CK & GK Podcast

22 Simple Dos & Don’ts for the Best Kids' Birthday Party

February 13, 2024 Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred
22 Simple Dos & Don’ts for the Best Kids' Birthday Party
CK & GK Podcast
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CK & GK Podcast
22 Simple Dos & Don’ts for the Best Kids' Birthday Party
Feb 13, 2024
Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred

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If you're feeling overwhelmed by kids' birthday party etiquette and worried about handling it all,  you’re not alone! Planning these celebrations can be a minefield, but we have practical insights and tips for a stress-free and inclusive experience. Here’s how to navigate kids' birthday party etiquette with ease.

Caitlin and Jenny are experienced parents who brings a wealth of practical knowledge to the table when it comes to kids' birthday party etiquette. With proven track records of navigating various birthday party scenarios, their insights are grounded in real-world experiences. Their expertise in creating inclusive and stress-free celebrations makes them the ideal guests to provide valuable advice for parents seeking to ensure their kids' birthday parties are enjoyable and hassle-free.

This episode helps you

  • Learn the essential tips for hosting and attending kids' birthday parties.
  • Set expectations and avoid misunderstandings to ensure everyone is on the same page and the party runs smoothly.
  • Strike the right balance to make sure both kids and parents have a blast.
  • Ensure every child feels welcome and included at the party.
  • Make pick-up at the end of the party as seamless and stress-free as the beginning.

Get all the details in this week's blog post, here.

Sources for this episode

Credit to “Do I Have to Invite the Whole Class?” The 7 Rules of Kids’ Birthday Parties in 2024

  • By Rachel Bowie • Published Jan 31, 2024 | PureWow
  • Featuring the expert Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette and the author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy: A Five-Step Method to Mastering Etiquette.

Additional resources to explore

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Facebook
- TikTok
Thanks, y'all!

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text!

If you're feeling overwhelmed by kids' birthday party etiquette and worried about handling it all,  you’re not alone! Planning these celebrations can be a minefield, but we have practical insights and tips for a stress-free and inclusive experience. Here’s how to navigate kids' birthday party etiquette with ease.

Caitlin and Jenny are experienced parents who brings a wealth of practical knowledge to the table when it comes to kids' birthday party etiquette. With proven track records of navigating various birthday party scenarios, their insights are grounded in real-world experiences. Their expertise in creating inclusive and stress-free celebrations makes them the ideal guests to provide valuable advice for parents seeking to ensure their kids' birthday parties are enjoyable and hassle-free.

This episode helps you

  • Learn the essential tips for hosting and attending kids' birthday parties.
  • Set expectations and avoid misunderstandings to ensure everyone is on the same page and the party runs smoothly.
  • Strike the right balance to make sure both kids and parents have a blast.
  • Ensure every child feels welcome and included at the party.
  • Make pick-up at the end of the party as seamless and stress-free as the beginning.

Get all the details in this week's blog post, here.

Sources for this episode

Credit to “Do I Have to Invite the Whole Class?” The 7 Rules of Kids’ Birthday Parties in 2024

  • By Rachel Bowie • Published Jan 31, 2024 | PureWow
  • Featuring the expert Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette and the author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy: A Five-Step Method to Mastering Etiquette.

Additional resources to explore

The best support is a rating and a share.


Support the Show.

View our website at . Find us on social media @ckandgkpodcast on
- Twitter
- Instagram
- Facebook
- TikTok
Thanks, y'all!

00:00:01 - Caitlin Kindred
It's Tuesday. Yay. I choose this moment to stretch my body out. I'm so sorry. Continue your introduction.

00:00:13 - Jenny GK
All right. Welcome to another episode of CK and GK, the podcast for adults who might need a grown up.

00:00:20 - Caitlin Kindred
We are so glad you.

00:00:21 - Jenny GK
Or maybe the podcast by adults who.

00:00:24 - Caitlin Kindred
Might need, might need a grown up bull. It just seems that we're authentic. It's user generated content. That's right. We're glad you're here. This week we actually got a DM, and it's about kids birthday party kind of etiquette. And we're going to address welcome to your 40s.

00:00:46 - Jenny GK
Right, where someone slips into your dms to ask about kids birthday party etiquette.

00:00:51 - Caitlin Kindred
I feel kind of special that someone thought, okay, these two might actually have an idea of what to do here. And it just so happens that because I am an avid subscriber to too many e magazines, of course I had a resource. But also, these are things we've discussed previously, and so I feel like kind of an expert going to. We're going to do this. It's going to be great. Okay.

00:01:15 - Jenny GK
But before we do that, she's the spike in my punch.

00:01:20 - Caitlin Kindred
Caitlin. Oh, that's a nice one. Okay, well, it's like a party. Yeah, exactly.

00:01:26 - Jenny GK
Not a kids party. Or depending on what kind of kids you're celebrating, I guess.

00:01:33 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, there's like the kid punch, and then there's the adult punch, I'm sure. Okay, well, that's Jennyny, my beautiful, misunderstood sports card. What? They just get dumber and dumber. And it's okay because they have to. They just have to. Let's get into what we're actually talking about today. So here's the DM that I got from a listener. The listener wants to remain anonymous, so I'm just going to honor their request. I have no idea who this person is. Can you discuss no gift birthday parties on your next episode? I started reading Purewow after hearing about it on your show. Shout out to Purewow, who gives us pretty much all the content for this show. There was a recent article about kids parties there, and I started doing some digging, and the spectrum of opinions on kids parties is huge. I also read a slate article quoting a mom of an invited guest as well as a hosting mom. Apparently kids birthday parties are a hot topic right now. I don't want to sway any answers by giving my opinion. I just want to hear your take on this. Okay, so we have talked about kids birthday parties before.

