Party Foul: When Parents and Kids Clash Over Bar Mitzvah Plans

parent child yelling

A seated black tie affair? A casual sports-themed bash? 20 or 200 kids? Parents and kids can be THIS———— FAR————- APART on agreement about the ideal Bar Mitzvah celebration. A meeting of the minds starts here:

Talk Themes Early. If your Mitzvah kid has specific ideas in mind, find out about them early so that you’re not surprised in, say, the first party planner meeting. This will help determine the tone of the celebration.

Draw Decision-Making Line. If they care to, kids should participate in decisions having to do with the type of party (afternoon/evening, formal/casual), the invitation or logo style, and entertainment. They should also have a say in smaller details that are very important to them, like the DJ song list, guest favors, kids’ menu, or green screen background designs. But final decisions rest with the adults. After all, you’re footing the bill.

Reign in Range of Choices. Let your Mitzvah kid know what they can and can’t have, or what trade-offs might work. (“You can have the green screen photo booth, but then we can’t do the airbrushed hoodie favors for your friends. Which one is your must-have?”)

Compromise when you Can. Give choices (do you like this, or this?) wherever possible, but if it’s something that’s not THAT important, give in. For instance, one daughter really wanted pink kippot. The mother wanted silver. They did half and half, so both got what they wanted.

Be Gracious on Guest List. Invite as many kids as he/she wants, within reason. Kids’ meal prices are nowhere near as high as adult food prices, and the party is more fun with a good-sized group of kids. But, you don’t have to invite all friends’ siblings; invite only kids that have a relationship with your son/daughter. Invite entire groups: don’t ask only 10 members of a 12-person sports team. Teach your Mitzvah kid this lesson of being gracious.

Keep the Faith. Remind your Mitzvah kid that the most important party of the weekend is the huge step he/she is making into Jewish adulthood. The weekend should be a reflection of your family’s love for each other and your community of family and friends!



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