Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: m2kbug on April 11, 2013, 06:49:56 PM

Title: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 11, 2013, 06:49:56 PM
What is the standard norm and general etiquette on invitations and having the guests spend extra money on these events with the kids and tweens and teens?  In following the build-a-bear thread, it looks like its' the standard norm to invite and be invited and fully expect to fork over additional dollars throughout this event.  I completely disagree with this, but I'm wondering if this is the direction the world is going with just about any parties.  My children, who are pre-teen and teenagers have been invited to a few birthday parties the past few months.  When  I'm calling up to RSVP and solidify the details, this is when I am informed I have to send along $20 or $30 dollars to cover the cost of rentals or food or something.  I can't afford this.  When I am hosting a party, I fully expect to incur the the cost and don't ask my guests for additional fundage and work within my budget.  It seems like the world is moving in a direction where you plan a party for your kid and expect the invitees (their parents) to cover the expense.  Is this the standard norm nowadays?  What's the etiquette?  Have you experienced the same and what are your thoughts about it?
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: YummyMummy66 on April 11, 2013, 06:58:44 PM
I don't know about other people, but if I have a party for one of my kids, (or had, my oldest two are 24 and almost 21), I paid for everything for those invited.   It included the venue, if not at my home), food, drink, cake, etc.  and usually some type of take home item.  I usually did not do goody bags but a craft or more for them to make and take home.

Depending on the friend and how close of a relationship my child had with that friend would depend if they were going to attend the party or not if they had to pay $20 or $30 dollars to do so.

I cannot imagine inviting someone to a kid's birthday party and expecting them to pay $20/$30 to do so and bring a gift yet?

No, I don't think this is the norm anywhere.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Carotte on April 11, 2013, 07:02:40 PM
I've never encountered it as a guest, or hear about it, not for a party thrown by a parent for a child.
I could see it for say, a bunch of teenagers/young adults throwing a surprise party for a friend of theirs, but even then, the cost is stated upfront, not sprung during RSVP (still, better than sprung on you at drop-off...).
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Calypso on April 11, 2013, 07:39:26 PM
 *Sigh* I suspect this comes from three things:

1) Kids, and/or their parents, think there's something wrong with a "home made" birthday party, and can only imagine the kind of commercially-branded consumer-fest that all those "real" people on TV have.

2) Or neither parent has the time or ability to make a cake or a party and want to hire the job out, but not pay for it.

3) Or this is just part of the ill-mannered current trend of people who think it's ok to ask for their friends to pay for their weddings, shell out big bucks for weekend-long bachelor/bachelorette parties, or donate to their medical bills or their "life dreams" (as we had on a thread not long ago). Why wouldn't they think everyone's parents would just LOVE to finance their kiddies wing ding?
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: sammycat on April 11, 2013, 07:47:34 PM
I've (thankfully) never encountered the situation of being asked/expected to fork over money so my child can attend a party. I hope I never do either!

Like other posters, when I host a party for my kids I pay all the costs, whether that be location rental/food, home entertainment, an at home party with food, games, goody bags, etc.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: sassydeej on April 11, 2013, 08:03:35 PM
When my DS turned 13 we hosted a few boys at a local game center.  We told the parents that we would be purchasing a party pack for each kid that included unlimited free laser tag, mini golf, bowling with free shoe rental and it would include $5.00 on a card to use for arcade games.  We also told them we would be providing cake and beverages (not a meal as it was after the supper hour).  The parents could then decide if they wanted to send extra money with the kid but we weren't giving them extra money for more arcade games.  We even told DS to bring extra money if he thought he needed to spend more, but we wouldn't be giving him extra money for games or food.

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: TootsNYC on April 11, 2013, 08:31:26 PM
What is the standard norm and general etiquette on invitations and having the guests spend extra money on these events with the kids and tweens and teens?  In following the build-a-bear thread, it looks like its' the standard norm to invite and be invited and fully expect to fork over additional dollars throughout this event.  I completely disagree with this, but I'm wondering if this is the direction the world is going with just about any parties. 

My thought w/ the Build-a-Bear type things is that the kid ends up with SOMEthing even without spending extra money. That you don't *have* to buy the extra clothes, etc. And that some parents decide to do so.

Quote
My children, who are pre-teen and teenagers have been invited to a few birthday parties the past few months.  When  I'm calling up to RSVP and solidify the details, this is when I am informed I have to send along $20 or $30 dollars to cover the cost of rentals or food or something.  I can't afford this.  When I am hosting a party, I fully expect to incur the the cost and don't ask my guests for additional fundage and work within my budget.  It seems like the world is moving in a direction where you plan a party for your kid and expect the invitees (their parents) to cover the expense.  Is this the standard norm nowadays?  What's the etiquette?  Have you experienced the same and what are your thoughts about it?

I haven't experienced this, but it's really rude! And it's a very different thing from saying, "we're having the party at Chuck E. Cheese, and everybody gets 25 tickets" and then some parents buy extras.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Betelnut on April 11, 2013, 08:34:05 PM
I've never encountered it either.  I don't think it is common.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hopefull on April 11, 2013, 09:15:06 PM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Sharnita on April 11, 2013, 09:34:53 PM
You know, the only way I could see anything like that would be if it was something like "We are taking the kids to ______ ameusement park for the day.  We will pay for admission/rides and meals.  If they want extra snacks, to play the  various extra games or to get a souvenir they need to provide their own money."
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 11, 2013, 11:00:33 PM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Deetee on April 11, 2013, 11:14:24 PM
I've never had an invite asking for money. I've had some requesting no gifts.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 11, 2013, 11:25:46 PM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.

No, it's not the new normal. It's bad hosting to throw a party and have others pay for it.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: *inviteseller on April 12, 2013, 12:03:23 AM
Oh really hot place no !  What the Special Snowflake parents are doing is asking you to help throw their child's birthday party.  So Junior wants all his friends to come play laser tag?  Well, start saving up instead of asking Junior's friends to make his big dream party come true.  It is one thing if you tell parents you are providing cake and drinks, so if they want something at the snack bar, they are on their own...but to be expected to pay your own way for a party because the parents cant throw a party within their means? NONONONO.  If I got one of these for either of my DD's, they would not be going.  Unfortunately, there seems to be more and more people who think just because it is their wedding/birthday/retirement/ect. it is fine to ask others to finance it.  I have never, nor will I ever participate in these.   
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Kimberami on April 12, 2013, 04:55:39 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.
Champagne tastes on a ginger ale budget.  The parents of the birthday child should be paying for the children to do the main event.  If they can't afford to do that, then they should chose another party location or have a very small party.  I'm not sure if I would let my child go.
As a funny side note, this was the For Better or For Worse strip for today:
http://www.gocomics.com/forbetterorforworse/2013/04/12
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: lkdrymom on April 12, 2013, 05:51:34 AM
I hosted a laser tag party once for my kid. And I paid for all his guests (and then some...friend talked me into paying for her teen age son and gf to play too).  And it wasn't 30 a person...more like 12-15 pp
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Margo on April 12, 2013, 05:57:12 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.

It's completely out of order. The parents can chose to pay for the party, or they can chose to limit the size of th party to what they can afford, or they could chose to not make it a party, but instead to make it "We're planning to take our kids to play Laser Tag - if your kid would like to join in, the cost is $20 plus whatever he wants for snacks - we're willing to be the responsible adults for the group" in which case they are simply organising an activity and it has no link with their child's birthday.

I know when my brother was a kid, LaserQuest was the thing which he and all his friends wanted to do. So, he got to go when it was his birthday, as that's what he picked. But it meant he only got to have 2 friends go with him, rather than the dozen or so who could have been invited if he'd chosen instead to have a party at home. Same with me - I remember a birthday 'party' which was a trip to the cinema - I got to take 2 friends, as that was what the budget stretched to.

In this case, I'd be inclined either to decline or (if your son is desperate to go) to let him go but simply with a card,not a gift.

Evil Margo would be inclined to decline by saying "Thank you, but we don't wish to buy a ticket to your LaserTag event"
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2013, 06:00:55 AM
I vote not okay.

