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Tween-Age Birthday Parties

by Michele | February 24th, 2010 | Tweens

As a mom, I’m amidst the fabulous tween and teen years for three of my children. Long gone are the days of birthday parties with a theme, in which I created games and crafts that matched the desired theme. No more pin the crown on the princess or hunt for the plastic reptiles in the yard.

There are some distinct advantages to the passing of such parties. I no longer have to spend countless hours creating these crafts and games, shopping for the materials, and finding just the right party favors. There is a lot less hands-on time required during the parties also.

However, as my now 12 year old daughter and I began planning her birthday party, I realized that a lack of crafts and games equals a lot of free time for this group. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all good kids, but with them arriving at 4:00 and staying until the next morning at 11:00, having nothing scheduled seemed to be not that great of a plan. After mulling different options, we decided on bowling and pizza.

Having hosted this party, I have a few pointers for other parents:

  • Plan some event or activity for the party.
  • Be a participant, albeit a quiet one. Hanging out with the girls while they bowled and ate pizza, I was able to learn a lot about them.
  • Give them a little space. For example, once they are settled in bed, don’t try to set a “go to sleep” time.
  • But give them rules. As long as the girls were quiet and in their room, they could stay awake as late as they wanted.
  • Have set drop-off and pick-up times, so the party doesn’t become a lengthier event than you planned.
  • Involve the birthday child in decisions, such as the activity, the menu, the schedule.
  • Make the party a lesson in budgeting. Just because your child gets to help choose the activity doesn’t mean that he/she gets whatever is requested. Explain how much you are willing to spend, and have him/her work with you to make it happen.
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