When Joaqui was a little younger, attending birthday parties was a little stressful for us because
Joaqui would cry just at the sight of the birthday party itself. What I would do was brief him a few days before the party on what to expect, where were we going, what we would do at the party, etc. and although it does not work all the time, somehow it lessened his anxiety. Up until he was about 2 or 3 years old, he would not really participate in games and sometimes cry when the party host's voice is too loud or when there is a lot of shouting going on, but still I would patiently assure him that it's just a party and people are happy and excited that is why they shout.
We kept on attending birthday parties, encouraging him to participate and I really noticed the improvement in his behavior, especially on the last two parties we attended. Now he loves to dance and show his dance moves to others.
He participates in games, listens to instructions well and really have fun - whether he wins or lose.
He is more responsive to other activities such as a magic show, even volunteering to be a magician's assistant one time.
Although I sometimes could not contain the stage mom in me and prods him to join games, I am just as proud when he dances and says to me, "Look at me Mommy!" or when he would ask me if he could join the party games.
As a parent, I realized how important it is to encourage our children to be who they are and let them know how special they can be. A child can be like a firework - we just got to ignite the light and let them shine. Make them know their worth as they shoot across the sky.