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How do girls want to celebrate their 13th birthday?

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Hi!,

The MC in my middle grade/tween  novel  just turned 13 - I figure she could've had a slumber party with her girlfriends the weekend before her birthday  and then just maybe a family dinner on the actual day.

Do 12- turning-13 year-old girls do that ? OR do they want to celebrate their birthdays in other ways?

Thanks in advance for sharing for your insights, ideas & experiences =)

--LiZ
#1 - February 05, 2012, 11:37 AM

Funny you should ask, since my daughter turned 13 yesterday! <sniff>

She had three friends over for a slumber party that included dinner on their own at a local hoagie shop, an ice cream sundae bar back at home, a netflix movie (going out to a movie had also been in the running), make-overs and nail art, listening to music, staying up till 3:00, sleeping late, and a pancake brunch the next morning. The biggest change from past years was that she planned everything herself (and even cleaned up!).

The final bit of celebration is a trip to the mall today to get her ears pierced, but she tells me that "everyone else" has done that long ago!

Hope this helps!
#2 - February 05, 2012, 12:06 PM
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 12:17 PM by kittypye »
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Private pool party with 10 of her best friends, complete with hamburgers/hotdogs, cake, ice cream, gifts, and music.
#3 - February 05, 2012, 01:40 PM
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Mine had a swimming party at a nearby rec-plex.
#4 - February 05, 2012, 02:30 PM

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My 14yo wanted the same thing for her 13th that she wants every year. She wants her closest friends to spend the night. 14 layer chocolate cake. And permission to watch Doctor Who all night. :) 

She's a complicated girl. :)

I expect your MC is complicated, too. Maybe her passion will fuel her "birthday" wish?
#5 - February 05, 2012, 04:20 PM
Being Frank (Flashlight Press)
http://flashlightpress.com/

This is for my daughter's 12th, so who knows how she'll want to celebrate her 13th... but if you want something different here it is. She wants to go hiking in the canyons (we're in Southern California) and have a picnic. Then, with the idea that not all her friends will want to hike, we'll meet other girls afterward at a local fro-yo place and have chocolate fudge birthday pie.  Later she'll have her two best friends sleep over.

So far there's absolutely no Plan B in case it rains. We've had a very dry winter here, but you never know in March...
#6 - February 05, 2012, 04:30 PM

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Slumber party with three friends, baked wacky cupcakes, went on a ramble/treasure hunt up in the hills by our house (clues by me - quite an enterprise!), Dr Who marathon in the evening. Then the next day, they dressed up and shot a Plants vs Zombies-themed music video...

Donna, our girls sound a bit similar. Mine is 14 now too.
#7 - February 05, 2012, 05:08 PM

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Liz,

What you described is exactly the kind of thing my daughters and most of their friends have done.  A few friends whose parents may have a little more money get more elaborate, but mostly it's pretty much a sleepover.

AM
#8 - February 05, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Slumber party with three friends, baked wacky cupcakes, went on a ramble/treasure hunt up in the hills by our house (clues by me - quite an enterprise!), Dr Who marathon in the evening. Then the next day, they dressed up and shot a Plants vs Zombies-themed music video...

Donna, our girls sound a bit similar. Mine is 14 now too.

They sound very similar!  We've done treasure hunts, too. And I was the clue-maker, also! :)
EERIE. :)

BTW -- my hubby and I bought all three girls sonic screwdrivers for Christmas. My oldest got RiverSong's screwdriver. Very cool!
#9 - February 05, 2012, 06:24 PM
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http://flashlightpress.com/

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My daughter just wanted the chance to spend time with her closest friends. We went mini golfing and then out for pizza. But slumber parties are pretty popular too. Movies. Or cooking. It's so fun listening to them talk in the car. I noticed that gifts are starting to become more something that the friend picked out instead of the mom. Something more suitable for bday girl.
#10 - February 05, 2012, 08:12 PM

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Surprise birthday party with about 10 of her girlfriends from school, swimming, and way too much sugar. :music:
#11 - February 05, 2012, 10:18 PM

Slumber parties, friends, cake, movie marathon!
and thirteen little wrapped gifts; a bracelet, a scarf, a book, nail polish, etc.
#12 - February 05, 2012, 11:41 PM
Hold hands and stick together

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 :thankyou

Thank you all for sharing your experiences! 

