I’m not sure about other families, but in our family, there is nothing better than a party. Any party – a movie release party, a dinner party, a car party and especially, a bathtub party. Since my kids were little, I have always made a big deal of birthdays, holidays, and even national days in order to instill a sense of celebration in my children. My idea for this is simply to remind them that each day is something to be celebrated, but some more than others. Here’s a few reasons why we’re always throwing parties at our house...
1. Celebrating Acknowledges Accomplishments or Something Special When my twins were fully potty-trained, we had a "Farewell Diapers Party". I mean, I had been changing 2x the diapers, EVERYDAY, for three years! Getting them completely potty-trained, especially both of them in the same week, was definitely something to be celebrated. I also wanted to recognize they had done something really awesome and we were all so proud. As a kid, I can only imagine how bizarre it may seem to be using the bathroom in your pants one day, and then the next day, your parents are telling you to “go to the potty” in what looks like a giant porcelain chair. Talk about intimidating. A party following this accomplishment really helped them see what a big deal it was. They still talk about this party, so I know it made an impact.
2. Celebrating Non-Traditional Holidays Broadens Their Views I decided to acknowledge holidays that weren’t your typical celebratory kids’ holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Groundhog Day, Daylight Savings, Good Friday, and the list goes on. By doing so, it made my kids ask a lot of questions: What do es this day mean? Why are we having a party today? What do these decorations mean? I was able to teach them the history behind these days, what they stand for, and why they are recognized on a national calendar. Now for instance, every April, the kiddos will say, “It’s almost Earth Day!” because we had a Tree Planting Party two years ago for Earth Day, and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.
3. Parties Give Them Something to Look Forward To As an adult, it’s great to have a vacation planned and know in a few months that you’ll be taking off work and lounging on the beach. As a child, your excitement is amplified. And knowing something fun is coming up is the best feeling in the world. When we have something cool planned, my kids will ask everyday leading up to the party, how many days are left until the event. They are always so anxious to celebrate and it makes each day so much more exciting because they are looking forward to something fun! I try to plan something special 1-2 times a month and tell them about it at the beginning of the month. Even if it’s something simple like, “On the 23rd, we’re having Hot Cocoa Night!” They get seriously stoked no matter what the occasion may be.
4. It Helps and Teaches Them to Show Appreciation
Without any gesture from me, my kids always tell me “Thank you so much for doing our party. We loved it so much!” And it always leaves me feeling like every bit of the planning and ‘work’ put into it is entirely worth it. This sense of appreciation is something they developed on their own. Having rare special occasions shows them it’s not an average day, and that the celebration is something to be appreciated. The first time they told me thank you for a party, they were only 2 years old, and it made me realize how much it had truly made a difference in their day. This particular time, I bought two kites from Amazon and a book about kite flying because my kids had never flown a kite. I put the kites and books into gift baskets and blew up about 20 balloons. They woke up from a nap to an afternoon “Kite Adventure” (AKA – a picnic and kite flying at the local park).
Throwing small celebrations with my kids has helped me realize that it truly is the little things.