00:03:02 - Jenny GK
Yes, recently.

00:03:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Recently. And we've also talked about party favors and how to not make yourself crazy. But I believe that I found the pure wow article that this listener is talking about. Okay, I do want to address the article. It is called, do I have to invite the whole class? The seven rules of kids birthday parties in 2024. It's written by Rachel Bowie, and in the article she quotes somebody named Micah Meyer, who is an etiquette coach, who also has a book, which I'll put the title of in the show notes.

00:03:46 - Jenny GK
Okay, cool.

00:03:47 - Caitlin Kindred
But there's so much around this that I feel like she talks about no gift parties. I believe it's a she because most of our listeners are. She's. I'm just gonna make an assumption. Sorry. To our friend Brian, who is a listener and educator who wrote in a while ago, but most of our listeners are. She's. So I'm just making an assumption here. I'm just going to go through the article and through the list, and these are, again, things we've discussed in the past. I just want to bring that up. So the first question that I want to address is, who should we invite? Okay. No, you do not have to invite your kids entire class. However, there's a caveat here. If the school policy is if you invite, like, if you have a birthday party, you have to invite the whole class, then, yes, you do have to invite the whole class. Right? Obviously, class sizes. Speaking as former teacher and current teacher, class sizes can get huge. So if your class size is 35. No, you don't have to invite the whole class if it's like 17. Right. So you can't invite most of the class and leave out, like four kids. So you can't have 22 kids in a class and invite 17 of the kids to the party and expect it all to be okay.

00:05:16 - Jenny GK

00:05:17 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. So the right way to do that. Oh, go ahead.

00:05:22 - Jenny GK
Don't invite twelve of the girls and not the other two.

00:05:26 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. Not okay. You cannot single anybody out. It's not nice, it's not cool. And what lesson are you teaching your kids? But what you could do is invite a handful from class and a handful from gymnastics and a handful from your youth group, however you want to do that. Yeah, you could go that route so that you're getting a variety of people who are mixing up, and no one feels like there's a giant group of kids from school and, like, one kid from each group. Right. There's a way to do this that's tactful and balanced. And no matter what you do, do not let your child hand out the invitations at school, even when they're 13, you need to email the parents. That's the way you handle that.

00:06:26 - Jenny GK

00:06:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay. Along with the invitation list, do we have to include siblings? No.

00:06:39 - Jenny GK
Stop doing that.

00:06:41 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, you do not have to do that. You do need to be explicit about siblings on the invitation.

00:06:56 - Jenny GK
You as a guest, only bring the people that are invited.

00:07:00 - Caitlin Kindred

00:07:01 - Jenny GK
You as a host. If you want to extend the invitation to other people, make sure that they are included.

00:07:06 - Caitlin Kindred
That said, birthday parties for kids, people tend to be a little bit more flexible about it, and they're like, oh, sure, the more than me, you know what I mean? But here's the deal. If it is a restriction at your party, you need to say, sorry, we can't have siblings. There's a restriction on the number of people, and it is okay to absolutely say due to the size of the space or due know facility restrictions, we can only have this many people. Sorry, no siblings. Totally acceptable. Make it explicit. Sorry. Go ahead. Yeah.

00:07:38 - Jenny GK
When we did Abby's birthday party on a boat, we specifically invited one kid and one parent, and we said, you must have an adult with you in order to attend because I'm basically not going to play lifeguard on this boat trip. But we said because of that, we cannot accept siblings either.

00:07:57 - Caitlin Kindred

00:07:58 - Jenny GK
Because the boat has a capacity of 50 people.

00:08:01 - Caitlin Kindred
And that's it.

00:08:02 - Jenny GK
We're done.

00:08:03 - Caitlin Kindred

00:08:04 - Jenny GK
And if we're inviting ten kids plus their ten grown ups, that's 20 people right there.

00:08:13 - Caitlin Kindred
And just going to put this out there. If your kid is a guest at a party, as Jennyny has already pointed out, don't assume your other kids are invited because they're probably not. Hosts often have a hard cut off number or are paying rental space per kid or are paying like, we've done a birthday party at an arcade and we were only allowed to have this many kids and this many cards that were prepaid for families, just imagine if someone showed up with an extra person to a party that you're hosting. You're not prepared for that, and you shouldn't have to be prepared for that. So, no, you don't have to include siblings. But I highly encourage you to be explicit and say siblings aren't invited. Okay. Do parents have to stay? Put it another way, do I have to include stuff for the parents? As in, do I have to feed the parents? Right, or entertain the parents? Okay. No, you don't have to have a plan for the parents. You don't have to feed the parents. As a mom of a younger child, I am finding that, I guess when I was younger, I think my mom, just like, we all knew that every party was a drop off party. You'd have a bunch of five year olds at your house and it'd be like one or two parents and then all the five year olds. Right? But I've noticed that now it's really more of a parents stay. Unless it's explicitly stated that this is a drop off party.

