Appropriate at a kid’s party to have winners and losers?

A regular sent me a great note last week with a dilemma. She does a great job explaining it so here’s what she wrote:

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I’m planning a party soon for my soon-to-be-7-year-old.  It will be an outside party and I would like to include age appropriate games like a dizzy bat or hula hoop relay race, and a ring or bean bag toss.  I would like to give the winner a prize, but is that OK?”

“I took this same child to a party a few months ago and all the kids were divided into 2 teams and given 2 rolls of toilet paper to wrap one of their team members into a mummy.  The mom of the birthday girl said ‘Let’s see who can use all their toilet paper first!’,  then turned on music.  The kids wrapped, and one team was first.  And that was it.”

” It sure sounded to me like a set up for a prize, and I think some of the kids did too, but the game was done.  That mom is a big believer in ‘everyone’s a winner.’  I am not.  These kids are in first grade.  I think it’s OK at this point to introduce that idea that not everyone’s a winner, right?”

“I am not planning on great games of skill and strategy, and the stakes are not high; the prize will probably be just a piece of something plastic, so this will not scar the kids and send them to therapy in later life, will it?  I can’t have that on my conscience.  If this age is not appropriate, when can they play games where someone wins?”

The party is this weekend so this mom needs our help! Can she have games with winners, losers and prizes? At what age is this appropriate? Is something wrong in our society that we even have to wonder this?

97 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
7:06 am

test….
I posted yesterday ( around 3;15?) on health care Theresa and it never showed up…just wanted to see if I am being banned from the blog before I spend time with a comment. Please advise.

YES, motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
7:28 am

You are banned!

oh dear god..

September 11th, 2009
7:31 am

we should be so lucky.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 11th, 2009
7:46 am

no — I’m sure it’s in the cue somewhere — clearly not banned — plus you’d get a letter to whatever email address you provide if you are banned —- so no!!

DL

September 11th, 2009
7:51 am

Not a regular post-er…..but i do think it is ok to award a prize — candy or plastic toy — to the winner. They are in first grade and “keep score” anyway…….

Andrea

September 11th, 2009
7:53 am

I am not an advocate of winners and losers at the party. I think it takes away from the spirit of the party, but that’s just my opinion.

I think it is really a matter of personal preference. It seems like mom is competition driven so those attributes have probably been introduced to the child, so for them the prizes and acknowledgement of the “winners” would be normal.

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
7:57 am

why are yall so mean…if you dont like what mjg says just skip her post..thats the joys of the internet…its why i read news on here…i can skip what i dont want to read about…she actually has good advice and is very knowledgeble (sp) in lots of areas…just dont read her if you dont like her…thats the tprblem with our world…people are mean and have no tolerance…

on topic..when i was that age we had prizes for the games…i see no reason not to….and we never had a goody bag for each kid either…we all got cake and ice cream and some won prizes…thats it…thats the way it should be…imo…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 11th, 2009
7:59 am

I have a funny friend who you wouldn’t look at her and think she’s super competitive but she is. She threw a baby shower for me and you would have thought it was the Olympics when it came time to do the baby games. She’s like scolding people not to cheat as they smelled the baby food jars and the word games with baby words got downright vicious. Her spirit of competitiveness definitely got picked up by the guests. It was odd yet fun — to get that serious about guessing the baby’s weight and date of birth.

MomsRule

September 11th, 2009
8:01 am

I see nothing wrong with rewarding a “winner”. I disagree with parents who feel that “everyone is a winner” or “everyone should make the team”. Competition is a great thing. Competitiveness is real and exists throughout a person’s life. There is nothing wrong with it. IMO you are doing children a great disservice if you do not teach them this reality.

Competition is motivating. You want it? Work for it.

Yes, I think something is wrong in our society that this is even questioned.

Oh, c'mon diedre_NC...

September 11th, 2009
8:19 am

This is fun Friday, and we are just having some fun at motherjane’s expense! She knows we love her!

new mom

September 11th, 2009
8:28 am

Yep, I agree, it’s OK to reward a prize to the winners. Trust me, if kids are old enough to understand that they are trying to win, they are already keeping track of it themselves and don’t need that prize to remember who won and who lost. Ignoring the fact that one team won diminishes their effort and joy in winning, and leaves kids wondering ‘why did I work hard in the first place?’

