Birthday Party Prep

Being a stay at home dad I think about things in ways that I’ve never really thought about them when it comes to setting up my daughters up for success. Journey was recently invited to a birthday party of young girl that was turning the same age she, the wonderful age of three. Journey’s birthday party was less than a month ago and it made sense in her mind that the party she was getting ready to attend was also for her. So in order to eliminate disappointment on her part and possibly embarrassment on my part, I chose to set her up with a plan for success.

First, as we shopped for a gift for the birthday girl and I made sure that my daughter knew why we were purchasing the gift and who the gift was going to be for. My second daughter Justice, who is 6 months old, also approved of the gift. I didn’t get a gift that was so attractive that Journey would be upset to give to someone else. We got a gift that Journey would enjoy to share with someone else. A gift that fills her up with joy and happiness. At the tender age of a 3 year, a Mini Mouse shirt and Moana slippers are the perfect gift. Once we got home we kept the birthday card and gifts in the bag. I didn’t want Journey to fall back into thinking that the gifts were for her to play with. The night before the party we placed the card and gifts into a birthday bag and put them in the car for the party. The last thing I wanted to do was to accidentally forget everything at home.


To make sure my daughter and I were on the same page, I asked her to tell me who the birthday party. With a huge smile she informed me that the party was in fact for her. I politely told her the birthday party wasn’t for her. I reminded her of how we picked out the birthday card and gifts for her friend a couple days ago. I educated and encouraged her on the importance of celebrating other people’s milestones and why her role at the party was very important. 


The day of the party Journey woke up singing the happy birthday song. Before we walked out of the door dressed in her spider woman costume, I gently reiterated to Journey the fact that we were going to celebrate someone else. I reminded her of her recent birthday party and how much fun she had when people came over to celebrate her. I said now it was her turn to celebrate someone else. Lastly, I also reminded her to please not blow out the candle on the cake.


Journey had a wonderful time attending the birthday party.  She participated and she did a great job celebrating her friend. She did fall in love with a teapot set that the birthday girl had received from someone else as a gift. I gently reminded her of our conversation earlier. The birthday girl shared her gift with Journey and they were able to play with the teapot set together before the party was over.

This simple plan of action set Journey up on what to expect, how to avoid frustration, and how to celebrate someone else.

Jonathan OliverComment