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We went through the same realization. Unfortunately a little later that we should of, I am afraid. We got caught up in the big birthday bash every year and it was ridiculous. I would say that most kids in our neighborhood have a big bash every year.

Now we have decided to only have a birthday party with friends and the like for the ages of 5, 10, and 16. Those are kind of big milestones and are spread out enough to not make it the entitlement of every year.

The Mentor Mom

That sounds like a great compromise! We had thought about a second party at 16 as that is a big milestone :) Thanks for weighing in on the matter!


We did the sleepover parties for my daughter until high school. My son (now 16) prefers a birthday dinner with family, both immediate and extended.


I can certainly understand the problem. We have always allowed one guest for each year, and friends and family. (But I make parents attend too.) Now that she is six, that has to change.

I think I am going to start doing things like a trip to dinner and a movie with one friend, or a sleepover with one or two friends, or a trip to Six Flags with one friend, or just a family dinner.

I have family who threw a party for their ten year old daughter last year. They invited the entire suburban enclave, hired a huge bouncy castle, and cooked hot dogs all day. It was nuts, they looked so exhausted and unhappy. Meanwhile, their daughter was hiding on the side of my house with my then five year old, showing her how to use a slip and side.

This year, she asked for a family dinner.

The Mentor Mom

More great ideas! Thanks ladies :)


Our kids are little, but all of our parties are indistinguishable. What I mean is that regardless of what the event is, we have invite close friends and family over for whatever the event is. The only thing that really makes it a kids' party is that there is a cake somewhere. We may have to adjust this pattern as the kids get older, but then again, maybe not...


I am overwhelmed by the birthday parties. I have three kids 5, 2 and an infant. Between my brothers and my husbands brother there are eight kids under the age of 8. So that's just our family parties. So far everyone throws the family birthday party so we are constantly going to someones birthday party or having one of our own. In addition, my son has started being invited to several pre-school friends birthday parties. It just seems like too much to me. I don't know how nor do I want to tell him No he can't go to his friends birthday party. Also, how am I susposed to tell him no birthday with friends after he's been to all of theirs. I don't know, I need a solution before we go broke buying gifts for our kids and everyone elses. The thing that gets me even more is that they NEED none of it. They have plenty of toys. Help - I've been agonizing over this for quite awhile now.

The Mentor Mom

Boy, can I relate to you Susan! We had a similar experience at Christmas with all the nieces and nephews and gifts for all the siblings...it was driving us to the poor house! We just told the family that things were tight and as much as we would like to be able to continue buying gifts for all, it just wasn't financially feasible. I think everyone was a bit relieved and had been thinking the same thing!

As for the birthday parties, we have agreed to let the kids go to all their friends birthday parties. We pass, however, on the repeat birthday parties. Sorry, but I just don't have the financial portfolio to buy birthday presents for some of their friends every year until they turn eighteen ;)

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