What is so wrong with competition? The people I know who are anti-competition seem to be those who don’t want to work hard and are jealous of the rewards of those who do. We have family members on both sides who have that ‘it’s not fair, your husband is ‘lucky’ to have a good job’. Lucky? He works his a$* off to get where he is and stay where he is, people don’t see him staying up late hours, studying, researching, preparing for conferences where he doesn’t get paid but it helps his reputation in his field. One family member keeps saying she wants to ‘do what he does’, and he’s offered to help her, mentor her, etc. but she’s never even made the effort to take him up on his offer. She just wants the good job and good paycheck. I tell him, if she’s not willing to make the effort to meet with you, she won’t succeed in your field because she’s not the type to go above and beyond and set herself apart from the rest.

Wow, this one touched a nerve of mine, huh? Can I chalk some if it up to horomones please? ;) Anyway, back to kids’ parties, I think the bigger issue should be teaching kids that while in the midst of competiton, the importance of being a good sport, having respect for each other, and how to be both a good winner and good loser. At a party, keep it light and fun and remember it’s a party.

SS

September 11th, 2009
8:30 am

Maybe she could reward the winners with homemade medals or ribbons that would acknowledge the winner without being a tangible item like a toy that might cause jealousy. You want to keep it light as it is a party, but I see nothing wrong with rewarding the winners.

I agree that competition and winning is motivating; but also small doses of failure and rejection. We try so hard these days to protect our kids from any type of discomfort or sadness and IMHO we are setting them up for worse things in the future by doing so. Losing, being gracious and learning to laugh at yourself sometimes can get you through a lot of life’s knocks and bruises. You will not be good at everything you try (hopefully you will have fun anyway), You will not always have success and win (support those that do and find things that you can win at too). You are not the star and center of the universe of every situation (but every now and then you are–doesn’t that feel great)? The sooner a child can pick up on these life lessons, the better I think.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 11th, 2009
8:38 am

We did an Olympics theme party when Walsh turned 5 and I had plastic medals on ribbons that the “winners” from each event got – — we tried hard to make sure that most won at some point — I think we gave some out at the end if they didn’t win but Michael doesn’t think so.

new mom

September 11th, 2009
8:40 am

My comment isn’t here…..no time to rewrite. Talk to you guys later! :)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 11th, 2009
8:49 am

I’ll dig it out –

Michael has a big issue with the concept of everyone’s a winner — We had the most spectacular little soccer player on Walsh’s team and the coach wanted everyone to have a chance to play so he at some points in the game he would pull the best kid and also used to tell him not to cross the center line to let other little guys score — I loved the coach but Michael was outraged — let this kids shine — let him be the best kid out here — don’t hold him back because the other kids stinkeroo — I did feel bad that the little guy was having to be restrained — he was so exciting to watch

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
8:49 am

another things is–dont have too many games that win a prize…that way there will be more that dont win a prize. i think we always had a consolation prize–or a 2nd runner up…have maybe 2 or 3 prize winning games…and have games that they play just for fun…i really see no reason not to even have prize games at a party….kids do get enough of win or lose in school….so every occasion doesnt have to be that…i do agree that everyone cant win…kids do need to learn this…and early elementary is a good place for it…i always hated that tee-ball was a ‘no winner’ game…the kids did keep score and eveyone knew who won…thats why kids play…they want to win….

RJ

September 11th, 2009
9:01 am

Everyone doesn’t have to be a winner. That’s a bogus self-esteem experiment concocted by psycho babblers like Dr. Spock and T. Berry Brazelton. The concept of competition is a life lesson. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose in life. Losing doesn’t mean that you’re a loser. I don’t let my kid win every game that we play. Why are parents coddling the daylights out of their kids by making everyone a winner? I think this idea had its roots with Baby Boomer parents who bought the modern day psycho babblers’ crap. My Gen X contemporaries are now parents of Gen Y and Millennium kids and they are guilty of this chicanery.

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
9:08 am

im a baby boomer and i, nor any of my friends live by the everyone must win or they will have no self esteem rule…im not sure where that started. i see it more in the younger kids parents…at least here where i live…and watching my kids and their friends with their kids…i have been very puzzled at the partys of their kids..where everyone gets a goody bag…everyone wins everything…its appalling..and ive tried to tell my daughter that they are setting the kids up for failure and confusion when they get into the real world and omg they actually dont win everything and they dont always get a prize for nothing…so who knows where it all started..it really needs to end…

BabeCake

September 11th, 2009
9:13 am

I also believe that we should winners but I’m not sure a 7 year old birthday party is the place to do it. Usually each kid invited to a party brings a gift and for hosts to return rewards to winners kind of diminishes the thoughts toward the other guests.

