Preparing kids for birthday parties

By on July 12, 2014

What do wedding celebrations and kids’ parties have in common? Both need preparation. The difference is that with kids parties, having a tyke on your hosting team may sometimes disappoint. Check out the experts’ advice.

Should you invite the whole class or just close friends?

As there are expenses involved in having a party, Mrs. Jacobsen, an experienced Tokyoite mom of 4 had to deal with budget all the time. She advises parents “to splurge more on birthday parties for preschoolers to early elementary school age because these are important years for socialization.” ” The more school friends you invite, the better it is for your kid,” she added. This means that parents might want to hold off on doing something elaborate for one-year olds and just stick to close friends or families.

The Handshake
All friendships start from the shake of a hand. Teaching ego-centric toddlers to introduce themselves may not be easy at first. Author of 365 Manners Kids Should Know suggests the “3S’s and 3R’s” method. First, smile, stand, and speak loudly enough to be heard. Don’t let them get away with a wave and a grunt from their spot on the couch,” the author writes. Second, remember the name, repeat it, and reach out with a firm handshake. Have them practice using the name in conversation or when saying goodbye,” suggests Eberly, an American psychologist. It’s a sign of confidence that will pay off into adulthood.”

The calm after a storm
Does your kid throw unpredictable tantrums? Kids are kids but the one thing parents should not do to calm them down after your child throws a fit is to bribe them. Instead, take the calm approach and be present. The reacting only prolongs the child’s mood. Family therapist and author of ScreamFree Parenting Hal Edward Runkle says, “When a kid throws a fit in a public place, your anxiety is through the roof, which is fuel of the fire. Same thing if you pretend it’s not happening. But if you’re calm and present, you’re like Tiger Woods. After a bad shot, he slows everything down: rate of speech, rate of walk, rate of breath. It’s amazing like power that he has.” The dead-calm state signals that you will not be rattled and a tantrum will not get results – ever. It probably won’t work during the first outburst, but it’s magic by the fifth.”

Ditch the lovies (2-5 years old)
Ask any parent to have their little ones give up their security blankets and binkies and you will get a confused look. Sounds difficult you may say. Dr. Joshua Sparrow of the Harvard Medical School co-authored a book called Touch points Three to Six: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development. “If your child doesn’t have another way to manage his or her feelings, the plan is going to backfire,” writes Sparrow. The suggestion is for the parent or caretaker not to leave them empty-handed. “We all use self-soothing behaviors throughout life. They aren’t going to give up their pacifier unless you first help them find a substitute,” he further explains.
While she is on the hunt for the next apple of her eye which most likely will be stuffed toys, books or iPad, your job is to follow.


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