By Maria Caso: My sweet, cute, often misunderstood teenage daughter recently turned 14, so a party was in order. She attends a private school on the upper west side. It’s definitely a school Manhattan populated by the 1% all the occupiers have been occupying about. I, on the other hand, am a proud citizen of the 99%,
We planned an extravaganza, consisting of a sleepover accompanied by a dinner beforehand. A good friend created digital evites and we sent them out. No response. We send them out again. This time, parents began declining the invitation with numerous excuses. Only 3 girls agreed to come out of the 18 invited. I was baffled. My daughter, devastated.
What happened? It occurred to me that these kids are accustomed to elite clubs, fancy restaurants, birthdays spent in the private rooms of museums – everything fancy and posh under the sun except a good old fashioned sleepover party in somebody’s apartment. Gross.
I was left with a sad, defeated teenager who already has enough on her plate. We sat and talked about how we could make her birthday fabulous, but all she wanted to do was cancel everything. It’s time for: THE COACH!
I began by asking empowering questions, and then answers begin to emerge. At one point she asked: “If my friends can’t come, how am I going to get any gifts”?” She then realized her so-called school buddies were not her only friends — she has grownup friends too.!
Now the plan changes and we invite over 50 people, mostly my friends who have all watched her grow up. So what happens? They all show up gifts galore. There are gifts pouring out into the hallway. Her 3 buddies come too and the evening becomes truly spectacular. Someone brought a guitar, another a dog, “crazed party chic” showed up ready to party at midnight. My daughter was so happy. And so was I, for her.
The lesson? It doesn’t matter if we are not like the other parents at that fancy school. An old-fashioned single mom and daughter re-framing the evening and purpose worked wonders. And led to an abundance of riches of all kinds. More than occurred in most chic clubs that evening, I would wager.
Maria Caso / Life coach/ Single mom in manhattan