00:09:59 - Jenny GK

00:10:00 - Caitlin Kindred
You don't have to have a plan for the parents. You can host a drop off party, but just be sure to clearly state this on the invitation that it is a drop off party. Some parents might come and go. Anyway, when we did the party at the arcade, we had a parent who was like, okay, here we go, and bye. But then I learned that that child had an older sibling and the parent was accustomed to that, so it was a different thing. Also, make sure that you have the contact info of a reachable parent or a reachable grown up caregiver for every child. And you can even say in the RSVP, this is a drop off party. Please leave your phone number so that we can text you if something happens or just in case. Right. And make it very clear that pickup is at this time of day, because some parents just won't. They'll just let their kid be there with you. Right. So on the flip side of that, if you're the one dropping your child off at a party, do ask what time to do pickup or just confirm. Hey, I said the invitation said 230 to 430. Do you want me to show up a little bit early? Is 430 the time that everyone's getting kicked out, whatever it is, and confirm that and be on time. Just be on time.

00:11:28 - Jenny GK
And that's a great conversation to have because if the pickup is at 430, it's very possible that by 04:00 the party is winding down and you could arrive a little early and pick up. Or it could be that this family party is hard and they are going to have activity until 430. And if you show up at 04:00 your kid's going to be like, dad, why?

00:11:52 - Caitlin Kindred
I got to go. I don't want to leave yet.

00:11:55 - Jenny GK
So ask, like, hey, what time you think you're going to be wrapping things up? What's a good time for me to arrive? Because they'll tell you, oh, yeah, you're at 430.

00:12:03 - Caitlin Kindred
We're good.

00:12:04 - Jenny GK
Or they'll say, yeah, we're going to be tying things up around 04:00.

00:12:07 - Caitlin Kindred

00:12:07 - Jenny GK
And we're hoping everybody's gone by 430.

00:12:12 - Caitlin Kindred
Ask right don't be the person who makes that family wait at the place where they're trying to pack up everything. They're trying to get themselves at the door and they're standing there in the parking lot and your kid is the only one left. Don't put that family in that situation. So, no, don't entertain parents if you don't want to. It's fine. Okay.

00:12:37 - Jenny GK
And you as a host.

00:12:39 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. No.

00:12:40 - Jenny GK
You have the right to decide that and understand that there are some parents who are not ready for a drop off party yet.

00:12:48 - Caitlin Kindred
Totally. And if that's the case, so they might hang. Right. But you don't have to entertain to entertain them. That's their choice.

00:12:53 - Jenny GK
You do not have to do that. And it is totally okay for a parent to hang. And if you're at a party place, they go find a table by themselves. Or if you're at your house, say, hey, why don't you come join us in the backyard? We're just hanging out.

00:13:09 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. Talk to me about sleepovers. Okay, so this is a complicated one. So I have a lot of thoughts here. So here's my first do remember that not all kids or their parents are comfortable with sleepovers. This is becoming a big deal lately where parents are saying, you know what, it's trusted people who do things to my kids that I don't want to even put my kid in that situation. So we're not doing sleepovers until so and so is this many years old or whatever it is. And that's totally. And that's totally okay.

00:13:51 - Jenny GK
So it is not what our family does.

00:13:55 - Caitlin Kindred

00:13:56 - Jenny GK
But I am respectful of families that make that choice.

00:14:00 - Caitlin Kindred

00:14:00 - Jenny GK
So I completely understand it.

00:14:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Here's the thing about this, though. One, if you are hosting the sleepover, make sure again that you have other parents contact details and that you agree on a plan for what to do if something happens in the middle of the night. So, for example, you have the one who is terrified and wants to go home because she's never slept away from her mom and dad. Totally fine. But does that mean that she has to call before midnight if she's not going to stay? Or can she call at three in the morning? What's the plan there? Make sure you have an agreement. Two, take a few extra minutes to talk with the other adults when they get there, try to put their mind at ease, especially for older kids. If there's like a multiple kids sleepover, there's a chance that you've never met that parent and they've never met you. But you've been hearing about their kid for the past six months, and so you want to just at least put them at ease. And I also like to take this opportunity to say that I had a family at my child's first drop off playdate. Walk me through their house and say, fyi, my husband's a doctor. We don't have guns in the house. And here are where all the bathrooms are, and here's how we monitor for safety. And this. And this. And it was the most thorough house tour. And I immediately was just like, okay, this is my first drop off playdate. And you were just like, feel so much better. Because even though I don't know this family very well, I know that they've taken steps to put me at ease and keep my child safe and their own children safe, of course. But it was.

00:15:44 - Jenny GK
And just what a gift to volunteer, right?

00:15:47 - Caitlin Kindred
To volunteer it. So special. The other thing is, it depends on the number of kids. But let's say I'm hosting a sleepover for my child, so there's going to be four children at my house. So there's three guests coming. If even one of those kids is not comfortable with the sleepover but the other two are, I'm probably going to change it to asleep under. Right.

00:16:15 - Jenny GK
Because I don't want what is happening after 11:00 p.m.?

00:16:18 - Caitlin Kindred

00:16:18 - Jenny GK

00:16:19 - Caitlin Kindred
It better be in your bed because you're not keeping me up all night long. But I know what I did when I went to sleepover, so I'm just going to whatever. But what I'm saying is.

00:16:27 - Jenny GK
But it was nothing good.

00:16:29 - Caitlin Kindred
No. And it was just staying up for.

00:16:31 - Jenny GK
The purpose of staying up.

00:16:32 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. I don't want that other kid who isn't comfortable to get the fomo and then try to put themselves in a position where they're uncomfortable and tough it out when really it's just not necessary. So I'm just going to put that out there. If there's even one family that says, no, we don't do sleepovers, but we would be happy to do, like, almost until bedtime, then I'm going to say, okay, well, we're going to change the whole party for everybody. It's fine. The other thing is also you don't.

00:17:00 - Jenny GK
Have to host a sleepover. Exactly.

