Birthday Bash Alternatives

For those of you that heard me speak in the early 2000’s, you know that the MTV show, Super Sweet Sixteen has long been on my “must see” list. Not for the entertainment value (although it can be quite entertaining), but for the valuable life lessons to be learned. 

Well, the show is back in all it’s glory. 

If you haven’t seen the show here’s the premise. Teens celebrate their 16th birthday with crazy, over-the-top parties, most are exponentially more expensive than any wedding you’ve ever attended. And to top it off, the grand finale is typically the barely-of-legal-driving-age child being “surprised” with a $50,000+ new vehicle. 

While this over-the-top birthday extravagance is certainly atypical for most kids, it does put pressure on kids of “average” means to upscale their party. 

Watch a short clip from our Money Sanity U® library for tips for talking about alternative birthday parties.

Each year Americans spend billions of dollars on kid’s birthday parties.

So how do you combat the birthday craziness while still creating a meaningful birthday experience for your child? Can you have your cake and eat it too?

For your child’s next birthday party instead of ending up with more stuff that your child doesn’t need or want, seize the opportunity to direct attention away from “It’s all about me” to “There’s something bigger out there.” 

There is a different way to frame the birthday party experience that isn’t about more and more stuff. 

If your child has been to birthday extravaganzas and they’re expecting their next party to be a blow out you don’t want to just decide on your own one day to create an alternative party. It will likely take your child a while to embrace the idea.

Start a conversation well ahead of the party. Explore your options. What would create a different kind of fun? 

You want to get your child’s buy-in on two levels: 1) A blow out is NOT the only way to celebrate a birthday, and 2) there ARE other options. 

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