Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum?
Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our three News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. This week’s problem comes from Salt Ash. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of email@example.com and include your title, initials and suburb.
Hi Jasminda, I am eight-years-old. I’m having a party soon and my dad suggested I write to you to see if you had any ideas on what we could do?
Miss SL, Salt Ash
Oh, to be eight again. What a delightful stage of life. I’m trying to recall my own party at that age.
It was definitely a backyard affair with a homemade cake and the obligatory game of Pass the Parcel.
That’s what we did back in the day and from what I can remember we had a rollicking good time.
But things have changed, and may I suggest not for the better.
I can pinpoint it to a specific event. It was at a party with a child who looked remarkably like a young Donald Trump.
The kid kept throwing himself on the ground and kicking and screaming when things didn’t go his way.
He screamed when he didn’t win the Egg and Spoon race and made a complete jackass of himself during Pin the Tail on the Donkey (excuse my Americanism there, Miss SL, your dad will understand the pun).
Instead of the parent saying, “You naughty little psychopath; go to your room”, they gave him a prize for being a jerk.
That was the beginning of the age of entitlement, when parents started rewarding mediocrity and bad behaviour.
At first it was just a Freddo Frog in every layer of the Pass the Parcel so no one missed out, and now we have event-managed parties for children.
There are marquees and inflatable jumping castles, canapés and hired entertainment.
There are personal assistants pandering to kids wearing tiaras.
Sweet Miss SL, the world has gone a little bit mad. Buck the trend, little one.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with fairy bread and several games of Non-musical Statues.
Your daddy will thank me.