Overheard Parents: Birthday Segregation

Wednesday morning coffee break.  I’m sitting with a friend today.  But having heard about her latest squabble with her husband for the seventh time in two days, I’m only half listening.  I know them both.  I like them both.  And I prefer to stay out of it.  So while I’m nodding away at the appropriate pauses, I pick up on a conversation nearby.

It’s birthday season and some mothers are busy planning, comparing notes and talking menus.  Jeannie will be having a Frozen party with plenty of popsicles for all her best girlfriends.  Tom is into Minecraft and the boys will be dressed up as villagers, endermen, dragons, and pigs.  Lucy loves puppies and the girls will have twenty puppies to play with and to pet.

And I’m left wondering when did parties become so segregated?  There are boy parties and girl parties but so few that mix.  I realize that it’s been about two years since my son has been invited to a girl’s birthday (family exempted) and he’s only in grade two!  Is Kindergarten really the end point?

We gasp in horror and outrage when we hear about other cultures . . . how men and women sit in different rooms at a party, or need to ski on designated slopes.  But aren’t we guilty ourselves?  I’m sure boys would love a Disney adventure party like Frozen and petting puppies is hardly gender-specific.  And girls will do fine with Minecraft or bowling or baseball or reptiles – whatever the theme may be.  If we don’t encourage them to invite both girls and boys, how will our children know how to communicate with the opposite sex later in life?

I for one have two boys.  They have no sisters to play with.  I think a tea party or two would do them some good.  Invites, please!

Do you throw segregated birthday parties or are you outraged by the trend?

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Tags : overheard parents   confessions   birthday parties   gender   

Kirsten Kawasaki
This really bothers me too. My daughter loves playing with boys and she never gets invited, even when they're some of her best friends!! We always invite the whole class no matter what.
Maya Slavin
I'm pretty sure my daughter prefers boys' parties! They can get pretty wild! LOL
Alissa Hamadey
I totally agree with this, but there was one year where I booked one of those makeover/fashion show places for my daughter's birthday and I sent out invites to the whole class... and only the girls responded (hah!)
Shirin Behnia
In kindergarten, my son was the only boy invited to an all girl princess tea party. The kids all got to dress up in costumes, role play, and sit down to pink lemonade and cookies. He had such a blast but it was the one and only time he got to go to something like that.