Birthday Parties

Sometimes success in a certain situation rests largely on how we prepare us and our kids and how we set our expectations. We have to be look ahead and mitigate risk much like a secret service detail.

photo courtesy of Simon Howden /

photo courtesy of Simon Howden /

Kids with trauma histories often have sensory processing challenges which make most parties a nightmare. Add all the junk food and well…

  1. Pick and choose. Just because you’re invited and the calendar is free, does not mean you have to go.
  2. Have clear expectations. Even if your child seems excited to go, it may be a different story when the rubber meets the road. Be okay if your child wants to stick close or not participate in what the majority of other kids are doing. Be willing to participate with your child if that is an option…even if all the other parents are enjoying civilized, adult conversation and you’re the only one bouncing at the bounce house.
  3. Communicate with the host. Even with all the right tools in place, there’s still a good chance, the party will be a bomb. Be okay at the outset that you may have to make a hasty exit. Let your host know in advance that an early departure is a possibility so you can feel free to leave if necessary without making time for an explanation.
  4. Bring your own food. Party food is usually full of sugar, dyes, and other substances that can send your child into dysregulation land. Help her choose something fun that she LOVES to eat as an alternative to the standard party fare. It’s also a wise idea to fill her up with protein before heading to the party. This will reduce the likelihood of a meltdown and make not eating the snacks easier to accomplish.

What are you favorite party survival tips?

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