How To Destroy Annoying Kids At Birthday Parties

How To Destroy Annoying Kids At Birthday Parties

Some kids are complete bastards. This is something every parent can agree on (just not about their own, natch.) And yet, social etiquette often requires you to invite these mischief-making terrors to your own child’s birthday party. Here’s a simple pass-the-parcel hack that will destroy their very soul…

Crying urchin picture from Shutterstock

In today’s mollycoddling PC climate, most games of pass-the-parcel involve placing a small gift behind each and every wrapping. This is a bad idea for several reasons. Firstly, it eliminates suspense from the game and any element of chance. Secondly, it forces you to buy ten to 20 crappy novelty toys instead of one. And finally, it causes each kid to get distracted and stop playing the moment they’ve unwrapped their own prize.

Back in the early 1980s, the unfurling of each layer acted as a nail-biting countdown to a single, ultimate treasure. Only one child would reign triumphant. There could be no second prize. It was a harsh but ultimately more fulfilling time and children grew up all the better for it.

We think parents should return to the single prize tradition, but with a significant twist — keep the final box completely empty, and rig the music so it lands on a kid you hate.

This way, instead of one happy kid and a bunch of disappointed ones, you’ll have the reverse! As an added bonus, the kid left holding the empty box will deserve everything he gets. That’ll teach you to mess with my limited-edition video games, buster! Honestly, it’s a wonder I haven’t been nominated for parent of the year or something.

This post is part of our Evil Week series at Lifehacker, where we look at the dark side of getting things done. Knowing evil means knowing how to beat it, so you can use your sinister powers for good. Want more? Check out our evil week tag page.


  • or put a note in the middle saying “There is no Santa”, or if for some reason older kids are playing, put a naked pic of their mother as the “prize”, added bonus if you are in the pic also, giving it to the kids mum.

    If you stick to the prize in every unwrap thing, make it demotivational slogans such as “All your friends love you, it’s a shame you have no friends though”, “It NEVER gets better the older you get” or “I [email protected]#ked your Mum”

  • having seen such bastard kids exist, this article made me laugh out loud.
    then get sad at the fact that is because of shitty parenting that the kid turned out the way they did.

  • I was at a party about 20 years ago. One kid, about 2-3 years old, was rubbing his hands in plates of food and taking one bite of food and throwing the rest on the carpet Mum was quite proud of this achievement – the same behaviour that I would almost lynch my own kids over.
    I looked at this kid and asked firmly “do you think that’s good behaviour? Because I don’t”. The kid stopped immediately and pulled his head in. He started behaving much better. Mum was still indifferent to the whole thing. As soon as I walked out of the room, this kid was back to his old tricks …
    So I organised fun for all of the other kids and excluded the one little shit (supposedly based on age). I reminded him that I only wanted to play with well behaved kids. Yes, what I did was mean – and my behaviour was most probably driven by the “as long as he’s not wielding a knife, it’s ok” mum.
    But … I didn’t see that kid acting like a little shit for the rest of the night. He seemed to be on best behaviour after I excluded him from some long-forgotten game.
    If you are that kid, I’ve changed my address 🙂

    • On that note:

      I’ve got a mate who used to be a school teacher. He’s large, imposing and has a penetrating voice. Unlike myself who is the typical lifehacker reading introvert. I invite him to all the kids functions as he has no problems at all pulling them all into line.

    • From your description it sounds like the kid actually wanted / needed someone to be good for, if you know what I mean. Having apathetic parents is worse than parents who are too strict, because all you want in the world at that age is to please them and make them proud of you. So if you have no standards to live up to, for which you will get praise, the only other course of action is to misbehave. So well done, mate, I wish there were more parents who set the bar like that.

  • Love it! Maybe a less destructive method would be to put alternating “bad” toys in there or make sure the kid who is an uber brat gets an embarassing toy (e.g. a Hello Kitty keyring for a boy). What about a pinata full of spiders? Or some hot chilli sauce in their Frog In a Pond jelly?

    • you have no idea how much i want to try a pinata full of spiders.
      i reckon we should still have candy in there but if you have to contend with spiders to get it it would be terrifying

      • Candy! Seriously champ where do you live? it’s lollies not candy, maths not math, petrol not gas.

        end rant

  • OK, you wanna know why there are so many misbehaved and annoying kids these days?

