Turning 13 is a milestone most girls look forward to with anticipation. Their parents might not be quite as excited, however, as this day signifies the official beginning of the teenage years. Create an event special enough to honor the occasion by making sure it has equal amounts of the three most important components of any teenager’s party–friends, fun and food.
Girls start to form a sense of self-esteem around the age of 13, according to Valdosta State University. This development is influenced in large part by her parents, but it is also influenced by her peer group. For that reason, it is important to encourage your daughter to have close, healthy relationships with her friends. Consider creating a birthday party that will cater to this relationship. Plan activities that will include all the girls equally, make sure all her closest friends are invited. Choose a date when everyone can attend. Alternately, if your daughter would rather have a quiet celebration with just her family, respect her wishes.
Time Frame and Venue
Before you send out invitations, think about how much you can handle. Some parents have no problem letting a group of teenage girls into their homes for a slumber party, even if the party involves more talking and less slumbering. Others can barely handle an hour or so of teen girl talk. If you fall into the latter group, it might be worth it to hold the party at a venue, such as a family fun center, a ballpark, or water park, where their activities can be directed, and you can take a break.
Think about if you want to have a theme for the party or not. Girls this age have usually grown out of the common “princess” or other “girl” themes. This does not mean they don’t like to dress-up, however. A 1980s party, or something else along those lines, might be great fun for the girls. Or, for something really different, throw her a formal dinner party and have the girls dress-up in their best formal wear. Then, hop into a rented limo and go see a movie or a live musical.
Let your daughter lead the way when it comes to choosing the menu for the party. In fact, many girls this age love to cook. You could incorporate this into the party by letting your daughter and her friends prepare some of the food. This is also an opportunity to say goodbye to sugary sweets, and introduce your new teenager to more sophisticated fare. Instead of having greasy pepperoni pizza delivered, for example, try creating your own, healthier version. Be sure to consider any food allergies that the guests might have before you finalize the menu.
Some 13-year-old girls may be too old for some birthday party games, but they aren’t too old for all of them. Try a scavenger hunt at a nearby mall, for example. Divide the girls into two teams, and give each one a digital camera. Then, set them loose in the mall to try to get pictures of items on a list, or collect some of them. The first group to get all the items might get a gift certificate to one of the stores as a prize.
- girls image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com