Everyone wants to be the cool parent. Sure, we know that we can’t be our kid’s best friend all of the time: kids need guidance and discipline, and being a parent is about more than just rewarding our children in every way we can. But in certain contexts, we parents get a license to go a little nuts. And when it’s birthday party time, it’s time to step up and prove that we’re just a little bit cooler than the other parents.
Of course, birthday parties can also be pretty darn stressful. All those kids, all those sweets–it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. Here’s how to plan a party that keeps things low-stress while still ensuring that you’ll be the cool parents the kids talk about.
The Low-Stress Keys: Planning and Outsourcing
Planning a kid’s party is tough work. It requires dedication, attention to detail, and even passion. Do you have what it takes? Probably, but you already have a lot on your plate–right? You might have a job or other responsibilities that make turning yourself into a one-person party-planning committee a fool’s errand. Here’s how you can manage the task while limiting your stress.
Your first order of business is to plan–and we mean plan early on! Getting a headstart on your kid’s big birthday party is a must if you want to keep things laid-back for yourself down the line. Make a party-planning checklist (or, better yet, copy one from the internet and customize it to your needs). Stay one step ahead of your tasks. And then think about which tasks you don’t want to deal with at all.
You need to plan the when and where of your kid’s party, sure–but that “where” doesn’t need to be your house, especially if your home is new and in need of home improvement services which can make it dangerous to have dozens of kids running around. Maybe it’s best to opt for a different location: a park or playground, for instance, or a popular attraction that kids love.
And what about entertainment? That can be outsourced, too: with a phone call, you can take the whole “entertaining the kids” task off of your plate for the entire party. There are experts who specialize in this, so why go nuts yourself when you can make smart use of outsourcing to save time and money while ensuring that your child’s party is the stuff of legend?
The Ultimate Party Entertainment
Of course, you still have to decide whom to call and what sort of entertainment to book. The right answer may change depending on the age of your kid and their friends as well as their interest. But one thing is for sure: if you want to be a cool parent, you’ve got to go big.
We’re talking dunk tanks. We’re talking bounce castles. We’re talking clowns and music and entertainment of all types. And no, this stuff doesn’t have to break the bank–kids’ entertainment is more affordable than many people think, experts say. You don’t have to buy any of it, either–services like bounce house rentals make it easy.
When choosing your entertainment, take your venue into account. Is it outdoors or indoors? How much space do you have? Think about the guest list, too: the age of the children, their attention spans and interests, and so on. You can even loop your child in on the planning process, asking specific questions and screening specific suggestions to see which types of entertainment might be the best fit for your child and their pals.
If you rely on outside experts and plan ahead, you’ll find that throwing an epic party isn’t so hard at all–it’s just about getting the right people on the job. Here’s to being a cool parent!