My kids have always had a choice - they could either invite a number of friends to our house for a party, where I would provide snacks, cake and ice cream, goodies for their friends, maybe make it a sleepover with rented movies, etc. or they could choose one or two friends and I would pay for everyone to do something more spendy (an indoor swimming facility, a movie with all the trimmings, "do everything" passes at a mini golf-arcade-go-carts-laser tag place, etc.). So far my kids haven't been invited to any parties where I was expected to pay for their entertainment. I'm not sure how I'd handle that if they were, since they'd probably be excited to go and wouldn't realize my dilemma, plus there's the issue of not wanting to hurt the birthday kiddo's feelings by declining.  :-\

I don't think it's right to invite a bunch of people to come spend money for the pleasure of hanging out with you. My younger son has a friend who will invite him places on occasion and I'll need to pay but it's not a birthday party, just a typical weekend, so there's no pressure. When it's 4 hours of skating for $10 I say yes, when it's half a day at the amusement park for $40 I say no thanks.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: singingserpent on April 12, 2013, 06:22:32 AM
Agree with the previous posters-this is not normal. Sounds like they have been going to expensive birthday parties for other kids, and want one for theirs without paying for it.

Or maybe since this has been happening to you a lot, this is a new thing that is spreading in your kid's social circle. One parent starts asking for money for a party, then the next person to have a party does it too and all of a sudden it's the new normal.

We let our kid have a big party on her 10th birthday and it was at one of those indoor play places. It cost us several hundred dollars, but we paid for everything ourselves. If we didn't want to spend the money we would have changed the venue or done something at home.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Margo on April 12, 2013, 06:28:13 AM
<snip>
I'm not sure how I'd handle that if they were, since they'd probably be excited to go and wouldn't realize my dilemma, plus there's the issue of not wanting to hurt the birthday kiddo's feelings by declining.  :-\

I think in this scenario I would explain to my own child that it was too expensive. I think it is helpful for children to learn early on that you can't always have what you want, and that stuff costs money. You could also give your child the option of saving up and paying for himself (or you paying and him paying you back from his pocket money, if there isn't time to save up first) I think it is a really useful lesson for children to learn, about saving and budgeting for stuff they want.  Obviously it depends on the cost and how it compares to what the child has as pocket money. I also think that explaining to a child "Yes, I know [friend] had 15 people for laser-tag. That's too expensive. You can have 15 people for a party here at home, or you can have 3 friends for laser-tag, which would you like?" is both healthy and appropriate.

I agree that the birthday child might be disappointed but that is really for that child's parents to deal with. If they get a lot of peopel declining the invite then they may rethink in future (and if you know the parent well enough, or if they actually ask, I don't think it woudbe rude to say that it's not in the budget. I would only say that it's odd to be expected to pay for a child's birthday party if you are specifically asked, however.

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: HoneyBee42 on April 12, 2013, 06:52:48 AM
I know that it does seem to be a trend to have parties at places that cost money, and that's been going on since at least my oldest son (age 19) was little.  I continue to be a "trend bucker" by thowing the same sort of parties that I'd had as a kid, maybe a little nicer (my birthday parties were in my house with some party games and cake and ice cream--we've pretty much ditched the party games, but I feed everyone pizza as well as cake and ice cream).  Yeah, it can get *crowded* in here--especially when it's my twins' birthday when we're basically having two birthday parties at the same time.  Everyone has a great time and no one leaves my house hungry (I always end up over-buying on pizza).

On the other hand, I've never been asked to *pay* for the "privilege" of my child attending someone's birthday party.  And if I were, I would be declining (or in the instance of the Chuck E Cheese 'we're supplying x tokens' with unspoken suggestion of spending more to give my child more tokens, well my child would just have to manage on x number of tokens).  If the birthday child has a miserable time because too many friends declined--well, hopefully the parents will learn that next time, they better plan on trimming the guest list to what they can afford to host.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Penguin_ar on April 12, 2013, 07:00:33 AM
Asking the parents to spend money up front is definitely not normal, and I would consider it rude.
I think there is a huge difference between "I am "inviting" your son to my son'd birthday at lazertag, please fork over $20 for entry and $10 for food, otherwise you can't attend."  and the (to me acceptable) "I am inviting your son to my son's birthday at lazertag, we are covering entry and food but if he wants extra ammo, the more expensive drinks or a souvenir, you may want to send him with extra money."
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Cami on April 12, 2013, 07:54:12 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.
It's not my new normal. If I felt my kid "had" to go the party, they'd be going sans gift.  Not just because spending the money to fund the event has exceeded my budget for kid entertainment, but also this:
Quote
to make it "We're planning to take our kids to play Laser Tag - if your kid would like to join in, the cost is $20 plus whatever he wants for snacks - we're willing to be the responsible adults for the group" in which case they are simply organising an activity and it has no link with their child's birthday.
That's it exactly. These parents are organizing an activity, not hosting their kid's birthday party.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: bopper on April 12, 2013, 07:58:24 AM
When my DS turned 13 we hosted a few boys at a local game center.  We told the parents that we would be purchasing a party pack for each kid that included unlimited free laser tag, mini golf, bowling with free shoe rental and it would include $5.00 on a card to use for arcade games.  We also told them we would be providing cake and beverages (not a meal as it was after the supper hour).  The parents could then decide if they wanted to send extra money with the kid but we weren't giving them extra money for more arcade games.  We even told DS to bring extra money if he thought he needed to spend more, but we wouldn't be giving him extra money for games or food.

This is the situation I could imagine where parents of my guests might POSSIBLY want to give the kid extra money but you would certainly not ask for it.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: artk2002 on April 12, 2013, 08:40:25 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.

No, not the "new normal" at all. In the scores of parties that my sons have attended, I can't recall this happening once.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 12, 2013, 09:08:16 AM
I don't know about other people, but if I have a party for one of my kids, (or had, my oldest two are 24 and almost 21), I paid for everything for those invited.   It included the venue, if not at my home), food, drink, cake, etc.  and usually some type of take home item.  I usually did not do goody bags but a craft or more for them to make and take home.

Depending on the friend and how close of a relationship my child had with that friend would depend if they were going to attend the party or not if they had to pay $20 or $30 dollars to do so.

I cannot imagine inviting someone to a kid's birthday party and expecting them to pay $20/$30 to do so and bring a gift yet?

No, I don't think this is the norm anywhere.

This. Even at 18 & 16, when invited to a party at their ages, the host pays.  I've never encountered anyone expecting the guest to pay.

However, if the guest tries to "up" the level of hosting... I don't want a basic bear, I want one with 3 outfits...then it is the guest responsibility to pay over and above the hosts basic expectations to host.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: rose red on April 12, 2013, 09:23:40 AM
Yeah, that's not normal and a completely horrible practice.  And I'm someone who had no problems with the Build A Bear situation where parents pay for extras.  Key word *extras*
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hopefull on April 12, 2013, 09:29:33 AM
M2k bug how much are you talking about and what are you getting for your money? If you do let your child go  I don't think you need to bring a gift.  If you are wondering if you should decline feel free to do that also.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Calistoga on April 12, 2013, 09:54:34 AM
If you can't afford to provide your guests with the basic "fun" of the party...don't throw the party. What exactly is the child supposed to do if they don't bring money? Sit and wait while everyone else plays laser tag/bowls/makes teddy bears?

I see one exception to this rule. I was invited, as a teen, to go to Haight/Ashbury with a friend for her birthday. Essentially we were going shopping. So I provided my own shopping money. I can see asking someone to provide their own cash for this kind of birthday party.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 12, 2013, 10:09:55 AM
I've done the "we're supplying x, y, and z" thing before.  When my kids were younger, the cost of a party at the ice arena nearest to me was actually cheaper than a "home" party.  They supplied rental skates, cake, pizza, drinks and goodie bags, and of course the ice time for the kids to skate.  If my children's guests wanted to play arcade games or get additional food from the concession stand, they needed to bring their own money.  I can't imagine asking the guests to pay for any part of what the arena charged for the party itself.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Aquamarine on April 12, 2013, 10:22:29 AM
I would never dream of having a guest pay for anything, IMHO it's unseemly.  If you can't afford the party you want then have the party you can afford to pay for.  No one gets whatever they want in life, sometimes you need to compromise.

Customers pay, guests do not.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 12, 2013, 10:30:16 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.

M2k,
Are they paying anything? When I hosted for my son, it was around $12 per kid and included two laser games and some other activities. Then I provided cake and drinks. Are they suggesting the kids bring extra cash if they want to play more than the included 2 games or are they not paying for anything?

