How Not to Have a Panic Attack While Planning Your Teen’s Birthday Party


When it’s time to host a birthday party for a 5 or 6-year-old child, all you have to know is what their favorite cartoon character is. The more colorful, the better, and classic games like Twister and Pin the Tail on the Donkey are instant winners. Try holding a birthday party like that for a teenager and you’ll never hear the end of it. Most of the time, teens either want a huge, over the top Sweet 16 style party or they just want some cake, ice cream, and a ride to the mall. If you have a teenaged child who can’t make up their mind about their upcoming birthday party plans, just place a Costco cake order, buy a gift card, and prepare to let your child do their thing – for the most part.

Why Teens Don’t Typically Like Traditional Birthday Parties

Kids that are close to turning 18 have more of an interest in growing up than reminiscing about all the years that have passed. Teens are eager to do ‘grown-up’ things like go shopping or going to the movies without their parents. They don’t want birthday cakes with a whole bunch of candles on them, but they’ll still take the cake. See, it’s kind of hard to determine whether your teenager actually does want a birthday party, but they might not feel confident about expressing their wishes. You have to read their emotions to figure out if they want some type of event to be hosted or if they really and truly just want it to feel like another ordinary day.

Holding a Birthday Party That’s Not Technically a Party

The party that you have for your teen doesn’t have to be called a “party” and you don’t even need to send out invitations. Just get the numbers of your child’s closest friends, find out when they’ll be free to come to your home, and have an impromptu get together. Most importantly, have all of the birthday festivities take place away from home. You can drive the kids over to a pizzeria or even get tickets to a concert. So technically you can have a party for your teen, but nobody is going to be wearing birthday hats.

Making it a Surprise Without all the Fanfare

Teens are moody, so you might just want to make plans and keep your fingers crossed that your child won’t have a meltdown after learning that there will be some type of festivities. Use a hands-off approach that enables you to see your child having a really great time on his or her birthday, but keep your distance if possible. Buying a birthday cake, dropping your teen and friends off at the movies, and keeping things simple can help everyone to have an extra special day.

Your kid is probably going to care about getting presents or more freedom than an actual party, so don’t make a big deal about it. On the other hand, you don’t want your teenager to feel like no-one cares at all. Ask about your teen’s birthday plans a few months in advance so that you can make the perfect plans and prepare for a small, quiet birthday celebration.

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