Kids birthdays and no friends

Julia - posted on 02/02/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Ok here it is. We have been in SC for almost 2 yrs now. My kids birthdays are coming up. My son turns 1 in Apr and my girls turn 5 and 2 in May. Here is the problem, we live off post and I don't have many friends...ok I don't have any friends. Which means my kids don't have any friends either. Our families live 9 and 10 hours away so they can't make it. So what should I do? How do I make my kids birthdays special and have a nice birthday for all of them when I don't know anyone around here? Oh and to make things worse we are moving into a new house and new neighborhood at the end of this month. I'm hoping that there will be other families around that have kids. So what would you do in a situation like this?

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Tiffany - posted on 02/04/2011

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I know sometimes we might feel like our kids deserve the world but what is wrong with celebrating your birthdays and making it just a family tradition? Family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles etc can send gifts in the mail or give them to them when they see them next if they can't make it and want to make their days special. I grew up without huge birthday parties and never realized I didn't have them. When we were younger my parents got us a birthday gift and as we got older and could choose, that was our special treat, to choose whatever it was that we wanted and also a place to eat. I wasn't any less excited about my birthday:D.

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www.meetup.com. Put in your zip code and look for a moms group in your area. This site saved my social life and has been great for socializing my kids. I found it mid-way into our last duty station and looked for a group immediately when we got to our new one. All of the kids that attended my childrens parties were met through this group!

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I kno what u mean. Does ur 5 y/o go to school? If she does invite a few of her friends. I have a 11 y/o 8 and 5. We party by ourselves. Go somewhere fun get a cake party bags and hats. A family that plays 2gether stays 2gether! ;-)

Kaylyn - posted on 02/15/2011

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I know how you feel I have a soon to be two year old son(in april) and zero friends so far I'm hoping that the next place were stationed I have better luck. I'm actually debating flying to visit the family for his birthday. I hope for luck turns for the better when you move to your new house.

Samantha - posted on 02/10/2011

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These are not ages where the kids aren't super picky about their friends. If your husband has people at work with children, invite them! It's a great chance for you to make friends with other spouses and you have the perfect excuses to have company, a move and some birthdays. Just make sure it's on a weekend so it doesn't conflict with work schedules. Also, set up some playdates, you have at least a month and a half to get the ball rolling. If none of this sounds good, take them on a trip to the Zoo or Jump Zone or a weekend trip to see family and have the party there. (Trying to give you a bunch of ideas.) Hope this helped.

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Charlotte - posted on 01/25/2014

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Hi I have a very lonely 16 year old who cannot make friends do to my work schedule and rapid moving. My daughter is an interovert and I worry about her missing out on social life. Help ideas please

Tamara - posted on 02/25/2011

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Fort Leavenworth did have great programs. miss it. =)

There is a playgroup on fort Jackson that meets once a week. At different locations. You should check them out. http://www.facebook.com/FortJacksonNPSP?... there fb page.

There is also a Momsclub.org in columbia that is very active. =) you should check them out as well. When I sent an email I got a quick response. =)

Hope to see you tonight at AT EASE. =)

Meg - posted on 02/25/2011

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I've seen several people suggesting MOPS but thats not always as easy as it sounds, I attempted to join the MOPS here in fort campbell several times and they didn't respond to my calls or emails. Not to mention if your children are over a certain age aren't eligible for the group, at least not here. If your children are over preschool age MOPS won't do you alot of good. But there are always CYS programs going or like we found on fort leavenworth after school youth programs for all school ages at the local youth center, not to mention the free play groups for children 0-5. Also mom Co-ops are a good way to meet other parents and children who are not school age yet. ( ours was a group of moms who took turns watching the children while the other moms worked out in the next room at the leavenworth gym)

Aimee - posted on 02/24/2011

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Julia, where in SC are you? We moved to Shaw AFB a few months back and your post sounds like my situation! I have a 7 yr old son and 4 yr old daughter. My son is in school, but my daughter and I don't get out much and haven't met other moms/preschoolers either. Maybe if you're close we can meet at a park or something?

Nicole - posted on 02/24/2011

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I say try to find a mom's group. If you are a religious person (even a little bit), you can try MOPS. There's usually one of every base or near every base.
Also, you can make your kids bday special by just booking a hotel near by and buy board games, let them stay up and eat junk food and swim in the indoor pool. Or, book a room at a place like the Great Wolf Lodge.

Courtney - posted on 02/18/2011

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You can always find a lot of play groups in your area. Just search for them online. If you start being involved in playgroups for the kids then they'll make friends, then when it comes time for birthday parties you can give invitation to the other mothers in the playgroups to attend your child's bday party!

