What we've taught today's children is that they get a trophy and a snack simply for showing up. We've taught them that everything should be celebrated with food and a party. And we've taught them that ordinary days -- with no treats or parties -- are somehow lacking.
It's one thing if party planning is a source of a joy for you, but if it's not a priority, foregoing fancy party trappings does not mean that you don't love your child enough or don't care enough about the moment to be celebrated.
Being on all three sides of a guest list -- inviter, invited and uninvited -- can help children not only become more resilient, but also more conscientious and empathetic. It's up to parents to use parties as opportunities for chats about friendship, kindness, and etiquette.