Try to compromise and award the winner with a duty. Seven year olds love to be helpers. For example you could say, “Congratulations! You get to help me hand out candy to everyone here” or “Congratulations! You get to help me hand pass out the cake and ice cream!”

Just remember there are families who teach that winning is everything so you may end up drying many teary faces if you make the games or awards extreme. I’m sure that’s not what you want guests remembering about your child’s birthday party.

While you shouldn’t compromise your beliefs you need to make sure you aren’t ingoring the beliefs of your guests.

Have fun at the party.

New Stepmom

September 11th, 2009
9:15 am

I say go for prizes. We had prizes at our birthday parties growing up and we turned out ok.

I am TERRIBLE at sports and athletics. I was always the last picked for teams in school and it hurt the first couple of times, but it made me find other avenues to success and self esteem. I see kids now who think they are fabulous athletes when they are terrible because they are always chosen, always play, and always get a prize. What a dis-service. Instead of finding other areas where they excell they are being told they are great in an area where they do not.

I agree with Michael about the great young athlete. Let him play!

YUKI

September 11th, 2009
9:20 am

I think kids need to learn that not everyone can win everytime. This kind of babying is insane. Life is full of winning/losing and kids need to learn that early. I do like the idea of homemade ribbon or something simple as a prize. If you can’t teach your kids to just deal with defeat and move on, then they are going to have way more problems than just not winning a litle prize at a birthday party down the road!

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
9:20 am

so one way to have no ones feelings hurt…just have games to play that have no winners…get a slip and slide…or rent a ball thing where kids play in the balls like at mcdonalds…activities like that…there really doesnt have to be games that people win….just fun things to play…then everyone wins cause everyone has a blast…i am really against the everyone gets a goodybag…the point is its the birthdays kids day…they get the presents…all the other kids will have their day on their own birthday…all the kids get ice cream and cake and hotdogs or whatever…the BIRTHDAY KID gets the presents…

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
9:22 am

i also have to say…ive always thought it should be the mom who gets the birthday presents for each kids birthday..after all she is the one who went thru the pain and agony of having the child lol…no one ever saw it my way tho..at least none of the kids did lolol

Get It Right

September 11th, 2009
9:23 am

Saw a survey focusing on self esteem as it relates to Outcome Based Education a few years back. Seems that one segment of our population that has the highest level of self esteem were inmates. Because they were limited in their exposure to right/wrong, winner/loser experiences the survey authors theorized that they were limited in their ability to understand why they were in jail.

Have some winners at the party. Let them all lose at something. Real life is like that.

BabeCake

September 11th, 2009
9:24 am

I agree with winners and losers. My whole family is competitive and involved in many sports. I just don’t think that a birthday party is the right place to promote it.

Joyful Mom

September 11th, 2009
9:29 am

Depends on whose feelings will be hurt. What are the ages of the guests?

Most kids age 6-7 would be fine, but some kids in the age group haven’t matured enough to handle it. The party is all about the celebration and everyone having a good time, so if you think that the some guests would be prone to a tantrum or crying fit, forgo the prize at the end of the game, when emotions may be already running high.

Just hand out the “prize” at the end of the party – including little goodie bags for the rest of the guests.

motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
9:29 am

WHOO HOOO…the BOSS says I can stay….sore losers get to eat the broken cookies at the party….hahha!

WHO ARE WE KIDDING….there are winners and losers all throughout life. Ii am committed to making sure students understand that not everyone gets picked to participate in my presentations, even in Kindergarten….they know the rules. I cannot pass puppets out to 75 children in 30 minutes.

We talk about this at my staff development presentations and teachers cringe at parents who coddle their children and then they are in tears in the classroom as everyone CANNOT be the line leader. Try being a teacher and letting everyone win at everything, every day.

Get a grip parents. I know that I am not a winner on MOMANIA ( who is?) but I am a winner in my personal and professional life. When we raise children to think they can always be a winner, they expect to have everything…ARE YOU LISTENING? How many folks in our society are mad because thy do not have what some of the rest of us have: cars, jobs, houses, jewelry, well behaved kids, vacations etc. HOW DID WE COME TO GET THIS? WE WORKED FOR IT!

