acceptable alternative.

The tendency of sharing invitations in public places is monitored through ratings. In the crowd that followed a high school play, I witnessed a teenage girl handing out birthday invitations to the enthusiastic crowd that surrounded her. Looking around, I noticed that other young men were also watching the excitement, and they weren’t too pleased about it.

Let these three pointers guide you toward eliminating the ethical pitfalls in the world of birthday party invitations. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the genre of children’s birthday invitations represents a microcosm of American ethical practices. Because aren’t such daily interactions of family dynamics the core of our lives?

So tackle those birthday parties with strength, power and knowledge. With your guidance, give your child another – more lasting – kind of gift.

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