Sometimes a birthday party invitation comes at just the right time. You see that you don’t have anything going on and it would be fun for your child to have an outing that weekend. Often it is fun for your children to see their friends out of the normal setting. Interacting with school friends away from the school campus can help to build friendships that may not have taken off in the classroom. It’s nice to have the opportunity to meet the parents of the children in your child’s Sunday school class or from their soccer team. However sometimes it seems that there is a party scheduled every weekend of the year and it becomes overwhelming to fit the parties into the already overloaded schedule.
Recently I received the 4th invitation in a two week period for one of my sons. I groaned as I opened yet another e-vite. As I was mumbling about another party, one of my other children reminded me of a rule we had implemented a few years ago to help cut down on the number of “celebrations” my children went to in a given school year. With multiple children, it seemed that at least two weekends a month we were shuttling one or two children to someone’s party. Because of this I decided that I couldn’t keep up with all the celebrations and chose to change our method of handling the invitations.
In order to guard family time and teach our children a little about making choices and living with the consequences, we told our kids they were only able to go to a certain number of parties in a year. They needed to be aware of friends’ birthdays and if they wanted to be able to go to a specific person’s party, they would need to be mindful of that as they received other invitations. Obviously they couldn’t always know if a particular friend was even going to have a party. The point was to make it an intentional decision whether it made sense to take time away from family for a party on any given weekend.
I do not like continuing in a pattern of behavior without purpose, and I want to be sure that I give my children opportunity to consciously think through their actions. Asking my children to choose certain celebrations and decline invitations to others engages their minds, makes them weigh outcomes and think through situations. In the end it has also helped to give us back some time and allowed us to occasionally have our own family celebration.
What do you do with all the party invitations that you receive?
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