My mom was always the mother who made me invite everyone to my birthday parties so that no one felt left out. I didn’t always want to invite all of the neighbor kids (especially the ones who were mean to me) but my mom thought that their feelings might get hurt. Sorry Mom, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t think you need to invite every kid to your child’s birthday party. I don’t. So let me explain.
Here’s the scoop:
1. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your party. This party is about your child, not the neighbor kid.
2. You are a sane person, and you want to keep it that way. Twelve 3 year-olds running around your house will not be fun. No, really. It’s not fun. I think that 6 kids is a good number for parties up to age 5. And then you can start bumping it up and I like to keep the limit at 12 for kids under 12.
3. Everyone wants the attention of the guest of honor. If they don’t get that attention then you might have unhappy or bored guests. Not good. More kids means less chance of interaction with the birthday boy or girl.
4. Houses can fill up fast and you might not have enough room to accommodate that many guests. Keep this in mind. Factor in adults too. Are parents staying or dropping off their child? If lots of parents are staying then you might need to shorten your list even further to allow ample room to be them to be comfortable.
5. This party is about your child having a good time, not a social agenda. So cherry pick your guests and forget the obligation to invite the whole soccer team or the whole school class. An easy place to cut is kids that have never invited your kids to a party. Mail or hand deliver the invites so that uninvited classmates or soccer buddies don’t feel bad.
6. If your child is terribly shy, forcing them to be around a bunch of kids isn’t going to help. All the more reason to just invite a few close friends.
By looking at this from another angle and remembering that this party is for your child, I hope that you will see the wisdom of limiting the number of guests you invite to a birthday party. You will be more relaxed and your child will have fun. And that’s the point, right?