Children’s parties, while being exciting, may mean the child going to a new place and doing new things, which for some children may cause apprehension. The excitement of their own party can also be too much for some children to cope with and may end up in tears.
Worry over going to a party may end up with the child:
Not wanting to go at all.
Wanting to go, but not wanting you to leave them.
Running off as soon as he or she arrives and getting over excited… being silly.
Getting upset by the loud noise and other children running around.
Getting tired and wanting to go home before the end.
Before going to the party:
Try and let the child know what will be happening at the party, who will be there and where it is.
When you arrive make sure the child knows where the toilets are and who to ask if they need to go.
If the child is very anxious, try to visit the party venue beforehand to show them around.
If games are being played, try to explain the rules of the game to the child if he/she is unsure and then ask them to repeat the rules back to you so you can be sure they have been understood.
Stay with the child if he or she needs you, but try and stand back so the child can have a chance to join in. If you see things going wrong, or the child is not understanding the games, try and explain the rules to them or ask another adult to explain.
If the child can’t cope with the whole length of time of the party – pick him or her up early and arrange this with the parents so he or she can leave quietly but with a “party bag” if there is one.
Your child’s party
Talk with the child about what they would like to do for their party. If he/she cannot cope with large groups consider having a smaller group of children to the house for food and games. If they are older, you could take a few children to the cinema or bowling. A structured but short and successful party is better than one that goes on for too long.
If the child gets upset by too much noise perhaps you might consider just having a family birthday party and inviting one or two friends that you know will get on together.