6 lessons every parent learns from hosting a kid's birthday party.

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If you’re a parent, you’ve probably spent a fair chunk of your weekends ferrying your excited kids around to various birthday parties.

You’ve most likely hosted a few of your own.

You may have felt the pressing need for a large glass of wine afterwards.

And you will almost definitely have learnt these six things.

1. There may be winners and losers in life, but not in Pass the Parcel.

When you were a kid, this party game probably had just one prize. But the kids of today can’t deal with the random injustice of that concept. The modern version of Pass the Parcel involves a box full of prizes, handed around a circle of kids.

Whoever is responsible for the music must make sure it stops on each child once and once only (young and highly strung children first) so that everyone gets a prize. And the prizes must be different but of equal value. Of course.

2. The average kid has about as much taste as a Kardashian.

When you’re buying a present for one of your child’s friends, remember these two things: it must be big and it must be flashy.

Related: Are kids’ birthday parties the new wedding?

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but it should look like it did. Think something with lots of parts, like a train set or a jewellery-making kit. If it’s plastered with the logo of the kid’s favourite movie or TV show (think Frozen, Iron Man), bonus points to you.

3. Some parents are frustrated event planners.

Or maybe they are actual event planners. Either way, you are going to turn up to the occasional party where the homemade cake is a such a work of art that you want to cry when someone puts a knife in it, and everything is colour-coordinated, from the birthday girl’s tiara to the serviettes to the ponies’ tails.

(Meanwhile, the birthday girl is only turning one and would rather be sitting in a sandpit shoving handfuls of sand into her mouth). You cannot compete with these parents, so don’t even try. My solution to this problem? Outsource the party and hold it anywhere BUT your place. Then the pressure falls to some other sucker.


4. Your own kids really aren’t that bad after all.

Sure, they might be difficult at times, but you’ll start to appreciate them after spending a few hours with other people’s offspring.

Related: 7 signs your kid’s birthday party is too over the top.

Think your child is a fussy eater? Wait until you meet the one who asks for pizza, then spends 10 minutes carefully picking off every bit of meat, vegetable and cheese before eating the crust.

Think your child is competitive? Wait until you meet the one who refuses to pass the parcel in Pass the Parcel and clings to it, steely-eyed, while the next child tries to wrench it away from her. By the end you pretty much wish you could hand them over to someone else to deal with.

Related: “I hosted my daughter’s birthday party at home….and almost lost my mind.”

5. A year is a very, very long time when you haven’t lived through many.

It’s easy to get blasé about birthdays when you’re an adult. You might even find yourself dreading them, especially the big 3-0 and the big 4-0. But when you have kids, the excitement of birthdays comes back to you. It’s that one day of the year that’s all about you – and it’s not going to come around again until, like, forever. As a parent, you suddenly realise that you have to make every one of your child’s birthdays special.

6. You’re still just a big kid yourself.

Even if you’ve been stressing about your kid’s party, at some point, somewhere in between the awkward hellos and the overtired goodbyes, you will find yourself enjoying it. One of the best things about having kids is that you’ve got an excuse to do all the fun, silly things that adults aren’t supposed to do anymore. That’s never truer than at parties. So join in the fun and scoff the cake.

What are your experiences with kids’ birthday parties?

Click through to see these extravagant celebrity baby birthday parties.

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