Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Editorial: Finding the birthday party balance when your child is no longer a child

  • Teenagers are, most times, hard to read when it comes to throwing or not throwing a birthday party.
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  • Teenagers are, most times, hard to read when it comes to throwing or not throwing a birthday party. Larger families that live close by tend to throw birthday parties for everyone as an excuse to get together. Do teens want birthday parties with families anymore? Sure they do. If it means they will get more attention and gifts, right?
    Boys are a little tougher when it comes to deciding on a theme or even having a theme at all. If they are into sports, it is easy to turn on a game (especially if they love football and it is Sunday) and maybe bake a sports themed cake.
    Some parents also tie the love of sports to the gifts for their teen. Tickets to a college or professional game are always a hit, but can be spendy if they want decent seats. Moms and Dads might also buy a new jersey or jacket if their teen doesn't already have one or has grown out of it.
    What if your teen is into electronics? There are so many options now days that would make great gifts. Tablets, smart phones, computers, you name it. There are Apple products, Android products, Windows products and more. Electronics are easier to fit into the budget because of the large variety. If you are completely lost, find out what their friends have or what they think is cool and shoot for the moon.
    Decorating for a teen's birthday might be considered a "lame" idea and frowned upon by the young adult so concentrating on the food part of the day is best. Making all their favorite foods can be a much appreciated addition to the teen's party. For a simple party, barbeques, chips and dip, punch and cookies might suffice. If they have an advanced palate, maybe grill some shrimp and make a nice salad.
    If the weather is nice and there are kids coming to the party they can, at least, do something outdoors. For those adventurous parents, cutting some plywood to make a bean bag toss game or even a football throw game could provide an hour or so of fun. It might even get a few adults outside to compete against the younger generation. Keeping older guests busy during the party is not difficult. The adults, especially the elderly, don't mind sitting inside and conversing over a plate of food. It gives them time to catch up and let the kids burn off some energy.
    When planning a family party for a teen, perhaps keeping it low key is best for everyone. It will allow the parents less preparation time and it won't embarrass the birthday kid. Families will enjoy the get together either way and when the day is over, there won't be any disappointment from missed details if the gathering was supposed to be extravagant.
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