July 02, 2015

Q: My son will be turning 5 and we wanted to have a birthday party at a venue like Chuck E. Cheese.  We want to keep it small, around 4 or 5 kids max, to keep costs down. However, I have a couple of friends who have 3 or 4 kids each. How do I mention or explain why they may not be invited? Or should I just invite everyone and figure out how to pay for it?

A: A very common problem! And one I'm sure your friends have, too. Why don't you ask them how they handle it, and let them in on your struggle? Perhaps try something like this script: "You know, I've been planning Jayden's birthday party, and I know he really wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese, but we only have a $50 budget this year. How do you guys manage the birthday party budget situation? I want to include everyone, but I need some ideas!"

Don't get caught up in the pressure that lots of parents feel -- to have bigger, better birthday parties that break the bank -- and that the kids really don't appreciate, anyway. Thoughtful friends will have ideas to help you create a party that is fun and affordable. Maybe you can do Chuck E. Cheese as a family and have a party at the park for everyone at another time. Your son will still have a blast!

Answered by Dr. Heather Wittenberg


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