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Last week we looked at what to do when a guest at a child's party was making life difficult, this week let's think about a potentially more embarrassing situation, when it's the host himself who has a case of the grumps. As the parents of the host, you have an advantage in that you can schedule a party at the time and place that is least likely to make your child nervous or grumpy. But, depending on the kid, being the center of attention, or just the build up to the party can make it hard to keep her emotions in check. If you have a child who you know reacts badly to pressure or attention, do what you can to diffuse the situation. Have a smaller party, don't open gifts at the party, and consider hiring entertainment.
Having an entertainer for the guests to focus on can help take some of the pressure and attention off of your child. It can also provide a break in the party if your child needs a quiet minute in a separate room. Make sure the entertainer knows that the birthday girl is in a mood and give some tips on how to handle her. If your child hates being teased, you don't want a magician teasing her about her mood. Remember to remove your own emotions from what's going on. Your child doesn't actually fully understand that the beautifully decorated and perfectly themed party you've put together was a lot of work. He is not being ungrateful, he just needs help dealing with his emotions. Chances are, most of his guests are having too good a time to really care that he's not happy and no one else notices. If your child is genuinely and understandably upset about something (someone at the party was mean, an activity couldn't happen, a favorite friend couldn't attend) try and make sure she understands that you understand and you will try and make it up to her. But also explain that she doesn't want to miss out on her party by being grumpy.
If your child is simply overwhelmed give him some space, literally and figuratively. Make sure a loved adult stays with the birthday child while another one takes over the party supervision. If all else fails, feed the kid. Sometimes in the excitement of getting ready for a party kids have trouble remembering to eat. A little rush of sugar does wonders for anyone's mood.
What would you do with a rude host?