The ages between eight and twelve are really difficult for kids. I think girls may have it tougher though because they’re starting to feel peer pressure more. Fashion, pop music, and even toys need to fit in with what the rest of the group likes. This is hard for a pre-teen girl to conform to sometimes. This is why planning a birthday party at this age needs to be approached with some care.
Most kids this age are more than happy to speak their mind! They will gladly tell you that you’re old-fashioned and not with the times. Maybe that observation is true! But you want to do what’s best for your daughter, and you want her to be happy. Planning a special event like a birthday party has to be done in collaboration with her.
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Many girls want to head out to the mall or go to the movies at this age. For chaperon parents, handling a group of girls in these kinds of environments can be tough to manage. Instead, you might want to consider having an event at home. This way the other parents will know where their daughters are and what they are up to!
Your daughter may feel that a party at home is a little childish. You can help her feel all grown up by having a dinner party rather than paper plates and cups. Decorations can be more muted than kids party balloons. Think color schemes and chic. You could rent a blockbuster movie for everyone to enjoy, or set up a games console for the afternoon.
Gifts are also hard to gauge right at this age. It can be tough to choose the best presents for 7 to 12 year old girls. Fortunately, children are quite vocal at telling you what they would like around the time of their birthdays. Of course, there may be some requests that you’re not willing to entertain yet. That doesn’t mean that one of their friends won’t buy it for her, though.
When you’re thinking of hosting a party for a pre-teen, it’s important to consider the number of kids that will be attending. You will need to choose some party favors as well as an age-appropriate cake. As children get older, they have a need to impress their friends to feel like they fit in. Your daughter may be disappointed if you make the wrong choices, so try to collaborate with her. Shop together for these things. If you set a budget, she will also be learning valuable life skills.
Don’t be afraid to ask the other parents to help out or get involved. Sometimes a fresh perspective from another mommy can be really helpful. Pre-teens are often very technology oriented. While they are too young for social media like Facebook, you might want to encourage them to use the computer to create their invitations. At this age, children like to have more control over their lives, and more input into how things are run.
There is every chance you are dreading your daughter’s birthday party. There’s no need to worry, though. Your daughter is likely to be very keen to help you organize everything. She’ll have her own style ideas and tastes too. Enjoy her big day.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.