Everyone on this blog is a loser ( in some areas) and a winner ( in others). I will share some of mine and perhaps others will do so too:

LOSER: beauty pageant LOL, fanciest car, neatest house, smartest kids, most money, athletic, hair is naturally gray and has been for years unless I color it….ouch…, I live with those who cannot seem to remember to replace the toilet paper or paper towels when the roll is empty.
WINNER: , published, built my own business and have those who do actually pay me for my ideas, no credit card debt, car is paid for, lots of friends, well behaved children ( for the most part) , love my job, live in a relatively sate neighborhood with a yard I can enjoy.

BEING A WINNER TAKES WORK…we need to share with our children how each of us are winners in some ways and how we accept the fact that we are also losers in other ways and are not spoil sorts.

Jan

September 11th, 2009
9:31 am

I hear ya deidre_NC!!!
I always sent my Mom, and Mom-in-law flowers on my and husbands birthdays. If not for them, there would be no “US”!

motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
9:31 am

OOOPS…is that spoiled sports on my last line…someone help me out here.

Andrea

September 11th, 2009
9:32 am

There is nothing wrong with competition and winning. But, does it need to be a part of a 7 year old birthday party? I think the kids can have a wonderful time without a bunch of moms hovering to see if her kid will get the “good” prize.

motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
9:38 am

@ Joyful Mom…if I throw a tantrum, may I please get a vacation house at the beach..I want one but do not have one. I also want a housekeeper and chef…can you hear me whining and crying?

WOW…do we actually look at who may throw a tantrum? Maybe this is why we are in the healthcare mess. Some folks are throwing a tantrum as they do not want to pay for healthcare but DO want it. ( I am NOT talking about those who lost their jobs or are being denied benefits …no fault of their own). I am talking about WAA WAA I WANT WHAT YOU HAVE AND IT IS NOT FAIR!

Do you think teachers run their day on who or who may not throw a tantrum? Kindergarten teachers ( of 5 years olds) spend WAY too much time undoing this notion as parents think it is easier to avoid hurt feelings than to confront wrong behavior.

Going to lunch with DB and I have to get ready…have fun y’all!

Alicia Brandt

September 11th, 2009
9:39 am

Kids see right through the “everyone is a winner” stuff for the baloney that it is. Without a top prize, kids have nothing to strive for. If everyone wins, then the prize becomes meaningless- you get one no matter what, with little or no achievement. Besides, they naturally compete with each other, i.e., “I’m taller than you!” (everyone can’t win there, nature decides). Anyway, YES, have a prize (or a few), one for each game. All kids care about is having fun, and the goody bag at the end. They will spend maybe five seconds being bummed out at not winning. The parents, though, may dwell, and that is their problem!

motherjanegoose

September 11th, 2009
9:40 am

@ Andrea….very good point about the hovering moms….so should we accommodate the immature mothers who are so self absorbed that they cannot even mother children who do not always win….who REALLY has the issue here?

I will check in after lunch.

Deanna

September 11th, 2009
9:45 am

You know, you can win a game without receiving an award at the end. It’s possible to just enjoy competing, and competing means that there’s a winner and a loser. That’s life. Do you give a prize to the winner when you play board games? Do you get a trophy when you win a rec league softball game?

Rod

September 11th, 2009
9:46 am

At 7 years old, most of these kids have played games or sports with winners and losers. If we were talking about 3-4 year olds that’d be different. All of these kids are probably going to get goodie bags anyway – so everyone will “win something.” Just don’t make the prizes extreme so those kids will lord it over the others.

Everyone wants to protect poor little Johnny – but he needs to learn there are winners and “others” (we don’t use the word losers) and to give it his best. We don’t need a generation of vanilla, non-trying kids just trying to get by.

Don’t you encourage your 7 year old to get A’s in school? Or do you just tell him any grade is fine?

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
9:46 am

i think the moms shoudl stay home at a party with this age group…i always hated when the moms would stay…and sometimes bring the sibs too..geeze….i mean everyone usually has a husband or a friend who can help….all the moms and their other kids do not need to stay!!!!

teeincsg

September 11th, 2009
9:48 am

Competition is a great thing. Birthday party games are more friendly competition thant outright do or die competition.
Why wait until they are really competing for something to show them that not everyone wins?
Teach them early so they won’t be poor losers.
That’s just me. :)

Richard

September 11th, 2009
9:50 am

Deanna – actually, if you win the most Rec league softball games you do get a trophy! And if I’m playing a board game with my child and he wins, I do give him a little “trophy” to keep in his room (an old trophy of mine).

