Yesterday we celebrated the girls’ half birthday. We love holidays, well, I love holidays, so it should be no surprise that we celebrate half birthdays. Today we had some fun family time playing games and watching a movie. The girls did get a present–it’s usually nothing expensive, just something fun. And the best part is that we enjoyed half a cake! (I just baked a small cake cut in half to be double layers). Oh and of course we had candles and sang “Happy Half Birthday to You!”
Some people think that this is over the top, but it’s not like we throw a big party or anything. It’s just a family celebration. And you know what? It’s fun. I am a firm believer that childhood should be fun. It seems like it is getting shorter and shorter. Why not make it magical and fun?
It is also a chance to celebrate your child. You should be your child’s greatest fan and this is a great way to show that they are important to you. But aren’t we ruining our children by constantly praising them for nothing? Yes, I completely agree that we have a bit of a false praise problem. There have been studies showing that college students are more narcissistic than ever before (just click here to read more) and praising them for doing nothing means that a child never learns the joy of a job well done (or click here). But this is different. It’s not praise just for living, it’s a celebration of milestones they’ve reached. A family dinner is a great time to look back on how much they’ve grown and what new things have happened in the last six months. Besides, it’s not like I’m suggesting you shower children with cake and presents every day.
I’m just suggesting you find what’s special for your family. For us it’s a homemade cake and a small gift–nothing fancy, just family fun together. And it is fun. The girls were so incredibly excited. They insisted that friends attend birthday celebrations so they brought a bunch of their stuffed animals to the table and sang all kinds of songs. Maybe for your family it will be a family outing or a day when the half-birthday child gets one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.
Whether it’s a half-birthday or something else, it’s important for your family to make its own traditions, find special things for your family to do. It will make your children feel like they are part of something special and feel more connected. While that is important when they are little, I also look at it as an investment in the future. If your children feel a strong connection to their family, they are more likely to turn to you when there is trouble and they won’t seek those close bonds with others. But equally beneficial is that it’s just plain fun.