00:17:01 - Caitlin Kindred
That. So great. If your child is invited to the sleepover, check with your child about their readiness. Because, again, those middle of the night phone calls do happen. And now that some kids are older and have their own phones, you know what I mean? You could be getting those messages and the parents there don't even know.

00:17:24 - Jenny GK
Okay, check what's out. Let me tell you this.

00:17:26 - Caitlin Kindred

00:17:27 - Jenny GK
One of the only successful keep kids off drugs programs that I have come across in my years as a teacher is the one that blames the Parents where it is a family anti drug program and you as a parent, agree to be the fall guy for your kid and say, you know what? I can't do it because my mom drug tests me every week. I'm sorry, I can't do it because my mom tracks me. I'm sorry, I can't stay the night because my parents won't let me have a sleepover. Even if you are okay with your kid going and they tell you, I don't want to do this. Take the fall.

00:18:09 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, yeah, I totally make it easy for your kid. Exactly. That's like the parents who say, if you're ever in a situation where you don't want to be there, just send me a quick message. It's like an x or something. And the parent will immediately call and be like, get your butt home. And completely chew them out so that they have to come home and get out of there. Something like that is totally okay. And I used to do that as a teacher. I would say, like, listen, if you're sitting next to somebody and you can't stand sitting next to them anymore. Actually, the line I used to use for those of you who are my former students and you know me was, if after one week, you're going to go to jail for murder because you killed the kid next to you. The kids all thought it was hilarious for me to say that, but I was like, but I'm serious. If you really just can't take it anymore or if you're the one always getting in trouble because the person sitting next to you is kind of messing with you, say, oh, Caitlin Kindred made me move. Blame it on me. I'm fine to be that person. I don't care. You just say, like, oh, Ms. Kindred said that, like, wasn't paying enough attention in this seat, so I have to move. And that way it's not on the kid, it's on me. So do the same for your kids. But I love your sleep under idea. I saw it.

00:19:18 - Jenny GK
I wish I could take credit for good.

00:19:21 - Caitlin Kindred
I was like, oh, my God, they stole Jennyny's words. And then I was like, no, must not. But if you're not familiar, we talked about this, like, four or five times, but you might be a new listener, so welcome. But either way, sleep under is when you get kids in their pajamas and they party until just before bedtime. And then parents come pick up at 09:00. Bye. Perfect. Jennyny's go to move. Love it.

00:19:46 - Jenny GK
And when we did our first one, I actually put on the invitation, like, places to go to dinner near our house.

00:19:53 - Caitlin Kindred
So smart. I love it. So smart.

00:19:56 - Jenny GK
You get a date night, but you do have to come back. So here's some places that are close to us where you can go have dinner.

00:20:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Absolutely brilliant. Such a smart idea. You made it obvious it was a drop off party. You put parents at ease because they weren't going to be staying tonight and you gave them a night out. Perfect. Don't even worry about it. Such a great idea. Okay, what do we serve? Okay, the standard is pizza and cupcakes and maybe ice cream and soda. Nothing wrong with that. You don't need to make it more complicated. I've seen families do more, and I've seen families do less, and it always works out. Now, that said, allergies are a real thing. So I'm going to say, always ask about dietary restrictions. And I'm going to be honest here and say that this thought never occurred to me at all because I eat everything like a trash compactor. I've never thought about this until you brought it up to me at a work function where we were at a.

00:21:02 - Jenny GK
So interesting.

00:21:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, we were at a work thing, and the parents had very kindly put together a meal for us. However, there were no gluten free options for one of our colleagues who could not eat any gluten because she was terribly allergic. And there were no keto friendly options, which was a problem for you at the time. You were just like, I can't even. I mean, listen, if it works, it works. Now, the hard part was you were like, I'm prepared to not eat what's here, but watching that one person, that one woman who was allergic to literally everything, not be able to eat anything every time. And she was just used to it, but it still didn't feel good every time because she always made it plain and obvious, like, I have these food restrictions. I cannot eat these things. So you can do this in the RSVP, you can say, are there any dietary restrictions I need to be aware of? Do I need to have gluten free pizza? Do I need to have. Tell me what I need to have so that I can do this right? Because think about how terrible you would feel if, first of all, a kiddo got left out. My child is starting to feel this, because he has orthodontia and he can't eat sticky things. So when sticky candy comes in goodie bags, he can't participate. And he's just like, here, mom. And he gets all sad, so there's that.

00:22:23 - Jenny GK
But maybe I need to spend some more time around him because I love me some gummy candy.

00:22:27 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, he got Laffy taffies in his most recent goodie bag. And, you know, I tore those up. I love Laffy taffies. Give me all the yellow ones too. Yellow and green. Mine. Anyway.

00:22:38 - Jenny GK
That is funny.

00:22:39 - Caitlin Kindred
I love. Oh, my God. Just no dump. Put them. Because they're delicious. Put them aside and give them to Caitlin. Okay.

00:22:50 - Jenny GK
Also, though, I could tear up some saltwater taffy. When you go to a beach town and they have a place where they make it and they have, like, puerto rican, 75 different flavors, I will eat that licorice flavored taffy until they sell out.

00:23:03 - Caitlin Kindred

00:23:05 - Jenny GK
I know, it's gross.

00:23:06 - Caitlin Kindred
So gross. No, but I can go hard. It really doesn't matter. I'll eat pretty much any candy. The one I won't eat right off the bat is whoppers. But if I'm desperate, they can be good.

00:23:19 - Jenny GK
But it's with CK & GK Podcast. I don't think anyone actually likes CK & GK Podcast. They just pretend to, you know, that.

