Kids & Company Blog

Why are there so many birthday parties?!

At Kids & Company, January is our Parenting Hacks month. Our goal is to use our wonderful community of parents and parenting experts to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences.  Today, Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell of Parenting Power™,  have given us some tools to deal with children's birthday party invites. Let's get to it.

Child birthday party with cake and candles.

There are so many birthday invitations that come when our kids are little. Not all invitations are equal. Sometimes kids really want to attend and sometimes, they may not even be sure who it is that invited them. You don't always have to say yes.

4 Tools to Help You Decide When to Say Yes/No

Keep it simple for your family. Get clear on the way you'll decide on which parties are a go and teach your kids how to give a polite "No."

Check the family calendar. How many birthday parties does anyone need to attend in one weekend? If it is more trouble than it is worth, just say no thank you.

Come up with a budget. Plan what you'll spend (buy a few of the same gifts at the same time if it makes sense) and stick to it. If you've got older kids, are they required to put a portion of their allowance toward the gift?

No is a full answer. Don't teach your child a full script of excuses about why they can't go to the party. They'll likely forget it anyway. It's okay to say no without a reason. "Thank you for inviting me, my mom says I can't come. Have a great party."

*The same rule applies to parents. It's okay to politely decline an invitation without a big long excuse. It's great to model this for our kids as well.

This week ask yourself these questions:

1. Are parties/galas/events wearing us out as a family?

2. Are we saying yes to parties just to be nice?

3. Which tool above will work for our family?

Email us your discipline questions; we’ll have an answer to you in 48 business hours!

This article is reprinted with permission from Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell of Parenting Power™; Canada’s Go-To Parenting Team. They believe that there is more than one “right way to parent”. For over 18 years, Julie and Gail have offered telephone coaching nationwide to help ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing them with real-life parenting tools. Contact them today at

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