Party People in the House Tonight (Ugh?)

This week on I wrote about birthday parties and how it's impossible to invite kids without also inviting their whole extended families.

I mean, do you guys remember what it was like when we were kids? My parents dropped me off at every birthday party and then picked me up when it was over. And when we had birthday parties? It was ALWAYS kids only. A parent wouldn’t dare stick around. (Even in Kindergarten, parents who didn’t even KNOW my parents were like, “Peace out, kid! See ya in two!”)

I read this piece yesterday by Lenore Skenazy and it speaks to similar points:

"I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children's abilities more than we North Americans do today," says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, a book that advocates for more unsupervised play, not less.

I wouldn't call myself a "Free Range Parent" per se because I don't think labels bring us together as a parent hood, but I do believe in a fearless approach to child rearing, otherwise what is the damn point of raising kids? Life is dangerous. But living under constant surveillance and supervision is far more threatening in my opinion.

So is that the problem? Are parents afraid to drop their kids off at birthday parties? Do we not trust each other to look after our kids if we're not there? Or is it our kids we cannot trust, to make their own decisions and monitor their cake intake? And what message are we sending them by hovering over their every move? (I mean, I get it when they're two or three but five, six, seven... ten?)

Or is it something else entirely? Are we as parents so desperate for socialization that we look to our kids' birthday parties as a place to party ourselves?

...I actually was talking to my mom about this and I don't think she has ever been so passionate about something ever. This topic makes her furious because when we were kids, birthday parties were these casual "play-date" type affairs with cake, games and a piñata, and parents happily dropped and then picked up their kids. And you didn't have to make it into a full-on red carpet event because everyone was on the same page about having laid-back gatherings FOR THE CHILDREN instead of for the children AND their parents.

And I was like, "Whoa, Mom. You should write this post, not me." 

Not that I don't agree with her because I totally do. I mean, I have been to more "kids" parties for parents than I've been to "kids" parties for kids and I'm at a loss, you guys...
Birthday Bo.
Would love to hear your thoughts/you can read the whole column, here.