Whether you are having a birthday party for your child or if you are taking your child to another child’s birthday event; these parties are usually one of the first core social interactions the child will have outside of school. Usually children behave pretty much as their personality warrants at most birthday parties; whether their parents approve or not. It is a great way to expose children to the behavior of their peers and of other adults in this setting because the event was created for the children to all play and eat and enjoy themselves first and fore most. Then above and beyond that the child starts to get a glimpse of how sometimes kids don’t want to share or wait their turn, or any number of things. They also may develop new friendships form new bonds. It is a look inside of the fact that even when young there is a social hierarchy that starts forming and how to participate or not.
Once a year the child knows they are the recipient of the guests, the presents, the party, the cake and food and all of the fixings. So then when the child goes to other children’s birthday parties, they realize that the other child who is having the birthday is the one who is given the present; but all of the children can share and enjoy in the cake and festivities. It is a good start early on because it teaches children that sharing your special days is a fun and rewarding way of socializing and getting presents also!
We have all been at birthday parties that have turned into screaming matches with some of the children wanting more of some time with a toy, or more food or cake, etc. than they are given. This is a great experience for children also, because even though it may be hard on the adult’s ears and nerves, the kids are getting the “real story” of how other children act in social situations. This is especially helpful for children who may be home schooled or are not out in a lot of public environment very often where kids are able to just be themselves without a lot of social restriction and rules. Children are very intuitive and when you put them in this environment they usually thrive much better than there adult counterparts; we should learn some social lessons from their behavior also!