My daughter just turned five-years-old and every year without fail I have made a big fuss about her birthday and would always throw her a party.
Although some parents prefer not to make a big deal about their child turning a year older and may scoff at you for being so gungho about having a celebration, there are some great reasons why you should just ignore the naysayers and celebrate it with great fanfare if you want:
1. Birthday parties play a casual role in ageing process
Some psychologists may caution against holding a celebration each year because young children tend to associate birthday parties with their ageing process.
This means that to some kids, if they didn’t have a party, they might misunderstand and think that they haven’t aged yet.
However, Jacqueline Woolley, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Research Lab at the University of Texas, feels that this is exactly why you should have a party for your little one.
Besides, they will learn sooner or later that a birthday party does not equate to them ageing a year older.
2. It makes them feel extra special
Of course you should always find the time to connect and bond with your child on a daily basis, whether or not it is her birthday, but everyone likes to have the extra attention and be fussed over for a special occassion.
The special attention your little one gets on her big day from mummy and daddy, her friends, and everyone else will surely make her beam with joy and reaffirm just how loved she is.
This is also great for busy working parents to make the extra effort to set aside some time on this special day and spend time with the birthday girl or boy.
3. Fun bonding process
When your child is old enough, you can get her involved in the party-planning by asking her what exactly she’d like to do for her birthday, who she wants to invite, what sort of food she prefers to eat, or even a particular theme she has in mind.
It’s also fun for her to be part of buying the party decorations, baking the cake, packing the goody bags, and writing the invitation cards.
Years from now when your child is all grown up, memories like these will make them smile fondly.
4. Celebrate the day you became parents
Your child’s birthday also serves as a reminder about the day you and your partner became parents for the first time, or parents to more than one kid!
This is a great time to commemorate your own milestone as well and you can fondly walk down memory lane while recalling what your little one was like as a baby.
5. Do it while you still can!
How many birthday parties will you be able to plan and host for your child before she grows older and prefers to hang out with her friends instead of her parents?
No more piñatas, party poppers, balloon sculptors, or pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey — when your child reaches her tween years, she might roll her eyes when you even mention the word party.
Just don’t go overboard
No matter how big or small you want the party to be, don’t get too carried away and go overboard with everything which could actually shift focus away from your child.
This will defeat the purpose of putting the spotlight on her on this special day and people might begin to wonder if you’re really doing it for the sake of your little one’s happiness or for the number of likes on Instagram.
For example, your child won’t be able to appreciate a $350 special-order cake by the top baker in Singapore, and would probably be perfectly happy with a $40 store-bought one that you both decorated together with rainbow sprinkles and chocolate buttons.
There is no need to break the bank by hiring an award-winning magician to entertain the kids, or have adorable mascots walking around in colourful costumes for five hours, or get an enormous bouncy castle with a water slide, or book an expensive party package at indoor playground for 50 people.
Just remember that it’s the effort and thought that counts to make your little one happy on her special day.
So continue to throw a (reasonable) birthday party for your child and enjoy watching her grow up with each passing year.