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Toddler Behavior Problems at Birthday Parties


A birthday should be a day of celebration, right? Well, sure, for the birthday boy or girl. But every mom knows that the unbirthday kids—aka pretty much the rest of your crew—might get a little snarky when the house is full of presents and balloons for someone else. Here's how to deal with the green-eyed birthday monster.

If your unbirthday kid… Wants to blow out the candles
Try this! Before the party, give the unbirthday boy a “helper” button to pin on. Find a special task for him, like passing out cake or drinks.

If your unbirthday kid… Thinks he should get presents, too
Try this! Pediatric psychologist Mark Bowers, Ph.D., suggests saying “I know you are disappointed that your sister is getting presents today and you're not. But just think of all the fun you'll have on your birthday.” Can't take the resulting protests? Perhaps start a “family gift” tradition, such as a board game or book series for everyone to enjoy.

If your unbirthday kid… Throws a tantrum during the festivities
Try this! As much as possible, ignore tantrums. Just verbally point out how well the other children are playing and how much fun they're having, then move on.