--LiZ
#13 - February 10, 2012, 05:30 PM

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STephanie - your kiddo love Doctor Who, too? My DDs feel like the odd ducks around here b/c most of the kids don't even know who he is. Wish we lived closer to some of you Doctor Who fans! :)
#14 - February 11, 2012, 08:47 PM
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My niece just turned 13. She wants to go to the mall and buy clothes. She also wants to start wearing make-up and straightening her hair. Since my wife is a hair stylist my niece asked her for hair straightener for her birthday. She also wants a cell phone but that is not happening. It seems like parties with any adults around is out. Why do parents let their children have cell phones at such an early age these days? Maybe this is not true everywhere. I live in California and I see 10 year old children with cell phones in their hands.
#15 - March 08, 2012, 12:46 PM

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Why do parents let their children have cell phones at such an early age these days? Maybe this is not true everywhere. I live in California and I see 10 year old children with cell phones in their hands.

I can't speak for parents in California or parents in general but in our case we gave our kids one to keep tabs on them. I have to admit that my kids walk from the bus to my home and although I try to schedule my work around their school hours that is not always possible. I like the idea that they get off the bus and text me letting me know. Also if they want to go out with a friend or have to go to a friends house for a school project it's a good way to keep in communication with them during that time. One time the friend she had a project with was having a massive fight with the mom and she felt uncomfortable so she send me a text asking her to pick her up early.

Technology doesn't have to be a bad thing, if you teach them to how to use it properly, and it can be used as a way to open communications channels with your kids. For example my kids LOVE to know what's for dinner when they get home from school. So I try to text them what's for dinner. I also ask them how was their day and if there was drama that day. Sometimes they text me first telling me all about the drama that day. If it's too big they usually give me a clue and then tell me that they will talk details at dinner, which follows the question "What's for dinner?". Another thing they like to do is text me if they need any supplies for school or they have an important day I should remember. Then there are the random texts of "I love you mom" that usually come at the most needed times when I'm at work.  As I said technology can be  used to the parents advantage you just have to get creative.

**Ops forgot to answer the original question!  :oi My daughter turned 13 on January and we had a Disney park day out with 4 of her closest friends. She pick the park and went in for the day. She consider the sleepover but in the middle of redecorating didn't sound like a good idea.
#16 - March 08, 2012, 02:21 PM
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 02:25 PM by Ann Gatti »

I'm in California too and my daughter, at age 11, is the only one of her friends who doesn't have a phone, partly because she says she doesn't want one yet. In our area, I'd say it's common for kids eight and up to have phones.

My daughter's the one who's going hiking and having a picnic for her 12th birthday, which is next weekend, and some of her mall-loving kind of friends aren't thrilled by the idea (we've given girls the option just to meet us later for ice cream and birthday pie.) I'm keeping my fingers crossed there's no rain, because we really don't have a Plan B.
#17 - March 08, 2012, 03:00 PM

On the phone topic, be aware--there are whole threads about that, Jeff.  You can use the search feature to find them. 

 . . . and now back to your regularly scheduled topic!
#18 - March 08, 2012, 06:02 PM

m_stiefvater

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I feel like this is always the reply I give to threads like this, but I want to say it again: the important thing when writing a novel is not to know what the average 13 year old girl wants for her birthday party. It's important to know what YOUR 13 year old CHARACTER wants for her birthday party. The least interesting thing we can do as writers is describe what is obvious and common and unspecific. As a reader, don't we all want to "meet" new people? It means your character has to feel realistic but like no one else. Your 13 year old can celebrate her birthday in whatever way is right for the mood/ tone/ quirks of the book you're right, you just have to justify it.

I mean, look at the Flavia mysteries: http://www.amazon.com/The-Sweetness-Bottom-Pie-Mystery/dp/0385343493/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331297543&sr=1-2

Yes, these are adult books, but the protagonist is a young, young girl with a passion for chemistry. Is it every pre-teen? Definitely not. Is it compelling? Definitely SO.

So, I think it's important to know the norm, to a certain extent . . . but only so you can play with those expectations in some other way.
#19 - March 09, 2012, 04:55 AM

jeffman

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My daughter had her closest friends over in the afternoon for movies and pizza. 2 boys were included. So figure parenting style into the equation.
#20 - March 09, 2012, 05:41 AM

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Thanks again everyone for your input

& Maggie I might rethink what I had originally thought   Thanks.

--LiZ
#21 - March 17, 2012, 01:10 PM

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