Birthday parties are always a lot of fun. It is a time for kids to connect with each other outside of the classroom or adult family functions. It is a space that is designed just for them to relax and have a good time! And while this is definitely true, there are still some steps of etiquette that should be followed by both the children and the parents to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Before You Get There:
Eat Prior to Arrival
When there is a birthday party scheduled on the family calendar, parents will usually forgo feeding everyone because they know there will be food at the birthday party. However, the exact opposite should be done. Party hosts typically only provide food equivalent to one serving for each guest. If there is more food eaten by one or more people at the party than expected, this can cause the other attendees to be shortchanged. Feed your family a filling meal approximately 30 minutes to one hour prior to arrival. That way, when the food is served, your attendees will be satisfied with their given portions and all of the other guests will be happy.
It is never a bad idea to give your children a good pep talk prior to arriving at the birthday party. Do a brief recap of manners, being kind to other guests, sharing, and more. Sure, the things you tell them may be stuff they already know, but it’s great to get a reminder.
After You Get There:
Arrive On Time. Don’t Stay Too Long
We all have things that may happen, but no one likes a late arrival to a birthday party. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra two hours to your planned preparation/travel time to give yourself a cushion of time to handle any unexpected occurrences. Once you arrive, keep track of time. Be sure that your children do not stay at the party too long. You do not want them to wear out their welcome, nor do you want your child(ren) to be the last person to leave.
CAYG and Offer to Help
Most times, the most tedious chore in hosting a birthday party is cleaning up the trash afterward. As a guest, it is a great practice to CYAG, or “Clean As You Go”, to help make the host’s job much easier. Encourage your children to ensure that their own items go into the trash as they are done with them, and also extend an offer to the host to help out with the rest of the cleaning.
After The Party:
Always remember to send a note of thanks to the host for inviting you to their party! Take the personal approach by mailing a handwritten note card (either handmade or purchased) versus sending an online message or making a phone call. When composing your note, always reference your child’s favorite part of the birthday party and their excitement for the next party.
Following the tips above will guarantee your young ones a VIP spot on the host list for future parties!