If not paying anything, then it sounds like the parents are "coordinating" an activity and not hosting a party.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 12, 2013, 10:43:03 AM
Oh eHell NO!

I had two daughters and we did McDonald's, pizzas, bowling, skating, ice skating, minature golf, swimming and home parties and I did not EVER expect other parents to send/bring money.  If I couldn't afford to pay for the party I didn't have one.

I think this is just the new entitled generation expecting others to pay for their fabulous life.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 12, 2013, 11:52:51 AM
I have never paid for a party at this type of event, so I don't know if they have any party packages that might be more budget friendly.  The rest of the time It's $20 for a session or $30 for all day, plus the cost of renting weapons and safety gear, and if they're there all day, you're also sending money for food.  This one I'm sending $20 and I'm assuming the parents are covering either the cost of the session or the rentals and providing dinner.  They could easily be spending $50 a head.  It's definitely not cheap.  A couple of these other parties where I've ended up sending money aren't as expensive and thankfully this doesn't happen every time, but it certainly seems to be trending right now.

When they were younger and off to Peter Piper Pizza or Build-a-Bear, I have never sent extra cash for tokens or anything, didn't expect to have to and was never told to.  I expected the parents to cover whatever it was they were covering, and my kids get what they get.  If they run out of tokens, they run out.  If these parents wish to spend extra money for more tokens, that's up to them.

One of the issues here, is this isn't mentioned on the invitation, so I'm finding out about this later.  If it was on the invitation I would know right away about any costs and know if this is something I can afford to do.  I don't want to have to say no, but sometimes this is necessary.  I've usually done these parties at home, but at no point did I expect parents to spend any money. 

And just to clarify, the laser tag is the more recent one and also one of the more expensive ones, most of the time it hasn't been nearly as expensive. 

Plus you're buying a gift.  It didn't occur to me that with this cost, I might not be obligated to also provide a gift.

This one party is also a slumber party, and these parents are going to be driving the kids out there and picking them up, plus feeding them, so they're not being overly lax or anything.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 12, 2013, 11:58:53 AM
One of the issues here, is this isn't mentioned on the invitation, so I'm finding out about this later.

Nice bait and switch!
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Shoo on April 12, 2013, 12:02:16 PM
We have never had to pay anything when my daughter has attended birthday parties.  The parents have always paid for whatever activity the kids were invited to.  And when we've hosted parties, WE have always paid for all the invited kids. 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Amara on April 12, 2013, 03:46:51 PM
OP, I am not a parent so take this advice with that in mind. Someone above mentioned that the price for the laser tag seemed high. Can you call the park and find out how much it actually is (yes, I am advising you to check and make sure the parents are not padding the cost). Second, I would suggest that not only does the success of this party possibly encourage other parents to do the same it might in a sense pit your party-going child against your other children because they won't be allowed the same experience at parties they might go to in the future. Is that a risk?
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 12, 2013, 05:49:41 PM
OP, I am not a parent so take this advice with that in mind. Someone above mentioned that the price for the laser tag seemed high. Can you call the park and find out how much it actually is (yes, I am advising you to check and make sure the parents are not padding the cost). Second, I would suggest that not only does the success of this party possibly encourage other parents to do the same it might in a sense pit your party-going child against your other children because they won't be allowed the same experience at parties they might go to in the future. Is that a risk?

Thank you for your concern on this one.  My child has played laser tag before, I am well aware of the fees, and they also have everything listed on their website.  I don't know if they offer any "party packages" to save a few bucks or offer any discounts for multiple individuals.  I don't know what these parents are spending, and I'm not going to ask.  It is costly, but I don't think we're looking at a situation where anyone is being ripped off.  I have talked and met with the parents, met the child, and been by their house.  They seem like good people, and I don't think anything shady is happening here.  It's a really good point to bring up, which I didn't even really consider, so thanks for mentioning it. 

As for the kids and their friends and parties, there has been a little bit of jealousy here and there, but that's just life.  These kids are pre-teen and teenagers.  When they were little, a lot of times siblings would be invited to join part of the festivities or they'd give the sibling a goody bag, which was really nice, and something I did as well when I hosted, but that doesn't happen so much these days, and the kids really aren't interested in attending each others events all that much anyway, though they might be a little green with envy with what the other kid has planned and gets to do. 

There might be some parental competition and keeping up with the Jones', but I'm not one of those people.  I guess this type of behavior is why the guests are being charged rather than doing something a little bit less expensive or inviting fewer guests or working with a budget.  I would love to do something like this for my child but really can't and try to keep the parties even between my children, but who knows what these people are doing.  Part of my question was if this was just something new I need to expect in the land of teen because it's just not something I really encountered before when they were little with these parties.  Clearly this is not typical. 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: peaches on April 12, 2013, 07:47:32 PM
I've never heard of a pay-your-way birthday party, and according to my DD, her kids haven't been invited to any. I think this is talked about more than it's practiced.

Most venues have party packages to make the experience more affordable. This would cover food, drink, typical number of games, or manicures, iceskating, a craft or whatever. Other than a gift, a guest shouldn't have to spend money to enjoy the party. 

Another option is to let the birthday girl or boy invite a favorite friend (or 2) to something special (dinner at Benihana's or a fondue restaurant, or a show). Trimming the invitation list is a way to deal with the affordability issue.

We still see home parties in our neighborhood, too. I don't think they've gone completely out of style.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 12, 2013, 07:50:01 PM
What next?

BIRTHDAY BASH LUAU
Little Mervin is turning five!
Youíre invited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him in Hawaii!
Date: August 8-11, 2013
Place: Honolulu Hilton
Please send your check for $1500 to Mervinís parents by July 1.  Your check covers the cost of airfare, lodging, and Mervinís birthday luau party.  Breakfast is provided by the hotel.  Please ensure that your child has additional funds for other meals, souvenirs, and additional entertainment (suggested amount $600).
Mervin is registered at GreedyKidsRUs.com.
Please visit our website to see how you can contribute to the trip expenses for little Mervinís parents.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 12, 2013, 09:43:33 PM
One of the issues here, is this isn't mentioned on the invitation, so I'm finding out about this later.

Nice bait and switch!

OP, I think you're well within your rights to just say "Oh, I wish you'd mentioned the cost on the invitation. I'm sorry, but unfortunately that changes things and my child is no longer able to attend."

Years ago, I had a friend who would always call me and say "My buddy is having a party. Do you want to go?" And I'd say yes. And then she'd say "Can you drive? Can you pick me up?" And I was annoyed that she always wanted me to drive even though she had a car too, but I'd say yes. And then she'd add "And my other friends, Joe, Sam and Barbara want to come too. Can you pick them up too?" Suddenly, I was a chauffeur running all over town to attend a party that was right by my back door. After a few times like this, I learned to say "actually, no, sorry. I'm not willing to drive. It doesn't make sense for me to spend an hour and a half in the car each way when the party is half a mile from me." And then, in a huff, with a frustrated and admonishing tone, she would rescind the "invitation."

I realized I wasn't being "invited" but rather, being used.

You don't have to explain that it's your budget that is preventing you from sending your child to the party. In your shoes, even if my budget allowed it, I think I would still say no. On principle.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Thipu1 on April 13, 2013, 10:14:43 AM
What next?

BIRTHDAY BASH LUAU
Little Mervin is turning five!
Youíre invited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him in Hawaii!
Date: August 8-11, 2013
Place: Honolulu Hilton
Please send your check for $1500 to Mervinís parents by July 1.  Your check covers the cost of airfare, lodging, and Mervinís birthday luau party.  Breakfast is provided by the hotel.  Please ensure that your child has additional funds for other meals, souvenirs, and additional entertainment (suggested amount $600).
Mervin is registered at GreedyKidsRUs.com.
Please visit our website to see how you can contribute to the trip expenses for little Mervinís parents.

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this. 

Children's parties have gotten totally out of control.  What ever happened to ice cream, cake and running around the back yard?
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 13, 2013, 10:36:50 AM
What next?