YUKI

September 11th, 2009
9:53 am

Richard….hee hee

SAS

September 11th, 2009
9:53 am

The winners should get a special prize and give everyone else an insignificant prize — this is what we did 40 years ago and it worked. The world is a competitive place and children need to learn that its ok to win and loose — the earlier they learn how to handle this the better and happier they will be.

DB

September 11th, 2009
10:00 am

Ooohhoo, Theresa — you just hit on one of my major pet peeves! Let ‘em compete!! They are seven years old, so the prizes shouldn’t be elaborate, but absolutely let the children compete.

This “every child is a winner” is complete and utter bullshite. No one buys it — not the parents, and certainly not the kids. Why else do we live in an open economy, where we vigorously preach the virtues of “a competitive marketplace” and even have laws against monopolies, to keep companies competitive? Competition is a great thing. Human beings are created to strive and to compete. The drive is more pronounced in some than in others, but it’s always there. All of us want to be considered good at something. At a very basic level, we are hunters that compete to survive. Hunting in it’s rawest form is literally “eat or die.” You don’t think you’re competitive? Ha. Wait until there’s a food shortage. You’ll be competitive — in fact, you’ll be downright vicious in your quest to feed your family.

My son played soccer on a church soccer league when he was 4. They didn’t keep score — it exasperated me, but at the time, it was the best we could do. Sixteen years later, he can STILL tell you the score of the Green Team against the Orange Team — his best friend was on the Orange Team. The adults might not be keeping score, but I assure you that the kids are. My son is highly competitive, and adores any kind of competition: team sports, any kind of athletics, academics, etc. My daughter turned up her nose at “competitive sports” and in a snit of “whatever he wants, I don’t”, and declared that she is not competitive — as if it were a bad thing. It took her a while to realize that yes, she WAS very competitive, or else she would not work so hard for a spot at All-State! :-)

This idea that losing will hurt a kid’s self-esteem, so they should never be allowed to lose is THE dumbest new-age piece of garbage that has ever come down the pike. You cannot give a child “self-esteem”. By its very nature, it must come from within. My job as a parent was to help my children find their strengths and give them appropriate challenges to overcome so that they became increasingly confident in their ability to handle whatever life threw at them. Sometimes they failed at those challenges. Sometimes their self-esteem took a bruising. But there was always something else around the corner to strive for, to build success on.

Birthday parties, where “everybody wins!” don’t help anyone’s self-esteem, because everyone knows that the game is rigged. There is no self-esteem won when you know that there’s a fix in for you to win. And deidre_NC, I am SO with you on the “no goody-bags”! Ha, you don’t think there’s competition out there? Watch these moms eyeing the goody bag and thinking, “Oh, great, now I have to come up with something that is nicer, or people are going to think I’m cheap!” At birthday parties at our house, the birthday child gets the presents. Guests get to pig out on cake and ice cream, play games and generally have a great time, content in the knowledge that their turn will come :-) An overly-elaborate goodybag is just the mom being competitive. The kids grab the candy (if their mom doesn’t take it away from them) and throws away all that junk within a day or so.

Off the soapbox!

HaHa

September 11th, 2009
10:01 am

You finally begged her so much, she’s finally going to lunch with you huh?

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
10:09 am

mjg yall have a great lunch…tell us about it after…ill be back tonight after work..

DB

September 11th, 2009
10:09 am

@HaHa — why so mean? I’m delighted to be having lunch with MJG this afternoon and look forward to an enjoyable afternoon.

New Stepmom

September 11th, 2009
10:09 am

deidre_NC-great point, the parents should leave 7yos at the party. I am new to the world of B-day parties and am amazed at the lengths that folks go to so that no ones feelings get hurt. Most of the issues are the parents and if they would let go a little bit the world would be a better place.

When I was in the 2nd grade we all got a mid afternoon snack (this was ‘82/’83). Our teacher lined us up alphabetically and because my maiden name started with a “W,” I was always last. I always ended up with Sour Cream and Onion chips, when I really wanted BBQ (now of course little darlings would not have chips for a snack). I even asked the teacher if just once we could do reverse alphabetical order and was told no. Guess what, I dealt with it. My parents did not call and complain and I did not end up in therapy. I learned that sometimes life is not fair. To this day, I do not eat sour cream and onion potato chips, but that is really the only lasting effect 27 years later. If more kids learned those lessons in the 2nd grade the college students I see regularly would not feel so entitled to being treated “fairly” all of the time.

