Making My Tweens Birthday Special

making your tweens birthday special

I was caught off guard when my tween son told me he didn’t want a party this year. To be honest it was a bit painful. In the past, he plans his party, months and months in advance. I’ve thrown him a birthday party from his 1st year of life, so I didn’t know what to do myself when he said he didn’t want one.

So, how does one deal with this, when it happens? Well, I can tell you how I dealt with it.

First, I went and cried–WHAT he doesn’t want a party.  Then I cried some more as I was filled with sweet memories of the precious baby I held in my arms 11 years ago.

How in the world did I end up with a tween!

He’s got fuzzies growing around his lip. Or I should say, it’s more like he thinks he has fuzz around his lips.

He smells like he hasn’t bathed in weeks but it’s from playing outside for less than an hour.

His mind is filled with things like–the car he’ll drive and the girl he’ll marry.

He’s 11 and I just can’t believe it.

my son

Isn’t he handsome!  He’s almost as tall as I am.  I’m wearing boots with 2.5 inch heels.

Making My Tweens Birthday Special

Okay, once I got over that initial shock, I tried to find small ways to make him feel loved but not babyish.

We gave him the option of having a party (my idea) or going camping with a couple of friends (his dads idea).  He went back and forth on his decision, but at the end, to my dismay he chose–the camping trip.

I was out of town the morning of his birthday so my hubby took over The Hernandez Tuten birthday morning traditions and he made him some yummy cake batter pancakes with sprinkles!  The picture below was when he was only 6 years old. We’ve been doing this since he was 4 years old.

birthday traditions 1

I got home from my trip with a  headache, so when I realized no one was home I debated about taking a nap but to my dismay I couldn’t. So this is what I ended up doing for him, it was simple but you can tell from the look on his face it was a big hit.

birthday traditions

I couldn’t help myself, I had to do something.  This birthday balloon garland over the door was easy to set up and it didn’t take very long.

I think the hardest part of not throwing him a party was more about getting use to the idea that he’s too old for a Carnival theme party (yes, that’s what I had planned in my head for him–don’t laugh).  It wasn’t so much that I was missing the exhaustion I feel after hosting a party for 30-45 of his friends and their families but it was more about coming face to face with the reality that he’s not so little anymore.

So we celebrated our tween who didn’t want a party with birthday pancakes, a balloon banner, a special family outing he picked and eating out for dinner.

birthday breakfast idea

My 2nd child, was born the day after him (three years later), so though it was hard not to throw a party for my 11 year old the reality was, it gave me a little break not to have to throw two parties back to back, as we’ve done in the past.  Aiden my 8 year old, did want a party. So I’ll be working on a small ninja party for him, this weekend.

birthday breakfast

This was his traditional birthday breakfast celebration.  This year I put a few sprinkles in their milk, it was a big hit. My toddler climbed on the table just so he could get to it and our tween even liked it.

milk with sprinkles

Balloons and streamers go a long way.

birthday waffles cake

Our birthday traditions vary, depending on how busy our life is but they can ALWAYS count on a birthday waffle cake or a birthday pancake cake!

birthday traditions

Who doesn’t love different colored waffles with sprinkles on them!

birthday movie

We ended his non-party birthday celebrations with letting the birthday tween pick a movie. We watched HOME! It was a fun and cool enough movie for all three kids and we all loved it. I think the hard part about being a tween is that they still want to play with cars but they think they’re too old for Mickey Mouse.

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  1. Love the balloon/streamer banner! will have to keep that in mind for my daughter when she turns 20 this year! no more birthday gatherings for her… weep, weep! her last gathering was at 18, but I try to make it special and we take her out to dinner.

    My 8yr old boy loves having birthday parties and gatherings.. hopefully he’ll continue to for a little while longer.

  2. Becky, Thanks, it was simple and a big hit! Just the other day my 11 year old said he was changing his mind about having a party. I think he’s in that stage where he’s not sure how to be grown but still play like a kid. So maybe he’ll want a party next year, lol. ~mari

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  4. I’m always on the look out for ideas to incorporate into our b-day celebrations. I love the waffle breakfast tradition. It’s so fun that you’ve gotten pictures of your son when he was younger and when he’s older with his pancakes/waffles. You should do that every year and make a collage.

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