Kids Who Don't Have Co-Ed Birthday Parties Are Really Missing Out

kids at birthday party

My son turned 8 years old a couple of months ago, and even though I said I wasn't going to do a huge party this year, we wound up having about 16 kids in attendance -- and it turned out perfect.

They played and had fun and there were no arguments or tears, and there also happened to be a pretty equal number of boys and girls. And it got me thinking, I just can't even imagine reaching the point where he doesn't have co-ed parties anymore because it makes me downright sad.

To be quite honest, I really feel like birthday parties (other than sleepovers) where only girls or only boys are invited is basically like teaching kids that they shouldn't be friends with members of the opposite sex.


Ever since my son was little, he's always had both male and female playmates. And it's always made me so happy to see him get along with both boys and girls, even though the relationships and ways they play together are totally different.

But if I were to throw him a birthday party and tell him he can only invite other boys? That's basically like telling him that being friends with girls is unacceptable, or weird, or ... really abnormal -- which is the absolute last thing any parent should want.

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And I know in a few years he's probably going to reach that stage where it's not "cool" to hang out with the girls as often, but I am sincerely hoping that by encouraging those friendships now, maybe they will carry over into his tween and teen years. Or at least maybe there won't be as much awkwardness between him and members of the opposite sex? I mean, I know that's not totally unavoidable, but maybe if he's used to being around girls, he'll ... know how to handle himself around girls.

(One can hope.)

For now, I'm definitely going to attempt to continue the co-ed party thing for as long as possible, and other parents should seriously consider doing the same. After all, if we want our kids to learn to be accepting of others and to treat both men and women with the same level of respect, isn't it a good idea to get a head start while we still have a little bit of control?

Do you think co-ed birthday parties are a good thing? Why or why not?


Image via ©Jim Hughes/Corbis

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