Extreme Birthday Parties Make Yours Look Bad

Sasha Brown-Worsham

When my daughter turned 1, I went all out for her birthday party. I invited every baby we knew, rented out a baby play space, bought a huge cake, tons of pizza, and decorations, and threw a bash that my little baby barely even noticed. That party was all about me and my husband. It was a blast and we got great photos, but it had nothing to do with our daughter, a fact we knew even then. 

We spent a total of $1,000 on the party, which at the time seemed way over the top. Turns out, that is about 3 percent of what some parents are spending to make their little darlings' days perfect. We are not even talking about Suri Cruise here. These are everyday parents who are hiring professional party planners to throw $32,000 birthday bashes for 6-year-olds. These parents were featured the other day on Good Morning America and what it showed was nauseating. 

A 6-year-old girl simply doesn't need to roll her eyes at a party planner and explain that her mother meant a $15,000 budget, not a $1,500 one. It's just plain poor parenting. "This unforgettable experience gives parents a lot of validation and makes them feel like they are doing a good job," parenting expert Jennifer Waldburger told GMA. Indeed. It's all about the parents and the result is a spoiled brat of a child.

I'm no stranger to going all out for a child's birthday party. Certainly my husband and I work overtime to make sure our kids have homemade cakes from scratch and all the perfect favors and napkins and theme. I'm not suggesting that we throw our children crappy parties or skip them altogether. But at a certain point, unless it's a Bar Mitzvah or a Quinceanera, it's simply spoiling a child to do that much.

The 6-year-old featured on GMA seemed very haughty for her age and that seems to be the price one pays for acting like this. There is a lot of fun in between deprivation and spoiling. A child should be able to have a great birthday party and parents who work hard making it so, but spending tons of cash and treating it like a wedding is a recipe for spoiled children with obnoxious expectations.

And yes, it's really, really bad parenting.

Would you throw a $32,000 birthday party for a 6-year-old?


Read More