Back in our day, children’s parties were a simple affair.
A slice of cake, bit of jelly and ice cream and a game of pass-the-parcel, and we were bouncing off the walls with happiness. However, recent research has shown that the kids of today experience much more lavish celebrations, with 16% of parents admitting to spend more than £300 on their children’s parties.
Girls aged 2-4 are said to have the most lavish birthday bashes, but even the most seemingly simple affair has become a big-spend situation, with parents wanting to one-up each other with the best food, games and gifts. 1 in 4 parents say they have felt pressured to spend more than they would like on presents for the birthday girl or boy.
The research is particularly timely as it comes soon after Myleene Klass shared a picture of an email from the parents at her daughter’s school, asking for group contributions towards pricey presents including a Kindle and a desk.
Her sarcastic response went viral, with many parents tweeting her messages of support for her no-nonsense approach – probably because, according to the new study, only 23% of parents would spend £10 or more on a gift, and just 28% were happy to chip in for a group gift if this meant the child got what they wanted.
Myleene with daughters Ava and Hero. She hit the headlines recently after publicly criticising parents asking for £10 contributions towards group gifts
Cathy Ranson, editor-in-chief of Netmums – who commissioned the research for the Press Association – explained: ‘Putting on a birthday party for youngsters should be child’s play – but it seems to bring out the worst in some parents.’
‘Shockingly, some parents admitted giving opulent gifts in party bags including jewellery, cameras, video games, phones, iPods and even tablets.
‘While this may make the parents feel pleased with themselves, is it really what their kids want?’