BIRTHDAY BASH LUAU
Little Mervin is turning five!
Youíre invited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him in Hawaii!
Date: August 8-11, 2013
Place: Honolulu Hilton
Please send your check for $1500 to Mervinís parents by July 1.  Your check covers the cost of airfare, lodging, and Mervinís birthday luau party.  Breakfast is provided by the hotel.  Please ensure that your child has additional funds for other meals, souvenirs, and additional entertainment (suggested amount $600).
Mervin is registered at GreedyKidsRUs.com.
Please visit our website to see how you can contribute to the trip expenses for little Mervinís parents.

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this. 

Children's parties have gotten totally out of control.  What ever happened to ice cream, cake and running around the back yard?

Even then they're out of control, at least where I grew up and just moved back to.  A backyard party here involves at least one, but usually 2 or 3 bounce houses or other large inflatable toy (think large slides or climbing toys) and either a live band or DJ.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: *inviteseller on April 13, 2013, 12:03:05 PM
The problem is parental competition.  I saw that last year when one of DD's classmates had a party at local hair salon.  It was on a Sunday when the salon was closed and mom has worked there for years so I knew it wasn't over the top.  They fixed up the girls hair, did their nails, and if they were allowed, a little of make up (5-6 yr olds).  She had some relatives help her out with the beauty treatments and then the girls did some crafts, had cake and ice cream and played.  Well, one mom had her dingdangity nose in the air the whole time and ended up having a party at a chain crappy jewelry store after the mall closed on a Sunday for just about the worst run party I have had the mispleasure of being at.  And you either had to stay in the store (that had the gate down) or completely leave the mall instead of being allowed to sit on the benches outside the store.  And then the next "Gotta out do this" mom said she was going to have a princess party..all the girls were going to be required to come dressed as princesses and she was going to have all the Disney Princesses there..my DD didn't go.  We had the dresses, but I just get sick of participating in these Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better events.  I rent a grove for cheap at the local park, grill some burgers and hot dogs and let the kids play...that is all they want to do anyways
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mechtilde on April 13, 2013, 12:27:46 PM
The only time I've ever been asked to pony up cash for activities at a party it was mentioned up-front on the invitation.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LadyR on April 13, 2013, 01:11:15 PM
My BIL hosted nephew's last birthday at an amusement park. Nephew was allowed to invite a few friends and BIL and SIL were prepared to cover the costs of said friends, though all but one had season's passes and didn't need to be covered. They still provided adequate snacks/meals for all the kids (pre-teens).
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: VltGrantham on April 15, 2013, 10:40:57 AM
Sadly this has happened twice to us over the past year.  DD's been invited to a party, I call to RSVP and find out about the "upcharge."  Both times I've simply said "I'm sorry, but we haven't budgeted for that.  We'll have to change our acceptance to a decline." 

Both times the parents have been irritated and wanted to argue with me.  One said "I can't believe you expect us to pay your daughter's way."  I simply replied "I don't expect you to pay my daughter's way, I am simply informing you that under those circumstances she is unable to attend."
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on April 15, 2013, 12:03:15 PM
We are hosting a bday party for our dd...we don't expect anyone to pay for anything. If we do it elsewhere we would pay for the costs. I haven't gone to many around here but the only thing that it seems people expect is you to show up when you RSVP and hopefully have a good time. I would decline where I would have to pay extra on top of the gift. For a lot of people its asking a lot to shell out money for a gift AND X amount. Here a lot of people would decline the invite just on that alone..
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Margo on April 15, 2013, 01:21:18 PM
Sadly this has happened twice to us over the past year.  DD's been invited to a party, I call to RSVP and find out about the "upcharge."  Both times I've simply said "I'm sorry, but we haven't budgeted for that.  We'll have to change our acceptance to a decline." 

Both times the parents have been irritated and wanted to argue with me.  One said "I can't believe you expect us to pay your daughter's way."  I simply replied "I don't expect you to pay my daughter's way, I am simply informing you that under those circumstances she is unable to attend."

Wow, you're a lot more polite that I think I would be able to be. I'd be tempted to reply "I can't believe you expect us to pay for your child's birthday party"
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Rohanna on April 15, 2013, 01:48:37 PM
meh.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: *inviteseller on April 15, 2013, 06:12:29 PM
Rohanna, no one said that.  What we said is some people go so overboard on these parties trying to compete with each other that it is funny and I personally have quit going to the I can top you parties simply because I hate getting involved in these mommy squabbles where everyone stands around  sniping about the hostess.  I always have my kids parties at the park simply because I don't want to worry someone will let a cat out or something gets broke, plus I don't have to clean  ;D.  The problem would be if your sister had one of these parties and charged the parents for the pleasure of their child to come celebrate.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Rohanna on April 15, 2013, 06:25:42 PM
"Kids, and/or their parents, think there's something wrong with a "home made" birthday party, and can only imagine the kind of commercially-branded consumer-fest that all those "real" people on TV have."

"Children's parties have gotten totally out of control.  What ever happened to ice cream, cake and running around the back yard?"

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 16, 2013, 12:44:34 AM
What about adults at a party? We had our engagement party at a tapas bar and had a banquets $30 a head, we asked if people could pay for their meal while we shouted drinks for them.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Margo on April 16, 2013, 04:45:49 AM
I think it's the same scenario. You host the party you can afford.

If you can only afford drinks, then host a drinks party. If you chose to host it somewhere which also provides food you can invite people to a drinks party and let them know that the venue also offers food so they will be able to order food for themselves if they wish, but if I were asked to pay $30 per head for an engagement party (or wedding reception,or adults birthday party) it would bug me in the same way and for the same reasons as if I/my child were asked to pay $30 to attend a friend's party.

(I haven't been to many engagement parties, but those I have been to have all been either very small (a meal at a restaurant, hosted and paid for by the engaged couple, for very close friends and family) or larger but more informal (Party at someone's home, with drinks and nibbles provided by the engaged couple as hosts, (and on one occasion by their parents) or very informal (drinks in a pub one evening, first couple of rounds paid for by the engaged couple)
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Penguin_ar on April 16, 2013, 06:03:50 AM
I mostly agree with Margo- if the buffet was an integral part of attending the engagement party, then you should have paid.  If it was "We are inviting you to drinks at this lovely place, they also serve yummy tapas for $30 a head if you want something to eat" then you are in the clear.

I do think in the case of adults, you have the option of "inviting along" as opposed to "inviting to" in some social circles- but that does not apply to an engagement party, or any event called a party, as there is supposed to be a host. My group of friends back in Ireland used to do that- someone would organise a get-together in a restaurant, make the reservation etc, and they may do it around their birthday because that is when they thought of it, but everyone would pay for themselves and no-one would call it a birthday PARTY, just some friends meeting for dinner.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 16, 2013, 06:21:03 AM
It was very informal, just family and close friends meeting for dinner and the invites were all phone calls and at the time I did ask if they minded paying for their meal. It was a banquet, not a buffet, we were served food from the banquet menu which lowered the price significantly.

And with our family, we have done similar things. The point was we got together for a meal and enjoyed each others company, which we did.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Kimberami on April 16, 2013, 06:24:36 AM
I've been thinking about this for a few days, and I really think that it is the bait and switch part that would make me angry.  At least if the wording on the invitation indicated that I'd be paying her way (and how much I'd be paying) I'd know immediately whether or not I'd want to RSVP yes or no.  Hosts in question would count on the fact that people will feel to awkward to change their answer when given the new information.  In addition, my DD gets really excited get birthday party invitations.  I'd hate to get her hopes up with a "Yes" only to turn around and try to explain that I couldn't afford to send her.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: nrb80 on April 16, 2013, 07:47:10 AM
Op can you tell us about what kind of party it was?   I would not send my child with that much money. That is insane. Now if it was a chuck e cheese thing or a build a bear I could understand the parent saying they allotted x amount of tickets or each child will get a teddy bear and if they want to get anything else they may want to bring extra. But to ask to pay for everything? No way. How about having a party you can afford. Some of the best parties my kids have been to are the ones given at home.

This one event is laser tag.  It's an expensive adventure just for your one kid to go to, let alone funding a half a dozen of them.  I myself would not plan a party for my child at this venue because I simply cannot afford it.  These other parents are planning a party for their child and I am expected to fork over extra cash for it, which I am complying to at the moment, but this is not something I can afford to do on any long-term basis with two kids and their various events.  I'm going to have to start saying no if these birthday parties are going to run some $10, $20 or $30 outside of what I'm already spending on a gift and a drive across town.  This is new to me that these parties are requiring extra cash and I'm wondering what is going on and if this is the new normal.

