Speaking Point: $21.7 billion dollars in toys were purchased in the U.S. in 2008. Children today are growing up in a society of things. With the constant barrage of advertising and product promotions children’s birthdays have become more and more about meeting expectations for larger, more material oriented, celebrations. Each year has to top the year before, and perhaps more importantly, top all their friends’ celebrations.
So, how can parents find meaningful ways to celebrate their child’s birthday without breaking the bank?
Speaking Point: 1. Plan activities that best represent who they are. If they adore animals, visit a petting zoo, or create an activity that includes their pet.
Speaking Point: 2. Have a family ritual included around their favorite meal. Arrange a breakfast with Grandma or let them choose what the family will have for dinner.
Speaking Point: 3. Create something that fits the family’s daily values and makes sense to your child. An elaborate party that is outside the norm for the family can be uncomfortable for the child and they may not enjoy it as much as the parents think they will.
Speaking Point: 4. Celebrate their presence in your life, not the age that they are.
Speaking Point: 5.Use what their hobbies in your planning. If they love crafts, the family can plan a craft project together that day.
Speaking Point: 6. Let the celebration be about your child and how happy you are that they are here with you. Plan the day around the child and why they are important to the family.
Speaking Point: The celebration is full of meaning because all the days’ events are about the child’s life, loves and your honoring of them. It’s not about expensive toys, celebrations and "theme parties" and lots of people.
Speaking Point: Children love the ritual nature that today is their day, where they get some of their favorite things to eat and do, with special moments with their family. We celebrate who they are not the toys they got!