Different habits

Just wanted to share a curiosity with you. Like every year, I have been busy organising my son’s birthday (8 ! Time flies!). Being Dutch, I am used to children’s birthday parties where parents take their children and either come back later to pick them up again, or the children will be accompanied back home. From the start (1st party organised when he was 3), I had the impression that this was not done in Italy. And in fact the first years children were accompanied by parents, resulting in rather large parties, as you can imagine. Last year, I decided it was time to get some Dutch flavour to the party and indeed specifically invited ONLY the children. I took them to the theatre, we had pizza together and we brought them home. What a huge surprise for most parents! I actually had to call one or two after the theatre performance and before going for pizza to tell them all was fine. This year, I thought they would be more familiar with the concept, but still found some of them quite flabbergasted that they had to leave their off spring and could come back later to pick them up. This time we went to see the movie “Walking with Dinosaurs”. The children were all quite happy and the parents … ? They probably accept it because we are not italian or maybe because the children are getting older and more independent? I’d be curious to now how children’s birthday parties are celebrated in other countries. Any input?


– Post by Saskia van der Bolt –

6 responses to “Different habits”

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I follow a blog of a British mom also living in Italy and she has written about the same thing. She doesn’t enjoy being expected to accompany her child to parties with all those other parents and screaming kids! In the US, only preschoolers will have parents along, depends on the kid’s needs. But after that age, parents drop off and can’t get out the door fast enough!

    • I recognize this and have a feeling that, at least some of the italian parents were indeed happy to leave their kids for a while ! We always dread these italian birthdays where the whole family comes along and stands by to watch the kids (literally, like a wall flower!).

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Different cultures surely are interesting. I love the closeness I see in Italian families and friends, they seem so warm and loving. I’m sure there is a downside to that, however! It’s all in the balance!

  2. janinevasta says:

    This is a classic cross-culture post! In Australia we do things much like you Dutch! In fact it’s often hard to know who’s happier, the parents or the children!

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