00:23:25 - Caitlin Kindred
The stuff in between the wafers is crushed up. CK & GK Podcast.

00:23:29 - Jenny GK
No, it's not.

00:23:29 - Caitlin Kindred
I swear to God. I mean, oh, my God.

00:23:31 - Jenny GK
It's like CK & GK Podcastcept.

00:23:33 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, it's like the chocolate in between the wafers. It has more CK & GK Podcast in it. You're welcome. That is the point of this episode. Anyway, so there's one.

00:23:45 - Jenny GK
We would name it by a quote. That would be the quote.

00:23:49 - Caitlin Kindred

00:23:50 - Jenny GK
The inside of a CK & GK Podcast is more CK & GK Podcast.

00:23:55 - Caitlin Kindred
We're so professional. Okay, so one, you don't want a kid to feel left out because you didn't consider dietary needs, but two, what if someone had an allergic reaction at your event? Yeah.

00:24:05 - Jenny GK
You are, like, not into that. Nobody.

00:24:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Nobody wants that. I felt horrible enough when Kit broke his toe at my party.

00:24:12 - Jenny GK
Oh, my God, stop with that.

00:24:13 - Caitlin Kindred
I can't. I still think about it sometimes, like.

00:24:16 - Jenny GK
One of my favorite memories.

00:24:18 - Caitlin Kindred
This is how you know we're really good friends. Because her child can break his foot at my house, she doesn't sue me, and she spends the entire rest of the day in the hospital. Anyway, Anne says it's one of her favorite memories. I know. It's ridiculous. It was hilarious.

00:24:31 - Jenny GK
Like, oh, your toes pointed the wrong direction.

00:24:33 - Caitlin Kindred
We're going to go to the hospital and what's he upset about that he can't.

00:24:36 - Jenny GK
And then you're like, yeah, he can't play. It was like, okay, well, let's show him the sprinkler first.

00:24:42 - Caitlin Kindred
Maybe he wants to see that. And he was like, so into it.

00:24:46 - Jenny GK
I'm like, okay, yeah, we can't do the sprinkler right now because you're misplaced.

00:24:50 - Caitlin Kindred
And you're pointed the wrong way.

00:24:52 - Jenny GK
We have to go get your toe placed back.

00:24:54 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay. Now, if your child is the one who has the allergy getting us back on this.

00:25:02 - Jenny GK
Oh, yeah, sorry.

00:25:04 - Caitlin Kindred
It is generous to offer to send them with their own meal or cupcake or something that you know, they can have. And then you just kind of, as you drop off, you just say, hey, this know little Susie's special cupcake that she can eat, and that way she doesn't feel out of it. But let's just keep it off to the side or whatever it is. So that's something. That way your host doesn't have to figure it out. But I think as the host, it's nice to be considerate of that in the first place. So that's how you.

00:25:30 - Jenny GK
This is not new stuff.

00:25:32 - Caitlin Kindred

00:25:33 - Jenny GK
If you're not considering people's dietary needs at this point, start.

00:25:37 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. And it doesn't matter what the reasoning is. If they're keto, because they want to be keto, shut up and deal with it. If they're gluten free because they have an allergy, shut up and deal with it. If they're gluten free because they don't want to eat gluten, that's their choice. Just deal with it. If you're hosting, deal with it. Okay. Goodie bags. Oh, man.

00:25:59 - Jenny GK
I cannot talk about this anymore.

00:26:00 - Caitlin Kindred
I know.

00:26:01 - Jenny GK
Everybody knows what my opinion.

00:26:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Everybody knows. Okay, so here's the quick and dirty of this. Do give out goodie bags if you want to. If you want to, who cares? Just do it. It's fine. Don't feel like they're a requirement. It is okay to skip them or opt for an activity instead that results in something fun to bring home. For example, a cool craft or a diy craft kit. Some sort of matching t shirt. Sam got a matching t shirt from a birthday party when this little guy turned five baller. It was the coolest thing. And he wishes it still fits because it's adorable. Shout out to Elizabeth. All right, that one was amazing. A photo booth where the kids take those. What are instax whatever it.

00:26:52 - Jenny GK
Coloring books.

00:26:54 - Caitlin Kindred
That you got at the half price bookstore. Who cares? Like bubbles. It's all fine. It doesn't have to be cheap garbage. And we've talked about this before, and if you don't know what we mean by cheap garbage, please go listen to the Valentine's Day episode from last week. We've got lots of fun ideas in there because those are great ideas for not only Valentine's Day treats, but also goodie bags. You're welcome.

00:27:17 - Jenny GK
Okay, so Valentine's Day.

00:27:18 - Caitlin Kindred

00:27:20 - Jenny GK
I got off that website that sells everything from a to z.

00:27:23 - Caitlin Kindred

00:27:24 - Jenny GK
Felt animal mass. Yes. Okay. It was a set of 30. 30 unique animals.

00:27:31 - Caitlin Kindred

00:27:32 - Jenny GK
So everyone in his class is getting a different mask in the shape of an animal.

00:27:38 - Caitlin Kindred
Amazing. Oh, my God.

00:27:41 - Jenny GK
And 30 of them, less than $20.

00:27:44 - Caitlin Kindred
Beautiful. See? Done. What a perfect idea. You're welcome. Amazing.

00:27:49 - Jenny GK
So there you go, people.

00:27:50 - Caitlin Kindred
Go. Listen to that.

00:27:51 - Jenny GK
I was all in it.