    Kids left at daycare for more than 20 hours a week develop feelings of parental rejection and it can affect them for the REST OF THEIR LIVES, they’re starved for attention because they feel neglected

    You will truly be shocked at this finding and many others

    • Oh please, my parents were hard working and thus I had to go to daycare and after school, care.
      I turned out fine I acknowledged that they needed to work to keep the family financially secure any kid that can’t get that by 4 years of age is a fool.
      I actually learnt the skills of patience and how to wait at a very young age, due to daycare.
      Thus when I was hospitalized for extended periods of time I had already developed the skill of been able to sit quietly and just think…. for hours.

      Ok leaving the kids for ridiculous times might effect them but if the parents then use the time at home effectively and alleviate any concerns the child might have, it can be character building developing more independence and self-reliance.

      The real reason kids are occurring at a higher little shit ratio, is due to the lack and discouragement of discipline, making a child aware that there are consequences for bad behaviour is a necessary skill to teach.

      • I brought up a scientific finding which has been found repeatedly
        You’re bringing up an anecdote.

        You can teach patience without being practically absent in the life of your kids in the most crucial formative years of their life.

        You’re leaving your kid in the company of complete strangers (many of which do not have children and shouldn’t be there) who are not genuinely interested in your child and work for minimum wage, and they’re puddled with other brats with all sorts of germs, that’s pretty neglectful. Though some daycares are better than others.
        How are they meant to feel and what kind of impression is that going to leave
        Why does society tolerate this? Are children that unimportant in our lives?

        Before it was possible to run a household with one income, but now you need two, why don’t people look at what caused that problem and where that kind of thinking has gotten us.

        • You didn’t bring up a scientific finding. You linked to a Stephan Molyneux video (thanks by the way I’d forgotten about that guy).

          Look back when I was into libertarianism I liked him as much as the next person, but he’s hardly one for binding himself to the scientific method.

          If you are going to say you have brought up a scientific finding, your link should be to a peer reviewed study in a respected scientific journal.

          I’m not saying that study doesn’t exist, I’m just saying if you are going to hijack a thread from left field with a pet issue, you better have your stuff ready to go. Don’t make me work to justify your argument because I’m just not going to do it.

          That burden rests with you and Stephen Molyneux videos aren’t up to standard.

          I do however agree that personal anecdotes are merely N=1 and not a rebuttal to proper scientific data.

          NB: I listened to the video for a bit where you had time linked it. He doesn’t mention any studies. Work harder.

          • The reason I linked to a stefbot video is he summarises the findings well (because most people are too lazy to bother reading studies) and raises many interesting points that you would never hear.

            The reason why I linked to that particular time is to get right to the point, let him expand on the point, and then let people do the work of finding out where it came from, which they should do. If you want the studies themself, listen to the entire 25minute video from the beginning, the sources are there. You should do the work if you’re genuinely interested, which you should, I’m not giving you everything on a silver platter, half of the world’s problems are due to people accepting things on platters and not doing much or any investigation as evidenced by your comment.

      • Yes I totally agree that punishment that is consistent even though is tame is needed. My son gets his hand smacked or put in his room for 5 mins. He is 23 months. He understands already because he modifies his behaviour when you threaten him with it. Funny how parents work 7_9 hrs a day for financial security to give their kids the best but the stuff that free gets missed

    • Exactly, parents bring children into this life and it is almost like they can’t wait to get them out of there hair. Into day~care at a young age and then dumped into public school which is really just another form of daycare, , for twelve whole years. What nonsense and complete selfishness on the parents behalf.

    • My wife and I are getting by on one income because we strongly believe this. Two kids (and one more on the way) and a mortgage. In Canberra, where it’s pretty much impossible to find a place under $400k. It can be done if you’re sensible.

      From what I’ve read, other research indicates that some childcare can be beneficial (mostly socially), provided the child is over 12 months old when he/she starts childcare, and that it’s not a full-time arrangement.

  • Or just don’t be evil and add to the problems so many messed up kids already have these days.

  • I… can’t believe this article exists. Evil week or not, are you really teaching us how to make children cry? And how to follow them without being noticed? What’s next, how to insert razor blades into toffee apples without leaving a noticeable mark?

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