No, not the "new normal" at all. In the scores of parties that my sons have attended, I can't recall this happening once.

Never happened to us.  What's more of an issue at the away parties we go to is the parent who decides to buy their kid a treat spontaneously and not discreetly - like the parent who bought his daughter an ice cream at the zoo when everyone was walking together.  We just have a rule that when we visit a place for our friend's birthday we just do the birthday and that's it (once we went back to the museum a few hours later, but the break helps reinforce the manners with the mini ones).

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 16, 2013, 08:00:56 AM
Sadly this has happened twice to us over the past year.  DD's been invited to a party, I call to RSVP and find out about the "upcharge."  Both times I've simply said "I'm sorry, but we haven't budgeted for that.  We'll have to change our acceptance to a decline." 

Both times the parents have been irritated and wanted to argue with me.  One said "I can't believe you expect us to pay your daughter's way."  I simply replied "I don't expect you to pay my daughter's way, I am simply informing you that under those circumstances she is unable to attend."

I might've asked, "Didn't you invite her?"
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: nrb80 on April 16, 2013, 08:06:35 AM
FWIW I'm a party-at-home mom, but I do think that the parties at home can end up being way more work and way more expensive, even without considering the cost of time and the resources needed to have a house large enough. 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: VltGrantham on April 16, 2013, 09:13:47 AM
Quote
I might've asked, "Didn't you invite her?"
Quote
Wow, you're a lot more polite that I think I would be able to be. I'd be tempted to reply "I can't believe you expect us to pay for your child's birthday party"

Trust me, I've been tempted--but it's useless.  People with this mentality won't see it as wrong no matter what you say or how you say it.  It's just easier to get off the phone and get on with my day.

I have to be honest though--I think sometimes part of my frustration is a product of the fact that I feel I am set up as the bad guy here for not providing these things--but we simply can't afford them and I honestly don't see how other people can--but that's not my business.  Nor do I feel it's polite to put the guests up to paying for these shin-digs.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Kiara on April 16, 2013, 09:36:31 AM
I'm just trying to figure out when the heck the mentality changed. 

When I had birthday parties (25-30 years ago or so), they were usually out of the house.  When I was really little, it was McDonalds.  When I got older, it was bowling, or (usually) roller skating.  My mom has since told me roller skating wasn't cheap - you got 4 hours, pizza, soda, cake, skate rental for everyone....  (tradeoff was my parents just had to sit there while we all amused ourselves.  She said it was so worth it.)  And they paid for it all!  All my friends' parties were the same!

Even my last party when I was 16....I got to invite 3 friends to go to the Hard Rock Cafe in DC.   My parents paid!  Wouldn't have dreamed of not paying!  And this was the norm for all of us.  People who couldn't afford it had pizza and cake at their house.  And no one cared where you went, although we all loved the fact that my one friend with a pool had her birthday in the summer.   ;D

I'm just trying to figure out what changed in people that so many seem not to follow this anymore.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Twik on April 16, 2013, 09:43:34 AM
I think the change is that people have been marketed to the point that they believe that they must throw parties that they can't afford themselves. So, the solution is to have the guests pay their own way. The justification I see given is that "Well, this way, they'll have a great time! Isn't it better that we all chip in for Fabulous Party Place, rather than have cake and games in the living room?"

Then, the hosts are hurt that people who can't afford it don't show up, not realizing that their own desire to party like the Kardashians is the problem.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Betelnut on April 16, 2013, 10:19:13 AM
I'm just trying to figure out when the heck the mentality changed. 

When I had birthday parties (25-30 years ago or so), they were usually out of the house.  When I was really little, it was McDonalds.  When I got older, it was bowling, or (usually) roller skating.  My mom has since told me roller skating wasn't cheap - you got 4 hours, pizza, soda, cake, skate rental for everyone....  (tradeoff was my parents just had to sit there while we all amused ourselves.  She said it was so worth it.)  And they paid for it all!  All my friends' parties were the same!

Even my last party when I was 16....I got to invite 3 friends to go to the Hard Rock Cafe in DC.   My parents paid!  Wouldn't have dreamed of not paying!  And this was the norm for all of us.  People who couldn't afford it had pizza and cake at their house.  And no one cared where you went, although we all loved the fact that my one friend with a pool had her birthday in the summer.   ;D

I'm just trying to figure out what changed in people that so many seem not to follow this anymore.

I don't think it has changed. Most of us are saying that we've never been asked to pay for a party.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Bookgirl on April 16, 2013, 11:00:09 AM
We had a Bear party for DD last year.  None of the guests bought any extras because we made sure that each guest had enough to cover a bear and an outfit.  Now, if they had wanted 3 outfits and the bear Harley, that would have been on them.  We've also been to a Bear party where the host covered just the cost of a basic bear.  I did pay extra for an outfit but I didn't resent it because I knew going in that that was going to be the case. 

We've never been asked for money for any other party the kids have attended, thank goodness.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 16, 2013, 01:12:02 PM
I'm just trying to figure out when the heck the mentality changed. 
When I had birthday parties (25-30 years ago or so), they were usually out of the house.  When I was really little, it was McDonalds.  When I got older, it was bowling, or (usually) roller skating.  My mom has since told me roller skating wasn't cheap - you got 4 hours, pizza, soda, cake, skate rental for everyone....  (tradeoff was my parents just had to sit there while we all amused ourselves.  She said it was so worth it.)  And they paid for it all!  All my friends' parties were the same!

Even my last party when I was 16....I got to invite 3 friends to go to the Hard Rock Cafe in DC.   My parents paid!  Wouldn't have dreamed of not paying!  And this was the norm for all of us.  People who couldn't afford it had pizza and cake at their house.  And no one cared where you went, although we all loved the fact that my one friend with a pool had her birthday in the summer.   ;D

I'm just trying to figure out what changed in people that so many seem not to follow this anymore.

me too!   
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 16, 2013, 04:19:13 PM
I have to be honest though--I think sometimes part of my frustration is a product of the fact that I feel I am set up as the bad guy here for not providing these things--but we simply can't afford them...

I agree. It's the bait and switch which I dislike because it makes one look like you only want to attend if you don't have to pay. Which is true. Because the "hosts" chose the venue. Even if I had tons of cash, if *I* am contributing to the cost, I should get a say in the menu and the venue.

Maybe the birthday child wants to go to the zoo and have pizza, fine, they choose if they are hosting. But if I am paying, then my kid would rather go to the museum and have ice cream. Either host or warn me in advance on the invitation so I can decide. I don't like bait and switch anything. Who does.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 16, 2013, 05:08:33 PM
FWIW I'm a party-at-home mom, but I do think that the parties at home can end up being way more work and way more expensive, even without considering the cost of time and the resources needed to have a house large enough.

This is so true. While I'll admit that we went overboard on a few of our kids bday parties, it wasn't too "show off" it was because we really enjoyed our kid's friends and having some over the top parites was fun to put on. (We were also the parents who chaired the school carnival) Some how, 20 kids at the local roller skating rink with pizza costs me less than 15 kids in our back yard doing "Fear Factor" competitions. Cans of snails can get expensive. :o
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Calistoga on April 16, 2013, 05:18:45 PM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 16, 2013, 06:17:19 PM
We just hosted a 3rd birthday party at our local community clubhouse. I didn't want to have it at home because I wanted to enjoy talking to my adult guests (the parents of the other 3-year-olds) instead of making sure the 3-year-olds weren't breaking our pianos, china cabinet, TV, etc. We estimate that for 40 guests, invitations, clubhouse rental, pizza, softdrinks, ice cream, cupcakes, balloons, party favors etc. the party cost about $200. But it was exhausting to carry all those things to the clubhouse and clean up afterwards. The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 16, 2013, 06:49:32 PM
The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.

Don't forget to charge for skate rentals.  >:D
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 16, 2013, 06:56:26 PM
The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.