00:27:52 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, yeah. It's such a good idea. Okay, and now for the meat of the discussion. What the person actually asked us about. Right. Gifts. Do feel free to say please. No presents, just your presence on an invitation. However, there will be people who don't honor that request. So if you get gifts anyway, do your best to take a note of who gave what and be gracious. This means open the gifts when you're at home so that during the party you can be focused on what's actually happening and not opening gifts. Okay?

00:28:39 - Jenny GK

00:28:40 - Caitlin Kindred
Two, send some sort of thank you note. Be gracious. The notes don't have to be a big deal. In fact, one year when I forgot to put please don't bring presents on the invitation, we took a picture of our child holding every single present.

00:29:00 - Jenny GK
That is the best.

00:29:01 - Caitlin Kindred
I put it in a little, like, canva frame and then sent the picture to each family and just said thank you. He loves it. Here's his happy face. He's thrilled to have gotten it. Many thanks. The end doesn't have to be a big deal. Or if you want your kid to have a lesson in handwriting, make the kid write it out. It doesn't really matter. Just show some sort of gratitude and move on. If you are attending a party and the person's invitation says, please, no gifts, please. For the love of all that is holy in this world, honor their request. You can bring something tiny or you can say, hey, in honor of little Susie, we made a donation to the ASPCA. It's fine, but if someone says no presents, their kid probably has enough stuff and they don't want more stuff in the. Don't. Don't just start bringing stuff. Not cool.

00:30:00 - Jenny GK
And so I am a no presents birthday party person.

00:30:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, me, too. I love presents for myself, but I don't.

00:30:08 - Jenny GK
And my kids get to have presents.

00:30:10 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:11 - Jenny GK
There are people in their lives that are going to give them birthday presents, myself included.

00:30:16 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:16 - Jenny GK
But I do. No presence parties. Also, my kids only get a birthday party every other year. I'm a terrible mop.

00:30:22 - Caitlin Kindred
It's fine. No, I think that that's reasonable. You're setting expectations. I love it.

00:30:25 - Jenny GK
But they do get to pick what cause they want people to donate to. So, like, one year, Abby did a coat drive kit wanted to give to the baby turtles this last.

00:30:36 - Caitlin Kindred
So we did a donation.

00:30:38 - Jenny GK

00:30:38 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:39 - Jenny GK
But it is not just because we don't want crap. And so I read an article where the mom was saying, why are you insulting me? Like, I know how to give a gift? I'm sure I'm going to give your kids something that they really want. And it's like, that's not it.

00:30:57 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:57 - Jenny GK
It's not just about that. It's about teaching. For me, it is about teaching my children that spending time with people and celebrating your birthday in the moment is.

00:31:07 - Caitlin Kindred
What the birthday is about, is what matters.

00:31:09 - Jenny GK
It is not about collecting. It is not an event where you collect presents.

00:31:13 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. We actually just took our child to the museum at which he picked up pink eye. Not the gift we were hoping to get or the experience he wanted to have. But the point that we said, here's.

00:31:25 - Jenny GK
The exhibit on bacterial infection.

00:31:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. It was a history museum, and he still got sick. Oh, my God.

00:31:32 - Jenny GK
Did you go to the Texas?

00:31:33 - Caitlin Kindred
We did. Because it's free.

00:31:35 - Jenny GK
Natural history.

00:31:35 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, we did. Well, we went to the bullock. Yeah. So it's okay because I just took.

00:31:40 - Jenny GK
Kit to the natural history museum at the UT campus.

00:31:43 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, yeah.

00:31:44 - Jenny GK
And it's all Texas species.

00:31:46 - Caitlin Kindred
It's really cool, dude.

00:31:47 - Jenny GK
He lost his mind when he saw the Moses, Horace.

00:31:49 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, yeah.

00:31:49 - Jenny GK
It was like, all, you know, we.

00:31:51 - Caitlin Kindred
Took Sam there because of that. But we were at the bullock because they have the shark. Did that one. But also you get to see a shipwreck. And that's pretty cool, too. That is neither here nor there. But what happened was my child loves the gift shop. And so we were there with our neighbor, who is one of Sam's friends, and I had to say to Sam, we are not going to the gift shop. That is not why we're there, because why are we there? To spend time with our friend. What matters on the birthday is that you get time with your friends to do something fun. For me, it's not about you getting presents because you get presents from mom, from dad, from grandma, from everyone else in your life, from the people who adore you. How about from the 22 kids in your class? Maybe you just spend time with them and then you don't get 22 presents on top of that. It's just the time.

00:32:45 - Jenny GK
That's just my opinion. I know that there are families out there that do not do this, and that is okay.

00:32:51 - Caitlin Kindred

00:32:51 - Jenny GK
But I want to say to the family that feels like they're not being appreciated and maybe I don't trust them to get a good or. I think that whatever they're going to give us is crap. No, that's not it at all. This is about my child and saying I want my kid to know that this party is about the party and it is not about a collection of presents.

00:33:14 - Caitlin Kindred

00:33:14 - Jenny GK
And I want them to pick an organization that they want to support. It is my chance for them to rally their friends or for me to have them rally their friends around a cause that they want to support.

00:33:28 - Caitlin Kindred

00:33:29 - Jenny GK
Like baby sea turtles. Which cracked me up that that's what he wanted. And I'm like, all right.