Cassie - posted on 02/18/2011

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I am in the same boat with my son, he turns 1 in April, so for us we decided to take some leave and go back home to celebrate with our families, I know that is not always an option, and I have been thinking about what we will do when we have to go to a new duty station in a few years. I have to say if we end up any furter away (which is pretty much inevitable) we will just make it special by doing something special, like going to an amusement park or something similar. My mom used to take us out to lunch or dinner, just the birthday kid and mom, it was our special time together, we always looked forward to it. Just some ideas.

Amy - posted on 02/17/2011

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Ok you can just have a family blast with the 1 and 2 year olds. Go to a park with the family or check out a kindergym or rent a bounce house for the 2 year old and let her play in it until she laughs herself silly. Everyone gets to play and cake and icecream and a movie she likes at home will round out a great day. One year olds get... cake. Lets face it, the traditional cake smear on the fist birthday is great fun. Cover the dining room table with a plastic table cover, give him his very own cake and grab a video camera. Just put him the tub in his clothes and have a giggle afterward. As for the big girl... get her into some classes and invite the class? Say gymnastics or dance? Or you could get a new church near your new home and make friends there. If all else fails you two go out and do something silly and fun. Pedicure with mommy and lunch out? Maybe a good show or a day at the beach? Bounce house would be fun for her too. Are there any good kid's museums down there or trail rides? You are a military mom and this is a challange we get good at over time. Get out there and just have fun. We're a different breed and our family is our strength. We have had a lot of family birthdays and they have all been a lot of fun. Your life won't be like everyone else's but the dosn't mean it won't be Fabulous! Good luck!

Frances M - posted on 02/13/2011

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Instead of having a birthday party, have a birthday outing. Pack a picknick lunch and go to a park that has play equipment for small children or go to the zoo or some place else the children love to go. They might enjoy that more than a party. Hopefully you will be moving into an area were there are other military wives. My husband was in the Navy the first 15 years of our marriage. We wives would get our children off to school or together to play and we would have a time for drinking coffee and waking up (about an hour). Al got out of the Navy in 1978 but I still miss that. After that we did what wives and mothers do: take care of our husbands, childrens and homes. We got to know each other and our children had friends.

When you move, go borrow a cup of sugar from someone who have children your children's age. If you see someone out, go ask where the nearest park or store is. Anything to get aquanted.

Katie - posted on 02/13/2011

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Military life is hard! I've been married to the Army for 7 years and I tell ya, we have moved over 12 times in those 7 years of marriage. Get involved in a MOPS group where you are at. Or find some kid places in your area. It's hard to be away from family. Especially during birthdays. Once thing I started in Korea was making the kids a special birthday cake and my husband and I would blow up balloons to fill the entire room! All the kids are going to care about was that you were there with them. My kids didn't care that there was no family there or friends at first, they just loved being with mom and dad, getting presents, and eating cake. :) Plan a special outing for you all like a picnic in the park, going on a walk, going to a play area or something kid related that they'd enjoy. Or just having a special popcorn and movie night. :)

Jaime - posted on 02/13/2011

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I agree with going to the library. Or if you have any children's book stores in town, they usually have story hours.

If you are about to move into a new neighborhood, you have the perfect opportunity to meet new people (both you and your kids!). Make a bunch of invitations, go around door to door, knock and introduce yourself, say you are new to the neighborhood, will be having a party for your kids, even if you don't have kids, please come along as we will be BBQing, have some drinks. Put on the invitiation "Your presence will be present enough, so please don't bring a gift!" to encourage people to come.

Good luck!

Amy - posted on 02/11/2011

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We always do family parties. We decorate the house cook a special dinner and sing and have cake. I have never had a friends party for my children. We have NOv and January birthdays. We make a big deal rihgt in our dining room. Your kids do not need friends for a Birhtday party. I will sometimes take them out for a special activity like the other moms have suggested. If you get your kids involved ion an activity like dance or sports you will make some friends yourself.

Kayla - posted on 02/10/2011

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Just take them out to like a chuck e cheese or something and have a little birthday party with your kids and husband!

Meg - posted on 02/10/2011

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We came up with a similar situation last spring my daughter was about to turn 6 we had just PCS'd and daddy had deployed all within a month. The result was me and my two daughters had a girl day all for ourselves to celebrate, we went to the birthday girls favorite restaurant, wandered the mall and she picked out a few outfits for herself, and then went to an old time ice cream parlor that we all enjoy before we went home and watched whatever movies she had chosen she loved it.

