8 children’s birthday party problems – and how to solve them

September 26, 2018
  • Some parents have brought uninvited siblings to the party
    1 / 8 Some parents have brought uninvited siblings to the party

    As a gracious host, you need to put on a brave face and just do your best. Keep smiling.

    Factoring in extras is the way to go when hosting a gathering. This includes having sufficient food and beverages to cater for any unexpected situation.

    You may have to split party favours into smaller packages. Or simply tell the parents that while you’re happy the children came, you weren’t expecting them – so you’ll have to give them their goodie bags another day.

    Related: 10 good habits to teach your preschooler

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  • I could not afford to invite all of my kid's classmates. Some are upset and haven't been nice to him
    2 / 8 I could not afford to invite all of my kid's classmates. Some are upset and haven't been nice to him

    Unfortunately, this is how most children react when they feel left out. Perhaps you can scale down party plans to include more guests, and put the emphasis on having fun with games rather than a grand party.

    Alternatively, arrange for your son to take cupcakes or party favours to school, so he can share his birthday joy with all his classmates.

    In future, if you can only have a discrete group, call the parents whose kids aren’t on your list before sending out the invitations.

    Explain that you’re on a tight budget, and have asked your son to choose only five children for the party. Say: “This is very hard for him to do. Please do not take personal offence.”

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  • A child falls sick at the party and her parents are not around
    3 / 8 A child falls sick at the party and her parents are not around

    Inform her mum or dad. Have someone take care of her and let her rest in another room until her family comes to pick her up.

    You want to take care of her, but don’t want this to become the focus of the party. After the event, follow up with a call to show your concern.

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  • A kid is misbehaving and affecting the rest of the guests
    4 / 8 A kid is misbehaving and affecting the rest of the guests

    Try to distract him. Perhaps gently take his hand and lead him to look at a pet, or ask him to taste a cookie in the kitchen because you need his advice.

    When children become excited, their enthusiasm can make them seem as though they’re naughty; they may not be intentionally misbehaving.

    But if the kid is still disruptive, take him aside and tell him that if he continues, you’ll ask his parents to pick him up.

    Related: 11 best party accessories for your kid’s party

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  • A few parents are fighting over their kids' playtime squabble
    5 / 8 A few parents are fighting over their kids' playtime squabble

    You need to be ready to step in and resolve matters in a gracious way. For example, if the kids are fighting over toys, you can easily improve the situation by taking out other playthings.

    You can then engage the upset mum in conversation and offer a drink to calm her down.

    Have someone else do the same with the other parent. Or suggest the adults leave the kids to sort things out, while they have coffee in another room.

    Have one or two good friends on standby to help with this and other situations. They should be informed in advance about guests’ names, the programme, food and other important matters.

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  • There's not enough food, and it will take a while to get more
    6 / 8 There's not enough food, and it will take a while to get more

    Have more games and activities. That gives you some time to prepare more food.

    Next time, remember to cater more, or have some biscuits and fruits on hand in case people who didn’t RSVP turn up.

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  • Your child's friend was expecting a big party and made a rude remark about your small celebration
    7 / 8 Your child's friend was expecting a big party and made a rude remark about your small celebration

    Try to ignore what he said. Or you can explain to him how an intimate party allows for more interaction.

    Related: 1st birthday: how to plan a carnival party like Bong Qiuqiu

     

     

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  • Your kid doesn't like one of his presents and says so loudly at the party
    8 / 8 Your kid doesn't like one of his presents and says so loudly at the party

    Before the event, remind him about having good manners. This cannot be stressed enough.

    Tell him that this includes saying “thank you” sincerely, even if he doesn’t appreciate a gift. It’s very important that you teach him not to embarrass anyone.

    Even if he doesn’t like the present, he shouldn’t criticise or announce it loudly – it’s rude to do that. He must learn to show appreciation for the act of giving. What’s given is of secondary importance. 

    Our experts
    + Raelene Tan is an etiquette consultant and has authored four books on the subject.
    + Eunice Tan is the founder of Image Flair Academy of Modern Etiquette, which has workshops for kids.
    + Clara Tan is the founder of Molly Manners Singapore, which teaches children etiquette and social skills.

    Related: How to plan a preschool classroom birthday party in 5 easy steps

    (Photos 123RF.com)

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