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
10:10 am

mean people suck….and just because you say youre kidding…doesnt mean youre not being mean…

deidre_NC

September 11th, 2009
10:13 am

lol..great story new stepmom…im glad to hear there were no lasting psychosis (sp) from your experience lol….do you still love bbq chips?

DB

September 11th, 2009
10:13 am

Ooohhoo, Theresa — you just hit on one of my major pet peeves! Let ‘em compete!! They are seven years old, so the prizes shouldn’t be elaborate, but absolutely let the children compete.

This “every child is a winner” is complete and utter bullshite. No one buys it — not the parents, and certainly not the kids. Why else do we live in an open economy, where we vigorously preach the virtues of “a competitive marketplace” and even have laws against monopolies, to keep companies competitive? Competition is a great thing. Human beings are created to strive and to compete. The drive is more pronounced in some than in others, but it’s always there. All of us want to be considered good at something. At a very basic level, we are hunters that compete to survive. Hunting in it’s rawest form is literally “eat or die.” You don’t think you’re competitive? Ha. Wait until there’s a food shortage. You’ll be competitive — in fact, you’ll be downright vicious in your quest to feed your family.

My son played soccer on a church soccer league when he was 4. They didn’t keep score — it exasperated me, but at the time, it was the best we could do. Sixteen years later, he can STILL tell you the score of the Green Team against the Orange Team — his best friend was on the Orange Team. The adults might not be keeping score, but I assure you that the kids are. My son is highly competitive, and adores any kind of competition: team sports, any kind of athletics, academics, etc. My daughter turned up her nose at “competitive sports” and in a snit of “whatever he wants, I don’t”, and declared that she is not competitive — as if it were a bad thing. It took her a while to realize that yes, she WAS very competitive, or else she would not work so hard for a spot at All-State! :-)

This idea that losing will hurt a kid’s self-esteem, so they should never be allowed to lose is THE dumbest new-age piece of garbage that has ever come down the pike. You cannot give a child “self-esteem”. By its very nature, it must come from within. My job as a parent was to help my children find their strengths and give them appropriate challenges to overcome so that they became increasingly confident in their ability to handle whatever life threw at them. Sometimes they failed at those challenges. Sometimes their self-esteem took a bruising. But there was always something else around the corner to strive for, to build success on.

Birthday parties, where “everybody wins!” don’t help anyone’s self-esteem, because everyone knows that the game is rigged. There is no self-esteem won when you know that there’s a fix in for you to win. And deidre_NC, I am SO with you on the “no goody-bags”! Ha, you don’t think there’s competition out there? Watch these moms eyeing the goody bag and thinking, “Oh, great, now I have to come up with something that is nicer, or people are going to think I’m cheap!” At birthday parties at our house, the birthday child gets the presents. Guests get to pig out on cake and ice cream, play games and generally have a great time, content in the knowledge that their turn will come :-) An overly-elaborate goodybag is just the mom being competitive. The kids grab the candy (if their mom doesn’t take it away from them) and throws away all that junk within a day or so.

The worst thing you can do is inhibit a kid’s desire to strive.

Off the soapbox!

downsouth

September 11th, 2009
10:14 am

goodie bags irk me, i mean, wtf? let the kids play games and “win”. i do like the “winners get a duty” suggestoin, that’s a good one to use.

maybe you should have dodgeball as one of the games ;)

New Stepmom

September 11th, 2009
10:17 am

deidre_NC-I am with you on the parents hovering. That is a new trend I do not get being that I am very new to the world of kids b-day parties.

When I was in the 2nd grade (’82/’83) we got a snack in the mid afternoon that was provided by the school (not sure if the parents paid or what). It consisted of chips and orange juice (weird combo and I am sure the little darlings would not get chips these days). Our teacher lined us up alphabetically to choose our flavor of chips and being that my maiden name started with “W,” I was always the last to choose. I always ended up with sour cream and onion chips not my treasured BBQ. I asked one time if we could do reverse alphabetical order and was told no. Guess what, I did not cry, my parents did not complain and I did not end up in therapy. I hate sour cream and onion potato chips, but that is really the only lasting effect 27 years later. That was a really good lesson in “life is not fair” and if more people taught their kids that lesson now, I would not see kids who are the “good kids” who always want to make sure everything is “fair” and no ones feelings get hurt when I volunteer with HS and college kids.