Kids Birthday Parties

January 11, 2009 · Print This Article

Charity Kids birthday parties have recently been brought to may attention   Over the past several weeks,  I have repeatedly heard about kids birthday celebrations called  “Charity Birthday Parties.  I first heard of this concept while listening to the “Glenn Beck” show on the radio.

At first, I thought he was making a joke… but soon realized he was serious.  A child 6 year old child was having a birthday party and his parents were asking the guests not to bring gifts to the party… but to donated to a political cause in the name of “Birthday Child.”

The idea is…  we live so abundantly… and a child already has so much… why not teach the child to be sharing and giving and donate his gifts or the money that would be spent on his gifts to a charity.  It could even be a charity of the child’s choosing.

It was brought to my attention again when Vanessa, of  I Never Grew Up,  posted a poll on her blog  asking parents if they thought it was a good idea or not.  I was surprised at the results.  79% thought it was a great idea and 21% thought it was a poor idea.  I was part of the 21%.

After I picked myself up from the floor… I made a comment on her blog… I’m afraid it was a bit stinging… and I would like to clarify my point of view here.

1.  I remember a program on TV years ago, called Queen For A Day.  It was a day they honored one lady from the audience by showering her with gifts etc.  For that woman…it was a magical day… a day she would never forget.  Our children deserved to be honored on their birthday.   It’s a day that we take delight in them for coming into the world and into our lives.  Let them be King or Queen for a day.

2.  The magic of childhood is short.  We as parents and grand parents can get caught up in pushing children into adulthood too soon.  T.V. does not supported kids being kids… and I think we can be hoodwinked into the same thinking.  Birthdays are part of childhood magic. Kids shouldn’t be short changed by forcing adult concepts too early… especially on their special day.

3.  You can’t tell me, that in the child’s heart, he wouldn’t feel some resentment… and sadness if denied gifts on his birthday.  He may not have the courage to stand up against such a “lofty” concept as a “Charity Birthday,” especially if he knew he was going to be made to feel wrong or shamed if he objected to the idea.

4.  I know that kids have an abundance of toys… my grands are a testimony of that.  But… who’s fault is that.  I’m guilty!  Their parents are guilty!  Every time we go into a store, they want something… and for the most part we succumb to their whining.

We might not purchase the $15.00 new toy they want… but we appease them with a little purchase at the cash register.  Marketers claim, they make a killing on purchases made for kids under $5.00.  I don’t know about you… but I’m tired of the “trash toys” that are placed in the “kids meals” at the fast food restaurants.  But… that doesn’t stop me from purchasing the “kids meal.”  Junk… Junk… Junk.  I know I’m part of the problem.

My point is… if we want to cut back on the amount of junk that is filling the kids closets, we need to control our own spending for them during the year.  But, let’s not take that leap on their birthday.

5.  It’s great to teach kids to be charitable and giving.  We can be examples of that when we clean out our own closets.  Perhaps when we are packing up our things, we could ask them if they would like to contribute something from their closet.  When it’s time to drop off our bundle at the “Thrift Store”, we can take them with us. It would be a great time to discuss what we are doing and why.

6.  There is a “time and season” for all things.  Studies have shown that children under 3 don’t have the mental ability to understand there is another world outside of themselves…. thus the “terrible two.”  A child’s reasoning capacity does not fully develop until around the age of 8 or 9.  To force concepts that are too mature for their reasoning is unfair.

7.  Besides… how would you feel if someone said to you, “You have too many things and you need to learn to share.  So, for your birthday… I’m doing to donate the money I was going to spend on your birthday gift and give it to the Blaa Blaa Blaa?”   I for one… would resent it…. in fact… I would be hopping mad.

My suggestion:  Celebrate your kids birthdays by showering them with lots of love, fun, and a few gifts.  Give them their special day… and teach giving, sacrifice and charity on another day.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Have your kids been invited to “Charity Birthday Parties?”   What’s your point of view?  Talk to me.

Comments

2 Responses to “Kids Birthday Parties”

  1. TinaNo Gravatar on January 12th, 2009 7:10 am

    I often have my kids give away TickleMe Plant seeds or TickleMe Plant party favors. It’s a great way for them to share their love of nature. The TickleMe Plant really does MOVE when you Tickle it! The leaves close and even the branches MOVE when Tickled. I found it on line at http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  2. Karen KayNo Gravatar on January 24th, 2009 10:01 pm

    I agree with you Nana! However my 2 year old nephew’s Mom did that for him for his last birthday, and although I was appalled at first, I think for his situation (1. being too young to really understand the difference and 2. His birthday is Dec 20th….) it wasn’t too bad of an idea. I admit I didn’t send the toy I had originally purchased for him though. It was “personalized” and wouldn’t really work for toys for tots.

    That being said, I’m a Christmas baby too, and I really hope that doesn’t become the trend for the little guy. I don’t think it will. I’m sure his Mom just felt like he had plenty right now. She is always on top of the current trends. Probably will wane by next year.

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