00:33:33 - Caitlin Kindred
So cute. It was so cute that that's what. And I could just hear him saying that he wanted. I mean, it made me so happy. So I was like, yes, here we go. We're going to make the donation. And then that was what we put in the card, was like, we gave a card that we were like, hey, here's what we did. Happy birthday. The end, right? And it's totally okay to have your kid draw a picture. We've done that before where we said no gifts and parents had their child make a birthday card. Precious. Adorable. That's the spirit of what we're going for, right? Is just the gratitude and the love and the community and the friendship. So that's what I'm saying. So if you are asked not to bring a gift, you don't have to, and I would encourage you not to. Now, that said, if it is a drop off party and the parent is hosting 20 to five year olds, maybe you bring a bottle of wine for the parents. I'm just putting it out there, right? It doesn't have to be no gifts for kids, right?

00:34:41 - Jenny GK
But Jenny will take.

00:34:42 - Caitlin Kindred
Jenny loves beer. So if you would like to buy a drink, do you know what I'm saying? If you're really wanting to show your gratitude about being invited, I feel like, that's an okay way to go, right? Like you planned this whole party. Oh, my gosh. Congratulations. Here's your favorite bottle of red. It's totally acceptable to do that the way that I would feel if someone did that. That is hilarious. Just put it out there. So we've got some other resources about gifting in particular that we're going to send to that person, but also put in the show notes and put on the blog post for this episode. And we're going to go through.

00:35:23 - Jenny GK
One of them is from Lauren Conrad's blog, so you know it's good.

00:35:27 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, my gosh. The author back, you guys. Lauren Conrad. Yes. So I'll put all of these resources in the blog post for this episode, and I will also basically give a rundown of our script that I'm putting in here because I feel like this is all so important and I'm just going to highlight this again. And then hopefully we don't talk about birthday parties for another year. Right?

00:35:54 - Jenny GK
But let's take a break.

00:35:56 - Caitlin Kindred
Let's do it.

00:35:58 - Jenny GK
All right, welcome back. We're here. It's time for us to share what's going on in our lives, starting with what I'm obsessed with.

00:36:05 - Caitlin Kindred
Do it.

00:36:05 - Jenny GK
And right now, I'm kind of obsessed with insurance.

00:36:08 - Caitlin Kindred
That's sad.

00:36:09 - Jenny GK
And this is an interesting conversation because I get to bring up a really controversial topic. So get excited.

00:36:17 - Caitlin Kindred

00:36:17 - Jenny GK
Buckle your seatbelt.

00:36:18 - Caitlin Kindred
I'm ready.

00:36:20 - Jenny GK
My insurance is no longer covering my weight loss medication, so welcome to diet culture. This can spiral, right? You can take your own opinion on what you want about me taking an injection to lose weight, but my insurance company covered it for a few months, and now they don't. So I am in the process of weaning myself off, and I was very successful on it and I really enjoyed it. And I did have some trouble transitioning like most people do. But once I was on it and found the dose that was right for me, I was really successful. And so now I have all this anxiety, and I'm, like, obsessed with whether or not I'm going to continue to experience this success. And what is the impact of the work I've done? Is it going to stay? I don't know.

00:37:15 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, I will say this. When you and I first talked about this several months ago, one of the things I said to you was, I want you to remember that you are capable of living a healthy lifestyle without this because you've done it. Your.

00:37:32 - Jenny GK
Your joke about Keto is funny because that is how I got pregnant with Kit was. I was on that diet long enough to lose a bunch of weight and change so many things about my body.

00:37:43 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. It was a healthy lifestyle that made a difference. I can understand why that would be an obsession right now, where it's just on your mind all the time. So I'm just going to encourage you to.

00:37:58 - Jenny GK
I'm doing it. I am. I am being very careful about my choices, and one of the things that leads to a lot of calories for me is alcohol. So I have cut that out during the week. Thursday night, we always go to the same place on Thursday nights. And so it's like, I have one drink on Thursday night.

00:38:20 - Caitlin Kindred

00:38:21 - Jenny GK
But other than that, try and control it because I don't want empty calories from a glass of wine at nighttime or whatever.

00:38:30 - Caitlin Kindred

00:38:33 - Jenny GK
Things are looking up, but it's really interesting that all of a sudden it's not covered well, that's because it's $1,200 a month. Like, anyone who's using this without insurance knows how much expensive it is. And I'm not using the name, but it's somaglitide. I am on the name brand, but that doesn't really matter. But, yeah, it's become a new story in my mind of, like, what's this going to be like life after the shot?

00:39:01 - Caitlin Kindred
It's funny that you mentioned this because my obsession right now is actually the fact that there's an ADHD medication shortage. And, dude, I am currently unmedicated. And what, yeah, what it does, you're actually hearing what happens to me right now. I literally have so many thoughts in my head that I can't get them out because my ADHD is in my head and not, like, physical hyperactivity. It's mental hyperactivity.

00:39:34 - Jenny GK
We couldn't get Abby her meds over the summer, and it was so hard.

00:39:37 - Caitlin Kindred
It's so hard.

00:39:38 - Jenny GK
So hard. You could tell that she was, like, wishing. She's like, mom, I just can't control it.

00:39:43 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, yeah, you can't control it. And also, for me, the irritability is a really big concern.

00:39:53 - Jenny GK
Sensory overload for you to go diagnose.

00:39:56 - Caitlin Kindred

00:39:58 - Jenny GK
You were noticing that your patients was shorter and it was because you were just carrying so much.

00:40:03 - Caitlin Kindred
I was carrying a lot. And the really intense hypersensitivity to repetitive noises that would just completely make me go bonkers. And I'm noticing it again, and I just. Can we just.

00:40:20 - Jenny GK
You need that little John meditation.

00:40:22 - Caitlin Kindred
I really do.

00:40:23 - Jenny GK
I really need it.

