A sticky situation

9 May

So the other day I helped a good friend with here daughters birthday party. She turned four and had invited all here friends from daycare. There were 14 very exited, and I must say well behaved little girls lined up at the front door with a gift in their hand, ready for a good time and some tasty treats.

And this is where my problem enters the situation. We as you know have a little girl who will soon turn 2. And we try to raise here without the massive amounts off sugar and plastic toys that kids are bombarded with now a days. I know that there is no way I will ever throw here a party with the kind of food that is customary for kids party’s around here, and I am not very happy about my little girls room being filled with pink plastic in various shapes and sizes. But what do I do?  How do I get away from this oh so common way of celebrating a birthday without breaking here little heart.  And even worse, what do I do about the other 12-14 birthdays she will be invited to every year? That is a loot of cupcakes, chocolate cake and hot dogs wrapped in pasty white bread. Sure she will eat those things on a few occasions, but 14 times a year? The idea makes my stomach turn.

Finding alternatives for food probably wont be that hard but I think it will be a challenge to get the kids to eat whatever alternative I come up with. Mini pizzas on whole wheat crust, fruit shish kebabs and so on are some ideas. And there are lots of options for making a cake with less sugar.

Sometimes I wish we lived in a place so small there would only be 4-5 other kids hence reducing the amount of birthday celebration a kid has to endure. I am all for party’s, getting  together with your friends and having a good time, but I want to find a better way of doing it. Some alternative ways to celebrate.  Thoughts have crossed my mind to forbidding here to go to the sticky party’s or to donating here gifts to charity or adding a now gifts line to the bottom of here invitation. But what will she think? She will obviously see that all the other kids get gifts at there party’s and that they get to keep them. Nor do I want to seem rude or ungrateful by rejecting a gift.

So there’s my dilemma, now what? All I want is for my little girl to grow up in a way that I consider healthy, mind spirit and body. And to me the birthday party puts a big dent in that idea.

4 Responses to “A sticky situation”

  1. montessorimatters May 11, 2010 at 00:18 #

    Oh my… I’ve wondered about those issues myself and blogged about it (and I don’t even have kids yet!). I guess the food issue – while a big deal – isn’t as transcendent because a few cupcakes a year never killed anyone. You can talk to your child as she gets older (from the age of 3, perhaps) about the damage sugar does to your body. My mom would even help us describe how we felt after eating sugar, so that we’d become aware of its impact. And remember that the more you forbid something, the more interesting it becomes!

    The gifts… Ugh… I’ve had many a discussion about this. Some parents say that you can blatantly tell your guests that anything with marketable characters (Disney, Barbie, etc.) will be returned or given to charity. Others advocate a wish list that you and your child can put together. I saw something online called echoage.com (although the concept is best understood by older children), in which you register for a charity, your guests give donations, and your child gets half the money towards a dream gift and half the money towards the charity you and your child chose. Pretty nifty idea, if you ask me…🙂

    Other parents ask that instead of gifts, children be given “experiences”, like rock climbing lessons or a gift certificate for a pottery class. Again, you might want to exert some control over what your child is given, even if they are experiences and not stuff.🙂

    At the end of the day, she’s your child, and her well-being has to come ahead of “what other people think”. She might not be thrilled in the short run, and perhaps letting her have a couple of pink plastic toys will demonstrate that they’re really not that interesting. 🙂 Good luck, I can’t wait to hear what you decide to do, so I can learn from experience when I have kids!

  2. shja May 11, 2010 at 08:55 #

    Thank you for some great ideas. I love the idea of talking to your kids about how junk food makes you feel after eating it instead of just saying “no its not good for you”. And I agree a few cupcakes wont hurt.
    But you should see a birthday around here. It is usually started out by hot dogs and white bread buns loaded with ketchup and then come the goodie bag filled with all kinds of candy and finally the cakes. Yes cakes. I’m not talking one. here usually there will be at least 2 or more and then some cupcakes jello and all the sugar soda you can drink.
    I think I can find some good alternatives for all that at my house and I guess I’ll just hope I can raise here to have some restraint when she goes to all those other party’s. Some schools and daycare’s will actually have meetings where all the parents agree on the terms of the birthday party’s so I hope ours will be one of them.

    I think I will just look at it as a challenge and try to create a really fun and different party for her and hope that the kids enjoy it so much that maybe they will start requesting a different party for themselves.

    But I think the gift thing will be a hard one. The gifts they give are usually $10 or less and parents are busy so requesting special types of gifts may be difficult. But I think I will just have to figure out what Olivia is ok with as she gets older. I’m sure some years we may do requests for book or other items that I really don’t think you can have enough of.

    I’m exited about this years party. It will be for friends and family only. And I think I will try out some of the ideas I’ve gotten for this party. Should be fun.

  3. Christine May 11, 2010 at 19:45 #

    I think that if she eats healthy at home then she won’t be very interested in all the sugary foods and candy at the parties because she’ll soon realize that they don’t taste that good anyway. We let Owen have candy when he inevitably comes home with a bag of candy from the parties at school but only limit to 1-2 pieces. Then later (next day), when he’s totally forgotten about it (out of sight, out of mind), we just toss the bag. Sometimes I just simply tell him that candy is not good for his body or his teeth but I think it’s OK to have some every once in a while. And since all of us have sweet cravings, occasionally I like to bring home a special treat from the bakery, so he knows what the good stuff is and that it comes every once in a while. Good luck at the party this year!

  4. shja May 11, 2010 at 19:57 #

    Thank you Christine. I do the same thing to Olivia. Sometimes we go out to eat at this small restaurant and they always give Olivia a sucker when we leave. I let her have it for a few minutes and then trow it away as soon as she takes her hands of it. She never even misses it.

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