When my wife and I started to plan our son’s 1st birthday party, we asked our parents what they had done for our first birthdays. “We had a party with a cake” was their answer — no useful information for parents looking for ideas.
We asked friends, and they would say, “Let me think, it has been thirty years and I don’t remember what we did.”
Others wanted to help, but their way of helping was to send us Pinterest links. These cool DIY projects looked great, but we weren’t professional crafters. We were new parents with a one-year-old.
I would ask co-workers what cool thing they did for their child’s 1st birthday party and I started hearing about these great cakes that relatives made, or how a sister did all these neat table displays, or how they rented out a hall, had entertainment and ponies, and how they found great discounts at the dollar store. None of their input helped. It was refreshing to hear all the ideas, but every party was unique.
Rephrase the Question
So I change the way I asked the question, and I instantly started getting beneficial information that we could use.
The new question was: What would you do differently for your child’s first birthday if you could do it over? It didn’t matter how long ago the party was; people remembered the mishaps and things that went wrong. This better prepared us for planning our first birthday party.
One parent suggested bringing a second car because her sister-in-law bought her daughter one of those battery operated cars, and the box was so big they could not fit all the presents in the car. They had to make two trips from the hall to the house. If she had to do it again, she would have bought two cars.
Another person said she would call the bakery two days before picking up their order to make sure they had the name and cake decoration correct. The bakery they used misspelled her daughter’s name, and when her husband went to pick up the cake, he didn’t look at it. All he saw was a sheet cake in a box. Not only was the name misspelled, but it was vanilla, not the chocolate cake that she had ordered.
Changing the question gave my wife and me the useful information we needed to avoid mistakes and mishaps.
The lesson we learned was to avoid asking people whose kids were already grown what they did at their child’s first birthday, avoid people who just wanted to send us Pinterest links, and ask the right question help prevent mistakes from happening.
The information we learned from family and friends provided us with the information we needed to have a great first birthday party for our son.