Why we should make a fuss over the birthday child

Ideally, we should make a fuss about our children everyday, but reality is that in the busy-ness of modern life, these tiny but very important people often get lost somewhere in between a rushed breakfast, sitting in a classroom, tired parents and every minute that is dedicated elsewhere just to keep the day afloat.

I have five children, and for a time, both their father and I had full-time jobs out of necessity. This was what we did to ensure that our children didn’t feel like they are not special:


  1. Bedtime stories EVERY NIGHT with a parent (sometimes both parents). I swear by them. Having that time to lie down with them every night is something that is so special and precious;
  2. Make an effort to spend a day (or at least an afternoon) with a child. Arrange childcare for the others;
  3. Choose godparents who will make them feel special.
  4. Get to know each child.
  5. Do meaningful things.
  6. Take the opportunity to transform simple things into a memorable event – like picnic indoors (we recently did it though our youngest child is 17 and we live close to the beach).


A Birthdays is that one day that a person (whatever the age) is supposed to be king or queen for the day. It’s not about the presents or the lavishness. Far from it. These are some snaps from my daughter’s birthday party ten years ago. It took place in our garden and the chief organisers were my older daughter and her boyfriend. As it was in our house rather than some fancy venue, we invited every child in the class. They played simple traditional games – no paid entertainer apart from the two teenagers who worked very hard to organise the special day.

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Here’s a simple party game: the children have to get on this day bed all together and burst the balloons by squashing them.

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Georgina recently turned 17 and she requested a quiet day (perhaps she has had too much birthday party fun all her life!). So she spent a quiet day which began with church the night before, the whole day with her boyfriend revising for their exams and a small family dinner in the evening in an Italian restaurant. As it was a Sunday night, she refused a glass of wine!!!!
But I wasn’t going to let her off so lightly. The following day, she was surprised in class with this ‘chemistry cake’ – BIG SMILE. Let’s make birthdays special, folks! ❤

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