Don't forget to charge for skate rentals.  >:D

 >:D LOL. I need to find a way to charge people in advance so I can make a commission. And cover the cost of my family unit's skate rentals and pizza. Oh, if I invite enough people, I can even purchase new skates for us! And knee pads, helmets...  >:D just kidding!
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 16, 2013, 07:00:53 PM
We just hosted a 3rd birthday party at our local community clubhouse. I didn't want to have it at home because I wanted to enjoy talking to my adult guests (the parents of the other 3-year-olds) instead of making sure the 3-year-olds weren't breaking our pianos, china cabinet, TV, etc. We estimate that for 40 guests, invitations, clubhouse rental, pizza, softdrinks, ice cream, cupcakes, balloons, party favors etc. the party cost about $200. But it was exhausting to carry all those things to the clubhouse and clean up afterwards. The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.

Way earlier in the thread I mentioned that I used to have parties at the ice skating rink for exactly this reason.  It was a little over half the cost of the cheapest at-home party I could do, and a whole lot less work.  The skating rink even provided goodie bags!  Basically all I had to do was hand over my credit card and show up.  Bliss.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: m2kbug on April 16, 2013, 07:09:28 PM
We just hosted a 3rd birthday party at our local community clubhouse. I didn't want to have it at home because I wanted to enjoy talking to my adult guests (the parents of the other 3-year-olds) instead of making sure the 3-year-olds weren't breaking our pianos, china cabinet, TV, etc. We estimate that for 40 guests, invitations, clubhouse rental, pizza, softdrinks, ice cream, cupcakes, balloons, party favors etc. the party cost about $200. But it was exhausting to carry all those things to the clubhouse and clean up afterwards. The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.

Way earlier in the thread I mentioned that I used to have parties at the ice skating rink for exactly this reason.  It was a little over half the cost of the cheapest at-home party I could do, and a whole lot less work.  The skating rink even provided goodie bags!  Basically all I had to do was hand over my credit card and show up.  Bliss.

I agree, throwing the party at home or at the park or clubhouse can be a major pain.  Even if you spend a little bit more money at an outside venue, you SAVE in headaches, hassles, and cleanup...whatever works.  The money to spend on paper plates and cups in preparation, the party pizza place or bowling alley could very well be cheaper. 

I don't really think the place is the issue here, it's charging a fee.  You would hardly charge $5 for hamburgers and hotdogs in the back yard party.  Even at a cheapo cake and ice cream party, either limit how many guests if you can't cover the cost or find another way to work the budget.  If Billy wants to invite EVERYONE in the school, great if you can afford it, or tell Billy he's going to have to trim the guest list.

 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: JenJay on April 16, 2013, 07:22:48 PM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.

That is still my definition of an awesome party!!
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 16, 2013, 07:36:01 PM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.

That is still my definition of an awesome party!!
.
I agree that this is a great party. But the investment of 66 acres is huge and out of the norm for  the majority. We had to host home parties on less than a 1/3 acre lot.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 16, 2013, 07:47:21 PM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.

That is still my definition of an awesome party!!
.
I agree that this is a great party. But the investment of 66 acres is huge and out of the norm for  the majority. We had to host home parties on less than a 1/3 acre lot.

My old house, before I moved to ND, was on a rather large lot for the area.  It was just a bit under 1/3 acre and I had a nice pool and decent pool deck.  There was a pool for swimming, and the yard on one side of the house, wrapping around to the back until it ended with the pool gate, was decently sized.  Well, at least for an area where most yards are so small that it takes 10 minutes with a push mower to cut the grass.  I did host some rather nice parties there.  I had an annual Halloween bash and one notable late spring Saturday we had a "pool filling" party.  I had to drain and refinish the pool, and a few favors were called in and the fire department came out and filled the pool in a combination of emptying out the tanker trucks and from the hydrant.  I had an all day drop-in style party for all of the emergency services departments in the area.  I'm sure more than a few of my neighbors wondered why I had so many fire trucks, ambulances and police cars coming to my house all day.  The thing is though, that those parties were expensive.  My Halloween party could easily cost $1500, plus my time, and my pool filling party cost somewhere around $400.  Then the work that went  into them was insane. 

My boys have birthdays close together.  Two of them in one month and the third in the following month.  Sometimes the option of an ice skating party is really nice.   Bonus points if it actually costs less. 

I simply can't imagine actually charging my guests though. That would go against everything I've ever been taught about party hosting. (And my parents have an even bigger yard-several acres-and a bigger pool, and like to host parties, so this has been pounded into my head throughout the years).

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 16, 2013, 07:48:17 PM
I used to have a tiny apartment that was 571 square feet including the balcony and the storage closet. I was single then and I remember having parties where I invited 135 people (I counted, plus they could invite friends) and we all squeezed into the apartment! Granted, it was just chips, dip, beer and margaritas in plastic cups, and people came and went, there was no formal start time, but we made it work.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Rohanna on April 16, 2013, 07:54:35 PM
I certainly would invite more adults to a small space than I would children- particularly since to an adults party I am generally inviting all friends-of-friends, whereas a children's party I would often be entertaining parents I've never met before, or only briefly. I certainly wouldn't egregiously break fire-code or safety at a party for anyone, but particularly not small children. I think adults might be happy standing or perching with a beer and chips and just talking in a very crowded room, but most 4 year olds would find that a rather unadventurous party.

Just because something isn't the way you do it, or you prefer, doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong= etiquette shouldn't be a values judgement.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: peaches on April 16, 2013, 07:59:56 PM
Does anyone remember scavenger hunts? We used to have them at parties when I was a teenager.

My teen granddaughter went to a birthday party last weekend where they had a scavenger hunt.The girls were on teams, and they had a blast! Fortunately, the neighbors were good humored about it.  ;D

Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: nrb80 on April 16, 2013, 09:00:58 PM
We just hosted a 3rd birthday party at our local community clubhouse. I didn't want to have it at home because I wanted to enjoy talking to my adult guests (the parents of the other 3-year-olds) instead of making sure the 3-year-olds weren't breaking our pianos, china cabinet, TV, etc. We estimate that for 40 guests, invitations, clubhouse rental, pizza, softdrinks, ice cream, cupcakes, balloons, party favors etc. the party cost about $200. But it was exhausting to carry all those things to the clubhouse and clean up afterwards. The next party, I think we'll have at the roller rink so we don't have to do so much work.

I spent about 30 hours on my son's third birthday party between shopping, cleaning, decorating, baking the cake, etc.  I reminded my husband of my billable rate and how much the party really cost!  It's hard, hard work to throw a party at home.  I think most people who attend recognize that, but there's always that one (and it's always someone who throws their kid a party where the snacks are *exactly* half an apple and a square inch of cake per child) who snottily calls the party "down to earth" meaning cheap.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: MommyPenguin on April 16, 2013, 10:31:01 PM
Does anyone remember scavenger hunts? We used to have them at parties when I was a teenager.

My teen granddaughter went to a birthday party last weekend where they had a scavenger hunt.The girls were on teams, and they had a blast! Fortunately, the neighbors were good humored about it.  ;D

I've never done a scavenger hunt, but both of my older kids have wanted to do a Dora the Explorer party at some point, so I made a map and a series of places they had to go through, and a treasure hiding at the end (their goody bags in a treasure chest).  I even got somebody to be Swiper and try to steal their stuff.  Now my 3rd says she wants a Dora party for her 3rd birthday in August.  :)  We also went to a Dora party where somebody did something similar, but in teams.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: peaches on April 16, 2013, 10:40:51 PM
Does anyone remember scavenger hunts? We used to have them at parties when I was a teenager.

My teen granddaughter went to a birthday party last weekend where they had a scavenger hunt.The girls were on teams, and they had a blast! Fortunately, the neighbors were good humored about it.  ;D

I've never done a scavenger hunt, but both of my older kids have wanted to do a Dora the Explorer party at some point, so I made a map and a series of places they had to go through, and a treasure hiding at the end (their goody bags in a treasure chest).  I even got somebody to be Swiper and try to steal their stuff.  Now my 3rd says she wants a Dora party for her 3rd birthday in August.  :)  We also went to a Dora party where somebody did something similar, but in teams.

What a great idea! I bet the kids loved it. Dora is a hit with girls and boys alike.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: furrcats on April 17, 2013, 03:41:09 AM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.

That is still my definition of an awesome party!!
.
I agree that this is a great party. But the investment of 66 acres is huge and out of the norm for  the majority. We had to host home parties on less than a 1/3 acre lot.