Brenda - posted on 02/10/2011

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I totally understand what you are going through. I have two kids also. We've been in for 9 years now and have never been able to give them a party. What we usually do is make the day special. I let my kids pick out their favorite foods for dinner, and we go somewhere special. My daughter's birthday is in two weeks and what we're doing is that I'm taking her out for breakfast, just the two of us, then to get a manicure. We will have a special dinner and then rent a movie of her choice and watch it as a family. She seems to really enjoy that. We've been doing that for the past few years... Good luck!

Sara - posted on 02/09/2011

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I have to say go w/ just a family birthday even if it's just you guys. Make his favorite meal or take him to his favorite resturant IF by chance he has one at age one. :)Have cupcakes or a small cake. My birthdays growing up consisted of me picking what I wanted to eat and than having a homemade cake of my choice w/ ice cream. To this day I might not remember ALL of them but the ones I do, make me smile and they were nothing special or even close to being big and fancy.
Also, my son turns 1 in March...I don't have any friends or family where we are stationed plus my husband is deployed. I'm just planning on getting some cupcakes and maybe inviting the neighbor girls who absolutely love him over.(they are 7 and 9)

April - posted on 02/08/2011

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try looking up mops.org they have mops in just about every location put your location in an it will tell u the nearest one.u can meet other moms I live near ft stewart an I joined this group a few months ago they have all kinds of social events it is worth looking into.. daycare is provided..

Candi - posted on 02/08/2011

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when we first moved to TX from Germany, my son's b-day was coming up. We were new so we knew absolutely nobody. We were there a week before his b-day hit, so we took him to Chuck E Cheese's. My husband lost his sanity there, but the kids had a blast. If you go out to eat, just mention to the waiter/waitress that its your son's b-day and they will usually sing and bring a piece of cake. It doesn't have to be a huge party. Once he is in school and has to invite the whole class so no one gets their feelings hurt, you will wish the simple days were here again. lol

Tamara - posted on 02/08/2011

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I didn't go to AT EASE last month either. Maybe if they had presented it a different way than maybe. I may be at the one this month. =) hopefully I will see you there.

The night Spouses forum will be 9 March at 1730-2000.

I will let you know if and when I will host another get together.

Julia - posted on 02/08/2011

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Thanks Tamara! Yes we do need to get together again!

I just couldn't bring myself to go to the AT EASE event last month I'm agnostic and most likely would get into an argument with someone over religion. The Spouse's Forum does sound like something but I can't go until they have a night one.

Tasha - posted on 02/08/2011

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Is there a local Chuck E Cheese? Even if you have two or three kids it WILL be special.I was in SC away from family we invited over people from my husbands Det. Kids love having even one child to play with just do special activities( Crafts , have the kids make pizzas) it will be as special as you make it. We took our daughter to a Hibachi grill for her birthday once just us as a family. It was very exciting to her . Even though your husband is not very social it may be a good time for him to invite new people over that have children a good ice breaker.

Tamara - posted on 02/08/2011

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Hey Julia--there is a momsclub (www.momsclub.org) here in Columbia you may want to check out. there is also a play group on post that meets once a week. you should check it out.

I know you have been to a few AT EASE Event. The Spouses Fourm here on post will start meeting every other months or so at night if you can't make the daytime meetings. =)

And we need to get together again sometime. =)

Rebekah - posted on 02/07/2011

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I agree with the Moms groups, meetup groups are great as you can be specific, so if you are a religious or not if you, if your into scrap booking you can put in Scrap booking Moms group or Christian play group or whatever you want that way your children will have less of a chance of being exposed to people you may not care for. Either way don't worry so much about huge Parties My Dad who was in the Air force so I was a brat myself and I can only ever remember one Birthday party my whole life and that was a couple of years after my Dad retired. My Mom thought we should each have one. As we never had them while he was in. Normally the Bday child would be king or queen of the day we got to choose meals didn't have to do chores that day and got whatever desert they requested at dinner. Just to let you know my parents had 5 children, We are all fine and well adjusted adults. :)

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I agree with finding mom's groups. Find a local MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) and get involved. It is totally ok to celebrate birthdays without an all out party with friends too. Take your 5 year old to her favorite restaurant, bake her a cake and let her be princess for the day!

Amanda - posted on 02/07/2011

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Just do a family thing. My son is four and doesn't have any friends yet either (he's too young for school, I'm a SAHM, and our neighbors kids are disrespectful brats beyond belief, so no help there.....LoL). This year we took him to a movie downtown and did all the extras. He got to choose the movie, have his own popcorn box and candy (no sharing on the birthday! LoL), played games in the arcade, etc.... Then we went out for ice cream and all that jazz. You could also get a small cake for your little family so when your done with whatever activity you do, you guys can go home and have birthday cake.

