My four-year-old loves birthday parties. She just thinks they’re the most wonderful things ever. She loves going to her friends’ birthday parties, and she starts planning hers months in advance. Unfortunately, she has really bad luck with her own parties. Last year hardly anyone showed up, and this year we had to postpone, and then cancel, her party because she was sick. If, like us, you find yourself in a position where you have to cancel your child’s birthday party, here are some tips.
Be fair and honest with your guests.
If you have to cancel your child’s birthday party, give as much notice as you can. Usually if you’re canceling a party it’s at the last minute because of illness or family emergency, so I know that you may not have a lot of advance warning. It’s only fair, though, to let people know as far in advance as possible.
People will also appreciate it if you’re honest with them. You don’t have to go into a lot of details, but if it is appropriate, let them know why you are canceling. In our case, my daughter was very ill with scarlet fever. As soon as we realized that she would not be recovered in time, we notified the parents of the invited children and let them know that we were canceling and why. If you have a good reason like this, no one will mind.
Make sure to notify everyone. If you cancel a party and people still show up, you’re in for an incredibly awkward situation.
Be fair and honest with your kid.
Talk with your child as appropriate for their age. Very young children may not really notice, so you don’t need to make a big deal about it. Older children, though, are bound to be justifiably disappointed. If you really have to cancel and not just postpone your child’s birthday party, be fair and try to make alternate arrangements. In our daughter’s case, she was too ill to really do anything on the day her party had been scheduled. (On her actual birthday we still had cake and presents and everything at home.) We’ve promised her that this summer she can have a picnic party instead. She loves picnics, and we’ve told her that she can invite a few friends over for one, so she’s happy with this solution. Even if you have to cancel their birthday party, you can still make sure that your child’s birthday is special.
You may have already been prepared for your child’s birthday party. If so, then leaving out reminders will only upset them. It’s good to have birthday decorations, but if you had things out specifically for the party, pack them away when you cancel.