My old house, before I moved to ND, was on a rather large lot for the area.  It was just a bit under 1/3 acre and I had a nice pool and decent pool deck.  There was a pool for swimming, and the yard on one side of the house, wrapping around to the back until it ended with the pool gate, was decently sized.  Well, at least for an area where most yards are so small that it takes 10 minutes with a push mower to cut the grass.  I did host some rather nice parties there.  I had an annual Halloween bash and one notable late spring Saturday we had a "pool filling" party.  I had to drain and refinish the pool, and a few favors were called in and the fire department came out and filled the pool in a combination of emptying out the tanker trucks and from the hydrant.  I had an all day drop-in style party for all of the emergency services departments in the area.  I'm sure more than a few of my neighbors wondered why I had so many fire trucks, ambulances and police cars coming to my house all day.  The thing is though, that those parties were expensive.  My Halloween party could easily cost $1500, plus my time, and my pool filling party cost somewhere around $400.  Then the work that went  into them was insane. 

My boys have birthdays close together.  Two of them in one month and the third in the following month.  Sometimes the option of an ice skating party is really nice.   Bonus points if it actually costs less. 

I simply can't imagine actually charging my guests though. That would go against everything I've ever been taught about party hosting. (And my parents have an even bigger yard-several acres-and a bigger pool, and like to host parties, so this has been pounded into my head throughout the years).

That's a really cool party idea  :)
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: VltGrantham on April 17, 2013, 08:30:01 AM
I'm lazy, lazy, lazy, when it comes to parties but I can still host an at-home party for less than I can paying for one out.  Plus, our parties tend to be family only anyway and I doubt DH's 90 year old grandparents would enjoy roller-skating--but I could be wrong. ;D

I make sure the house is picked up and clean the guest bathroom, but I clean the rest of the house after the party, not before.  I order cupcakes from Walmart, instead of a regular cake (no cutting, no portion issues "oh, not THAT big!", no dealing with "but I wanted the corner piece," or "please make sure mine has a rose on it!").  I use neopolitan ice-cream sandwiches.  Food is usually little tea sandwiches, home-made chocolate dipped strawberries, cheese, crackers, smoked sausages in crescent rolls, pink lemonade and iced-tea.  If I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I may coat the rims of the plastic "glasses" in pink sugar or something else that goes with whatever I'm serving.

I use the same decorations year after year--mostly from the Dollar Store and a few I've made myself (paper and cloth banners, chains of paper), that store easily after the party is over.  Usually the party is about 10 hours or less of work--but that has a lot to do with the fact that I'm simply recycling the same old party year after year and now have it down to a science.  If I had to come up with something new every year or host a lot of children, it would probably be another story altogether.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: LibraryLady on April 18, 2013, 11:16:26 AM
I will have to ask my siblings, but I cannot ever remember having a formal birthday party with friends coming over.
I am 59, and we lived out in the country, and rode the bus to school. 

There were some classmates who lived closeby - we lived in a VERY small community.

 I think that either my older brother or sister made a cake or Granny or mother.

My BD is 9/5, just at the beginning of school in the 'olden days' when school started September 1st.

Hmmm, going off to email sister - because brothers won't remember   ;D
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: JenJay on April 20, 2013, 10:14:51 AM
We were poor growing up, but I had awesome parties in the yard at home because we had 66 acres of space. So my mom would make a bon fire and we'd camp, cook hot dogs and marsh mallows, play hide and seek...basically I got to have sleep overs with more people. But my friends said these were AWESOME parties.

That is still my definition of an awesome party!!
.
I agree that this is a great party. But the investment of 66 acres is huge and out of the norm for  the majority. We had to host home parties on less than a 1/3 acre lot.

Well yeah, I wasn't suggesting everyone run out and buy 66 acres of land instead of goodie bags.  :P

At our old house we had a tiny little yard and we still had parties like Calistoga describes, they were definitely the kids' favorite thing to do!
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: MommyPenguin on April 20, 2013, 01:30:17 PM
My kids started planning their next birthday parties last night (for October and January, so they're on top of things!).  The turning-5-year-old wants a Dora party.  Her plan is that her older sister will dress up as a lamb, in a costume that my mother is apparently going to have to make for her.  Ahead of the party, they'll film Emily in the lamb costume saying that she's lost and needs help.  Then, Jenny will dress up as Dora and they will dress Charlotte, the toddler, as Boots.  My mother is apparently also going to be making these costumes.  At the start of the party, Emily will sneak off, put on her lamb costume, and go hide.  Somebody will put on the video of her plea for help, and then Dora and all her party guests will suit up with backpacks and maps that describe the way to where the lamb is lost.  Then they will go rescue the lamb, after, of course, conquering several challenges/obstacles and Swiper (not sure who they will make into Swiper) along the way.  Their planning was so elaborate and utterly hilarious, especially given the length of time until the party.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: OSUJillyBean on April 22, 2013, 11:58:30 AM
I'm in my late 20s and I had exactly two out-of-the-house birthday parties as a kid.  One was at the local park with homemade cake and games (plus the park's jungle gym equipment) and one was at a Mickey Ds's train caboose thing.  We were very poor but my folks scrimped and saved and made do with what we had.  If we could only afford to invite four guests to my birthday party, then that's what happened.

I was astounded when my SIL rented a HUGE bouncy-house thing for her oldest child's 4th birthday party.  It was wet and rainy outside and apparently the bouncy thing had just been cleaned because when they aired it up it made a ton of soap bubbles!  Lol - at least it was clean but the kids didn't want to play outside in those conditions so she would with over a dozen kids under the age of 5 running and screaming and riding bikes / ride-ons / etc through her house.  How on earth is that fun?  I am still childless and the chaos made me very uncomfortable and nervous.

Back on topic: charging people to attend a party/event  is unacceptable.   

OTOH I might have broken my own rule.  DH (Mr. Bean) and I were married in 2011.  We invited only immediate family and very close friends (about 20 people in all including ourselves) It was a destination wedding in the Florida Keys.  We wanted to help our guests and opted to rent out three vacation rentals (nine bedrooms total) so that they had free hotel rooms during the visit.  The place also had two pools and a private beach so that was a nice perk.  We couldn't afford our guests' airfare however (although we did have to cover my mother's airfare as she waited until TWO WEEKS before the wedding to buy tickets and then pulled the "I can't afford to come so if you want MOB there, you'll have to pay up!"  Cue the guilt trip!!!

(Wow, I ramble!)

Back OT - call the "hosts" (or should we call them laser tag sales people?) and politely decline.  There's no reason to feed the animals.  :P
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: MrTango on April 22, 2013, 05:38:58 PM
I can't stomach the idea of condemning the act of inviting people to an event for which they have to pay for admission as rude.  I feel that as long as the costs are clearly presented up front, those invited can make an informed decision about whether to attend.

And by up front, I mean in the same breath (or paragraph) as the invitation.

For example, "Hey guys, I was thinking it'd be fun to go to the Twins game next Saturday.  Tickets are $20/person, and I was thinking we could all get seats in section X.  Interested?"

In this situation, the person would be an organizer, rather than a host.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: *inviteseller on April 22, 2013, 06:01:31 PM
I can't stomach the idea of condemning the act of inviting people to an event for which they have to pay for admission as rude.  I feel that as long as the costs are clearly presented up front, those invited can make an informed decision about whether to attend.

And by up front, I mean in the same breath (or paragraph) as the invitation.

For example, "Hey guys, I was thinking it'd be fun to go to the Twins game next Saturday.  Tickets are $20/person, and I was thinking we could all get seats in section X.  Interested?"

In this situation, the person would be an organizer, rather than a host.

That sounds like some friends getting together.  My friends and I plan outings like this.  The invite should have said "hey, it's my birthday!  If anyone wants to join me, I am going to Laser Tag Emporium.  It is $30 if you want to play."  Instead OP get's an invitation that basically boils down to say "I wanted a birthday party my parents could not afford, so instead of telling me no and teaching me the value of a dollar, we decided to have you subsidize my party.  Don't forget your wallet and my gift"
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 22, 2013, 06:01:46 PM
I can't stomach the idea of condemning the act of inviting people to an event for which they have to pay for admission as rude.  I feel that as long as the costs are clearly presented up front, those invited can make an informed decision about whether to attend.

And by up front, I mean in the same breath (or paragraph) as the invitation.