00:40:25 - Caitlin Kindred
It's coming out, guys. So that's what's happening. What about your gem? Do you have anything?

00:40:33 - Jenny GK
Yes, I have a literal gem. I got a ring from my dad for my 40th birthday.

00:40:39 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, that's nice.

00:40:41 - Jenny GK
It was my grandmother's and she passed when I was in high school. And so he said, Jenny, I'm sure you're wondering why I waited to give this to you when you turned 40.

00:40:54 - Caitlin Kindred

00:40:55 - Jenny GK
Yeah. He says, because I lost it. I meant to give it to you in your 20s.

00:41:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes. He's like, I was going to give it to you for your 21st or.

00:41:06 - Jenny GK
25Th, and I just couldn't find it recently. Stumbled across it, and here you go. But it hadn't been worn since probably the 90s, maybe even before then, depending on how long it was in a jewelry drawer since she last wore it. So I took it to get cleaned, and I also got my engagement and wedding ring cleaned. And I'm telling you, they say you're supposed to do this twice a year. Go do it twice a year. I have done it twice a decade. And I'm, like, staring at my engagement ring like I just got engaged.

00:41:42 - Caitlin Kindred
I know.

00:41:42 - Jenny GK
Like, oh, my God, it's so pretty.

00:41:45 - Caitlin Kindred
It is sparkling.

00:41:47 - Jenny GK
Yeah. Go get your rings clean and inspect it.

00:41:50 - Caitlin Kindred
It's nice, especially if you have, like, my stone sits in like a. I don't know how. The setting is kind of loose. It's like an open setting. I want them to tighten the prongs on it because I'm just like, yes. Terrible. And they will do that. Yeah, they will.

00:42:03 - Jenny GK
For free.

00:42:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. It's amazing. My gem of the week. Probably just my child coming home with pink mean.

00:42:13 - Jenny GK
That's great.

00:42:14 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, so what happened was there's a big ed tech conference that happens in Austin. It's called TcEa. I was there for work on Monday, and my boss was there and I made a joke, like, okay, probably what's going to happen is I'm going to come down for like, 2 hours, and then I'm going to get a phone call from my kid's school that he's going to be sick. And I was there for an hour and a half, and the phone call came in nice. And I was like, okay, well, is he really sick? And she's like, well, he doesn't come down here, but he doesn't have a fever and he's not really coughing much, and he just never comes down here. So if he's here, I kind of think he probably really doesn't feel good. So I was like, all right, I'll be there as soon as I can. Leave here, like. So I went and picked him up early, and I'm sitting there looking at him, and I noticed, like, you got some schmutz coming out of your eye there. And I was like, oh, my God. Oh, my God. Don't touch it. And so I think that what happened was he probably picked up something and then it made him feel bad. Like, it was all drainage and stuff. And I was just like, this is miserable. And then having to put eyedrops in my child's eye, who has never had that happen before, who has some concerns about things that might possibly burn. Thank you to the pediatrician who told him that it might burn. That was fun. That was fun experience. And by fun, I mean nightmare fuel.

00:43:44 - Jenny GK
So here's the thing, parents. I do not have the letters MD next to my name, but I do have the letters med. And I have spent enough time in the classroom that I feel pretty confident that I can diagnose pink eye and meet strep throat without test.

00:44:01 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, in strep throat, everyone thinks about coughing. No, kids don't cough that much with strep throat, it's just soreness and redness. They cough later.

00:44:11 - Jenny GK
They have a stomach ache, and they itch. Oh, you have strep throat. But I remember when Kit had quote unquote pink eye, and we went to the nurse practitioner, and she's. Yeah, it's just pink eye. I was like, no, it's not. I promise you it is not. I truly believe that you have more medical training than I do and that you are better at diagnosing everything. But I promise.

00:44:37 - Caitlin Kindred
But I promise you he doesn't have pink eye.

00:44:39 - Jenny GK
I know this is not pink eye.

00:44:40 - Caitlin Kindred

00:44:40 - Jenny GK
Turns out he had herpes. The eyeball that he got from his sister.

00:44:44 - Caitlin Kindred
Great. Yeah.

00:44:46 - Jenny GK
And that is a story for another day.

00:44:47 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, it is. Yeah. I looked at him and I was like, he's got pink eye. I knew immediately. And my husband's like, well, maybe.

00:44:56 - Jenny GK
And I'm like, no, I promise you, I have taught long enough that I.

00:45:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Can tell you when it's pink eye. Right? And then he wakes up in the middle of night, he's like, mom, my eyes stuck together. And I was like, told you. Told you.

00:45:10 - Jenny GK
It'll move. It'll move. And if you're lucky, it'll move back. Oh, yeah. You'll get three pink eyes.

00:45:15 - Caitlin Kindred
And we're doing both eyes, even if we don't need it, because we're going to drop.

00:45:22 - Jenny GK
We had an outbreak at our school, and one of the teachers got it three times and he's like, how am I getting it in the same.

00:45:27 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, it's a guy.

00:45:27 - Jenny GK
Welcome, pink eye.

00:45:28 - Caitlin Kindred
One of my girlfriends got it in college and she kept getting it over the weekend. It's because she wasn't wearing makeup during the week and it was in her mascara.

00:45:36 - Jenny GK
She was just like putting it back on with her mascara.

00:45:39 - Caitlin Kindred
So if you get pink eye, throw out your mascara, you throw it away. And on that note, we're going to wrap this up. That's my advice. Ready? She's going to say make a choices. And I'm going to say, throw your mascara if you get pink eye. All right. Bye, y'all.