Heather - posted on 02/04/2011

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Chuck E Cheese, Your 1 and 2 year old won't mind at all If you just take them out somewhere fun, like the Zoo or something.

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2011

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Or do something more personal... do they want to see a movie? Build a bear? Make it special even though it's just family... Indoor waterpark? Not sure what you're near or your price range.

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2011

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Try to find a library program. I wasn't much for friends either so I was worried about my 8 month old socializing with babies his age... I joined the baby and me lapsit at our library on post. Many civilian libraries offer it as well, you can find friends for your kids and you.

Kim - posted on 02/04/2011

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We just moved again so we didn't do the big party for the kids this year, instead we picked an activity that the birthday boy/girl would enjoy. The entire day was for them and even though it was just family the kids had a very special day!

Julia - posted on 02/03/2011

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I tried that but the Mr. is a home body. He doesn't have any close friends here and the one that he works with on a daily basis...well his wife is racist and encourages their son to be racist as well (he's four and a little asshole) and there is absolutely no way I would EVER have any of that shit around my kids. Because I would have no problems beating the hell out of the kid should he say something racist to my kids and then beating the hell out his mother for allowing it.

Tyeasha - posted on 02/03/2011

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I don't know if this will help but i invited people that worked with my husband and their children

Kristian Amber - posted on 02/03/2011

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Have you tried finding a moms group around there? We moved to WY from NC and after being here awhile and not being able to find anyone that I really had anything in common with I found Moms Club. Apparently its a national/international moms club that has meetings and playdates, mommy dates, etc all through the months. We have really enjoyed it since my 5 year old son doesn't go to school yet either, his older brother does, and I'm pregnant. It really helps me to get to talk to other moms, even the ones that don't live near us, and gives him some other kid interaction. They are really awesome moms, always trying to do something, some of them offer babysitting services, and for us, when the baby comes, they are doing the meals for a week service where everyone pitches in and makes a meal to feed the family for a week after I bring the baby home. Its a really good club, and I enjoy having something to look forward to every month/week.
If there isn't one there, you could always try just searching around for play groups and stuff online. Even some places on base, the child services center, library or something should have fliers and stuff promoting that sort of thing.
If not, which I know there are some bases that are kind of behind on those sort of things, I agree with Tah Dula, you can make the birthdays special by just taking them somewhere out of the norm that they'd enjoy. I don't know where you're stationed, but see if there's a childrens museum or aquarium or something near by, or at least within 2 hours of a drive. If you live close to NC state line, there is a place in Hickory, NC called Hickory Dickory Dock, my parents lived 30 mins out of Charlotte and it took us about an hour or so to get there, and they have a huge play area for kids, Sundays have a buffet, games, laser tag, bumper cars, a really small mini golf, those sorts of things, but its a lot of fun! And Charlotte has the Discovery Place Museum that has a lot of hands on activities for kids of all ages. I love the toddler room where they have the water table where the kids can play with the boats and water wheels and stuff.
We didn't do much for my boys' birthdays this past year, my oldests is Christmas Eve which also makes it hard, and my youngests is Dec 5th. Next year we are definitely doing more, I found a neat bowling alley nearby that is pretty cheap for parties, and if nothing else, Denver, CO is 2 hours away, so we could go to different places there.
I wish I could help more! If you are interested in the Mom's Club, you can google it, they have a website and you just type in your information, where you are, etc, and someone in your area will contact you and let you know what they do and stuff.
I hope this helps!!

Julia - posted on 02/02/2011

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I know right? My poor girl...love her to death but she has very little social skills. Never been in daycare, always had a babysitter or an at home daycare where there were less than 4 kids at any given time. Izzi will be the annoying kid in class constantly talking and bothering other kids.

Tah - posted on 02/02/2011

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so....the children who dont need help suffer...you should have told her to go in there and just stare at them and all of a sudden out of nowhere say......"WHOOOO..live in a pineapple under a tree....." that would have gotten her in there....smh at SC

Julia - posted on 02/02/2011

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She's just turning 5...and no she doesn't go to school. I tried to enroll her in Pre K and she wasn't accepted because she didn't need the help to prepare herself for K. Yeah SC does it that way...the ones who need the help preparing for Kindergarten are accepted first.

Tah - posted on 02/02/2011

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i was gonna ask if the 5 year old has friends in school, if so, invite them. go out for their b-days...chuck e cheese..they get to run around like crazy and have pizza..what more could they want...then you can do a movie b-day...go to a movie tavern that serves food and then go out for ice cream after.....

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