It's NOT all about the b'mitzvah kid

"It's all about our kid." (Or is it?)

That's what most of you say during our initial conversation about your kids' upcoming b'mitzvahs. I get it. It's a chance to laud them up, lavish them with praise, extol their virtues, and reward them with a moment of glory in what's bound to've been a journey of ups and downs to get them to this milestone.

Of course it's all those things. But it's far far more than that. And it's not all the kid's doing.

It probably took a small army of people to get them to this point starting with their main care givers—parents for the most part—who brought them in to this world in the first place (which is itself often no plain sailing and can be fraught with complications); the early years navigating the stresses of adjusting to life with the responsibility of another; nurturing all those worthy behaviours we're told to instil; trying to dodge or having to deal with all sorts of traumas from injuries to illnesses, from bullying to delinquency, and from losses to the myriad divergencies that make this kid a little bit (or a lot) different from the typical.

If they had siblings then they've been part of this journey, too. And whilst that can be wonderful for all of you, I'm sure these relationships haven't all been peace and tranquility.

If they're blessed with grandparents then, if they're anything like my own kids' grandparents, they'll have played a big part in all of this, too: a support for you, not just usually limited to performing babysitting duties. What about extended family like their uncles, aunts, and cousins? I bet many of them were part of your kid's first 12 or 13 years with more than just birthday cards.

Have your friends been there to pick you up when you've needed it? (And to pick up your kids when you're stuck!)

How about your kid's friends?

There've been a lot of people involved. And they're likely to stick around.

No, it's not!

So here's the thing: It's not just about the b'mitzvah kid. It's about all of you—your little universe of people—who've contributed to their life.

It's all because of your kid. And it's definitely worthwhile reinforcing that message to them.

Being the centre of attention can be overwhelming for an adolescent. And even if yours loves to be the centre of attention, the pressure of all this effort being about them is, in my opinion, misplaced.

Part of the magic formula of throwing a party everyone loves is making it about everyone who'll be there with you to celebrate, that representative group of the team effort in making it to this point. It'll be 4 or 5 hours spent together to let your hair down and bask in the sweet relief of "We made it! Let's party!"

I know not everyone agrees with this party philosophy. So add your comments below. And always feel free to contact us if you want to talk any of this through.


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