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A couple of weeks ago we talked about what to do when your party host turns rude. One of the main reasons for a rude or grumpy host can be that the host feels uncomfortable at his or her own party. This often happens to shy kids. Hosting a party can be a great way to let a shyer kid come out of her shell, but if there's too much pressure it can make everyone unhappy. Don't worry, we have tips.
If you know your birthday boy or girl tends to be shy, plan the party with this in mind. Consider professional entertainment and/or lots of structured activities. When left to their own devices, kids will often pair off or go in to small groups. If the host is reluctant to join in groups, she can find herself feeling isolated and alone at her own party. A balloon twister, face painter, magician, band or other entertainer can keep the party focused and keep guests working together. A smaller guest list is the way to go for shyer kids. Don't pressure your child to invite more guests than you think he'll actually be comfortable playing with. If you feel like he's the one growing the guest list past a point that he'll be comfortable, consider putting limits like "only school friends" or "only kids in your class."
If you're not hosting the party at home or a familiar venue, make sure to get to the party site early so your host can become comfortable. Consider inviting one or two special friends to arrive early so that your child can warm up to the party. If being around people has a tendency to tire your child out, try and schedule the party for a Saturday morning or afternoon, with no planned activities for the rest of the weekend. This will give your child plenty of time to recuperate, and write thank you notes!