What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Even with all of the planning, birthday parties can go wrong. Kids are unpredictable. While not all problems are preventable, knowing that they may arise can help you prepare in case they do.

Crying Birthday Child

Your child

  • Overwhelmed
  • Bossy
  • Intolerant of others playing with his/her stuff
  • Won’t participate
  • Ignores some of her guests

Other children, including siblings

  • Wild
  • Scared
  • Mean
  • Uncooperative
  • Sad

Prepare to take a child (yours or another guest) quietly aside and talk with them about their behavior. If the behavior does not change, prepare a quiet space for this child and an adult to read a book or play with something like Legos or a coloring book. After a few minutes or when the child seems to have calmed, explain your expectations and escort them back to join the other children.

Other parents

  • Too chatty
  • Enabling bad behavior in their child
  • Too demanding of time or attention for themselves or their child
  • Too helpful or taking over

If a parent or other adult is trying your patience, enlist their help with a specific activity. The more specific the instructions, the less likely they will be to ask follow up questions or do it the way they want it instead. It will keep them occupied and out of trouble.

The best laid plans…

  • Rain
  • Entertainment no-show
  • No one wants to participate

Like any good magician will tell you, have something up your sleeve. Plan a few more simple activities than you need in case things don’t go as planned. If you’ve got a potato in your pantry, you have got yourself a hot potato game. If you’ve got music, you can have a dance party, play musical chairs, or a freeze dance game.

Lack of RSVP’s

If you haven’t heard from a large number of children by the RSVP date, send a follow up card (or email) to encourage response.


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