How to Celebrate Your Child’s Milestones in the New Normal
The milestones of your child are all worth celebrating! The new normal is not changing that fact. You can still celebrate the small and big moments in your own way.
The new normal has presented parents with daily challenges. From how to keep kids busy while cooped up at home, to being productive while doing work remotely. It has been challenging to keep up with all the changes.
While it has been an uphill battle for most, the new normal has also presented parents with opportunities to spend valuable time with their children. When limited to the bare minimum, you realize what matters in celebrating milestones isn’t the grand party with a long guest list. What matters is the presence of those your child loves and making it known and felt that they are loved and accepted.
Whether you’re throwing another birthday via Zoom or entering a socially distanced school year in preschool, here’s what you can do to help your children adjust and give their milestones the recognition each moment deserves.
See events from your kid’s perspective.
Your child doesn’t know that their first day of school or their birthday is a big deal. They take cues from those around them. If you make a big fuss over the time wasted planning their 4th birthday bash or get upset over the friends and activities they could have encountered in preschool, they’re going to mirror that attitude right back at you.
Children will always do what they see, not what you tell them to do. Wishing for what might have been won’t make the present any better. Focus instead on the positive. They can look forward to the celebrations they have at home or seeing friends during virtual classes.
Commemorate, don’t overcompensate.
What kind of birthday celebration would your child want? If you ask them, it would probably be a list of toys, their favorite food, and maybe a virtual playdate with friends and family.
The new normal has brought out ingenious ways to have virtual birthday parties, from party food kits and souvenirs sent to the guests’ doorsteps to online games and activities facilitated by someone dressed as your child’s favorite cartoon character. These are all well and good — if it’s what your child wants.
It’s the same way with moving up day for preschoolers. Most preschoolers in all honesty don’t know the gravity of moving from one level to the next, from preschool to big school, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that adults get teary-eyed over moving up days more than the kiddos. Celebrating your child’s moving up day can involve a simple congratulatory banner, a printout of their “diploma,” and a spread of their favorite food. That’s more than enough for your little one to feel accomplished!
Commemorating milestones are about doing something out of the ordinary, not going overboard. Going overboard because you pity your child for missing out on what could have been is not the best feeling to guide your party planning. Instead of pity, remember the reason behind the celebration: What makes your child feel loved and cherished?
Set up social calls.
If you’ve ever observed a playdate between kids of this age, they choose to play individually. Collaboration usually comes when they’re all doing just one activity, such as role-playing or painting in one space. Kids who are of preschool age are not yet attached to their peers, such as how tweens or teens are to their social circles. Preschoolers even sometimes forget which one their best friend is among their friends, so don’t worry about their socialization skills coming to a halt because of this forced quarantine.
If and when she does have friends in mind that they would want to see, set up a virtual call for them. They can paint, draw, talk, or even make silly faces or watch their favorite movies together. Seeing a friendly face will always be welcome.
Celebrate their small wins, too!
Milestones such as a birthday or a moving-up day will always be special occasions, whether done in-person or in a virtual space. But what about celebrating your kid’s small wins as well?
What have they learned while in the new normal? What new skills have they acquired that have made them more independent? Did they try to eat something new, start a new hobby, or meet a new friend?
Kids are very good at staying in the present. Beyond their birthday, they treat every day as if it’s all that they’ve got — there’s no such thing as an “I’ll do that tomorrow instead” mindset for them! What they do every day, like building a train set or a handstand, is a big deal. Praise them for their hard work, new skills, or independence. Praise is a great way to acknowledge and appreciate their everyday wins.
Milestones are shared best with the ones who matter to you the most. And for your children, those who matter to them the most are their loved ones. When you’re there for them, that’s all that they need to see this milestone as one worth celebrating.
About The Writer
Maita de Jesus
A mom of one 6-year-old girl, Maita started her writing career as an intern for a popular local women’s magazine back in 2004. Her career has seen her assume leadership positions in several wide-reaching publications: she’s served as managing editor for Good Housekeeping and Total Girl Magazine, and as editor-in-chief for Disney Princess Magazine.
She became a full-time freelancer in 2015, to help focus on raising her daughter as a single mom. In the course of her freelance career, she’s published parenting, lifestyle, and personal finance content for a variety of online portals.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and do not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.