Monday, January 22, 2007

Birthdays Without Pressure


BirthdaysWithoutPressure.org is a website dedicated to raising awareness of out-of-control birthday parties for kids. I'm amazed at how big of a problem this is and that we need a website to alert the nation. Where's our common sense? How is it that we don't know when enough is enough? Here's an excerpt from an article I read today:

Having decided on a ballerina theme for her daughter's sixth birthday party, Michelle West drove all over to find little dancers for the cake. Then she put 50 little beefeater guards around the edges. And she gave it beautiful white icing with peppermint trim.

And what happened? The kids wouldn't eat it.

It wasn't long afterward that she joined a group of St. Paul parents determined to end the birthday party arms race.

Birthdays Without Pressure is taking aim at the oneupsmanship that drives moms and dads to throw parties that will really, really impress the kids and the other parents, too."We feel there's a kind of cultural runaway going on right now around the birthday parties of kids," said William Doherty, a University of Minnesota professor of family social science who had a hand in organizing the group, launched publicly earlier this month.



Read the entire article here.

We started down this road ourselves a few years ago. We had a couple of parties for our kids that were (in our estimation) too extravagant. We took a look at what we were doing, realized that we didn't really want to set the precedent that we were starting to set, didn't like the stress we experienced, and didn't like the message we were sending to our children and to those that were invited. I have so much that I'm thinking about all of this but my time is so limited that I cannot go into all of it right now. Anyway, read the article. Be amazed. Evaluate your own practices. Change them if necessary.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll have to check out that site. I am sure we looked like we went "way out" for our little one's first b-day b/c we had moonwalks! HA! BUT I have a reason. We didn't pay for them. Good friends of ours owns them and asked if they could just set them up for the kiddos so I said sure! Hope my next ones aren't jealous if that isn't offered again!

mrsfish said...

I guess I haven't been around for a while, I LOVE your new theme! It is gorgeous. I love the colors and the organization, but especially the header.

My friend and I in San Diego noticed the birthday party "keep up with the jones" birthday party thing when our girls were three. We decided together we weren't doin it. I had simple pool parties. - 4-5 kids, cake and ice cream. She does a party in her back yard and sets up blow up pools and slip and slides and chairs for the parents all around. The kids run around and scream for two to three years and it is the BEST party. She even stopped serving food because the kids didn't want to stop playing. Now she sets out snacks and does cake at the end. Kids sit on the grass when the birthday girl opens presents. Fun and relaxing and her daughter wants it every year.

I do think the bounce houses are fun when you can find a good deal - but in San Diego it was much much more than that.

Cindee said...

Amanda-
Thanks for your lovely comments about my blog redesign. I'm really enjoying the new look too!

Do the kids really "run around and scream for two to three years"? Beacuse that sounds horrible to me? :-) Hee, hee, just me being bratty! I figure you mean hours.

My son's last b-day party was a pool/slip 'n' slide party too. He had a ball.