Grandkids’ birthday parties: What on Earth happened?

When my children were growing up in the 80s and 90s, throwing a birthday party was fairly simple: you’d buy

When my children were growing up in the 80s and 90s, throwing a birthday party was fairly simple: you’d buy a frosted sponge cake from the bakery or bake your own, you would put some $2 candles in it, and the kids would be happy. The usual fare was frankfurt sausages, fairy bread and cordial, but let me tell you: kids parties have changed.

Rather than being about the child themselves, the average 2016 kids party is more about bragging rights and whose child had the best one. Basically, it’s a competition and gone are the days of a party that costs less than $50 – my grandson’s party just gone cost my daughter and son-in-law over $750. Yes, you read that right: $750.

He was only turning 4 for God’s sake, but for some reason my daughter thought it was necessary to go all out. She had organised a jumping castle, a $100 cake (despite my insistence I could make it), a lolly buffet, food that was OK for all dietary requirements, gift bags and stationery with all attendees names on it.

On top of that she had a photographer taking snaps of the “big day” but to be honest I preferred the photos on my SIL’s phone.

I know that my grandson enjoyed the day but unfortunately I almost felt like he was too young to appreciate all the effort and money that had gone into the day. My daughter was very stressed in the lead-up, which made me wonder what all the fuss was about. Surely he could have had a cheap $50 party? But then if he did, my daughter said, the kids at school would make fun of him.

It just makes you wonder how that rivalry at school started! One kid started having fancy parties and then everyone else had to do it too. It’s a nasty spiral to get into and I think it breeds bad habits of grandeur and people-pleasing.

I also noticed that many of the parents who came along to supervise their own children were more interested in taking photos or looking through their phones to enjoy socialising or seeing their kids get enjoyment. It really was a sad scene and I wonder how many other grandparents have had to bite their tongue when it comes to this parenting trend?

Tell us below.

  1. I never changed anything from my 70s and 80s parties for my kids, and my grandkids and all their friends loved it. Why do parents fell so pressured? where does she live? too much money.

  2. How ridiculous is the amount they spent must have more money then sense kids today get far to much anyway,spoilt,selfish little shits. Wake up parents and stop giving your kids everything they want.

  3. I have heard this same story many times. The world has gone crazy.

    • Patricia Fraser  

      I agree. should never get to be a contest.

  4. If they do that for a 4yr old what happens at 18…as said far to young to appreciate it!!

    • Kim Coram  

      That’s right. Every year you have to try and out do the previous year and the kids are only babies and toddlers.

  5. Mind you it’s not the childrens fault that they have ott parties ….keeping up with the Jones ‘s mentality?

    • No I wouldn’t and that is precisely my point. People will respond to this article agreeing with the contributor and their names will be there for all to see. I also question the authenticity of the article.

  6. I agree children’s parties are reficulous these days . We only had parties like that on our 21st and that was only if your folks could afford it. How times and values have changed 😂

  7. Oh for our good old days and ways- and Heaven help us the presents weren’t mentioned! I heard my grandson say if his son (2) has future parties then definitely NO presents.

  8. I have two children a daughter and son. My daughter who is a single mum owns her own little home she wouldn’t dream of doing this. She would have her sons friends over yes with balloons and cake that she made lots of games and each would go home with a little parcel of something she made. To her it’s about having fun. My son and his partner live on her parents property live a very different lifestyle when they throw a party for there two year old son it’s a pool party with a Champagne budget. Everything bought everything for show. It’s not about the fun it’s about the presents. So for my daughters son who is ten I can give him something that I made or a money box with a fifty dollar note in it and he is tickled pink but for my other grandsons it’s about ” look at what she gave him for gods sake” I’m a bit of a let down in there eyes. Oh hum oh hum oh hum do I care no Its there choice they way they live I’m just some one who looks in every now and then.

    • You be proud of who you are, your daughter sounds like a very sensible Mum.
      Both my Adult Children think like that, its about having fun and simply does it.👍👍

    • Lyndall Dent yes I’m proud of me I try to avoid my son and his partner love her parents but we are not aloud to be ” friends”. I’m not know for keeping my mouth shut so avoidance is easier because otherwise her poor parents cop the brunt and those poor buggers have to live on the same property. So again I say oh hum oh hum.

    • Very sad ,she will finish up being a sad lonely old lady if she continues to treat people like that .

  9. Its all about competition.Setting themselves up for a BIG FALL. This isn’t what life is meant to be. What are they doing to their children.

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