Start the Countdown

|
5
Things to Know: Birthday Etiquette

As parents, you want your child to have fun but also be on his or her best behavior.

George Doyle/Thinkstock

Before the teenage excitement of homecomings, proms and first dates, there's the exultant joy and anticipation of birthday parties. For kids, birthdays are like mini-holidays, complete with games, presents and sweet confections. Having one thrown in their honor or being invited to a friend's is often a special highlight of the year.

But combining a group of excited kids and sugar can be disastrous. The birthday child may scoff at a present, causing a guest to cry. A high-strung tyke may ruin game time for everyone by not following the rules. Sulky Sams and Sallys can drag down the attitudes of the entire group.

As parents, you want your child to have fun but also be on his or her best behavior. The birthday kid must set a good example for the invitees, and the guests must respect other parents' rules. Therefore, before attending a birthday party, parents should sit down with kids and remind them about basic party etiquette, detailed in the following five principles.

|