For example, "Hey guys, I was thinking it'd be fun to go to the Twins game next Saturday.  Tickets are $20/person, and I was thinking we could all get seats in section X.  Interested?"

In this situation, the person would be an organizer, rather than a host.

I think that's totally fine. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Right others?  :)

I think it's the "Hey guys, let's go to the Twins game next Saturday. I got great seats behind home plate." And then after they say yes, you say "Hey, can you drive? I don't like driving my car in big cities." Then, you don't offer to pay for parking. And then after they acquiesce and you're on your 3rd beer in the 9th inning, you say "Oh, btw, the tickets were normally $100 apiece. I got them for a discount, so you only owe me $80. And the hot dogs were $5 each."
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 22, 2013, 06:32:19 PM
Some things are more affordable and more enjoyable if you divide the costs. Like yum cha, which can be rather expensive if you don't go in a group.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Minmom3 on April 22, 2013, 09:20:28 PM
MANY things are more affordable if you can talk others in to defraying some or all of your costs!  The important thing, though, is to be upfront about it, and not pull the bait and switch that is happening here.  It's ALL in how it's handled from the start.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Twik on April 22, 2013, 09:25:14 PM
Some things are more affordable and more enjoyable if you divide the costs. Like yum cha, which can be rather expensive if you don't go in a group.

Yes, like lobster. However, if you invite people to your place for supper, and then expect them to pay for the food you put on their plates, you are not a host, you are a restaurant manager.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: *inviteseller on April 22, 2013, 09:32:37 PM
Twik for the win !   ;D
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: johelenc1 on April 22, 2013, 09:46:47 PM
I had an interesting conversation with my husband a few days ago.  We are throwing a 6th BD party for our twin girls at The Little Gym.  (We had accumulated enough points on a rewards card to get the party free:-))  He asked me if we were paying for all the children.*  With big eyes I replied, "Of course!!!  You don't invite people to a party and ask them to pay!!!"  I was horrified.  He looked taken back and said with indigence, "Well, I don't know!" *he doesn't also retain information I give him like "we are getting this party for free:-))"

My husband is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest guy ever and when people are over to our house he is the most gracious host.  When we go out with friends or family, he often wants us to pick up the tab, especially with friends or family members that we know have less than we do.  But, he's never thrown a kid's BD party at a location where we had to pay.  And I guess he had assumed that I was paying for the girls when we went to other parties.  He simply didn't know.  There was no malice or cheapness intended when he asked me the question; he just didn't know any better.

So, I'm hoping that parents who do throw parties and ask their guests to pay just don't know any better.  Maybe this is the party their kid really, really wants and they just don't want to say no.

That said, I probably wouldn't go to a party where I had to pay for my girls to go.  Especially one that would cost around $45 once you factor in a gift.  I would consider letting my girls go to say, a day at Kings Dominion, with a very best friend.  But it would be a special circumstance.

When it comes to adult parties, I would be less a stickler about a group getting together for dinner to celebrate the birthday person.  In that situation, I would assume I was paying for my own dinner and would be happy to chip in for the BD person's dinner.  If it wasn't a place I could afford to go, then I would decline.  I have fewer issues with this because I think it's fine for adults to want to get together with their friends on their BD and unreasonable to expect most people to be able to pay for everyone's dinner - even at a cheap place.

*edited to add - *I wouldn't condone parents throwing parties and asking people to pay, I'm just hoping that in most cases it's ignorance at play instead of cheapness or rudeness.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: norrina on April 22, 2013, 10:43:19 PM
Back on topic: charging people to attend a party/event  is unacceptable.   

OTOH I might have broken my own rule.  DH (Mr. Bean) and I were married in 2011.  We invited only immediate family and very close friends (about 20 people in all including ourselves) It was a destination wedding in the Florida Keys.  We wanted to help our guests and opted to rent out three vacation rentals (nine bedrooms total) so that they had free hotel rooms during the visit.  The place also had two pools and a private beach so that was a nice perk.  We couldn't afford our guests' airfare however (although we did have to cover my mother's airfare as she waited until TWO WEEKS before the wedding to buy tickets and then pulled the "I can't afford to come so if you want MOB there, you'll have to pay up!"  Cue the guilt trip!!!

I don't consider holding a person responsible for their own transportation to an event "charging" them to attend though. Similar to OSUJellyBean and Mr. Bean, my fiancť and I have decided to rent accommodations for our family for our upcoming wedding. We have a 6 bedroom beach house reserved for a week, and have let our parents, grandparents, and siblings (plus their spouses and children) know that they are welcome to stay for as much or as little of the week as they want. We are hosting all meals and snacks the day of our wedding. The other 6 days though, meals are going to be fend for yourself. And everyone is responsible for getting to/from the location themselves, which will be a 500 - 1200 mile trip, each way, for 11 of our 13 guests. It isn't a destination wedding, we just happened to have moved away from our family, but the end result is that it's still a destination for our guests.

Especially with weddings, more often than not someone is going to have to come from some distance away to be there. I have drive over 600 miles for my cousin's wedding (in her hometown), and flown over 1000 miles for my brother's wedding (in our home state). When I got married the first time, the wedding was held in my hometown, a 1000+ mile trip for my ex-husband's family and our college friends, and a 500+ mile trip for all of my family except for my parents and siblings. As long as the guests are well-fed and don't have to pony up for a non-alcoholic beverage, I don't think anyone would ever think a wedding wasn't fully hosted just because the happy couple didn't fly them in for the event.

 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Tia on April 24, 2013, 07:28:53 PM
So, I'm hoping that parents who do throw parties and ask their guests to pay just don't know any better.  Maybe this is the party their kid really, really wants and they just don't want to say no.

While I've read this thread and can't add a single useful or original thought to what everyone has said, I wanted to say I really appreciate it when I see others trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. I agree, I hope they just don't know better and want to provide for their children the party they really want.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 24, 2013, 07:47:50 PM
I thought about this thread today. A family friend is having a joint birthday party for all 5 of her kids and she's having it at a particular park that's got a county run water park inside it.  Now, we could go to the regular part of the park, have the party and leave, but she's planning on having her kids go to the water park part.  There's an admission fee for the water park.  If I was throwing the party, I'd have only invited those whom I could afford to pay for.  I guess she's trying to skirt paying for people by saying the party is really outside of the water park, but that's pretty mean to the kids who's parents can't afford to pay for admission to the water park.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 24, 2013, 08:14:56 PM
I thought about this thread today. A family friend is having a joint birthday party for all 5 of her kids and she's having it at a particular park that's got a county run water park inside it.  Now, we could go to the regular part of the park, have the party and leave, but she's planning on having her kids go to the water park part.  There's an admission fee for the water park.  If I was throwing the party, I'd have only invited those whom I could afford to pay for.  I guess she's trying to skirt paying for people by saying the party is really outside of the water park, but that's pretty mean to the kids who's parents can't afford to pay for admission to the water park.

Wait, so she is inviting everyone to a park for a party. At some time during the party, her kids who are the GOH will leave their guests and go to the water park? What does she think will happen to the guests who are left behind? That they will just hang around and wait till the birthday kids return? 

Or is it, "We are going to have a 2 hour birthday party at park. AFTER the party, my kids plan to go to the water park if anyone is interested in going too."

Honestly, I think both are a a really bad idea but at least the 2nd isn't so in your face your excluded.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 24, 2013, 08:20:06 PM
It's option 1.  She's planning on having a picnic lunch, sending the kids to the water park, then a couple hours later do the cake and ice cream thing.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: JenJay on April 24, 2013, 08:31:06 PM
It's option 1.  She's planning on having a picnic lunch, sending the kids to the water park, then a couple hours later do the cake and ice cream thing.

Wow that's just... seriously? I'd decline. Unbelievable. I bet a lot of kids leave when her kids take off for those few hours. She'll probably be whining how rude everyone was to leave.  ::)

Edited because I can't get over this and I have more questions. lol

Did she make it really, really clear what her plan is? I'd be concerned that a lot of the kids will be dropped off with the parents assuming the water park deal is either everyone or nobody. I foresee a number of upset kids calling their parents "My friends went swimming. Can you please bring me some money/pick me up now?"

Man I hope none of the kids whose parents can't afford to pay for swimming get dropped off to sit and wait alone. Is she at least planning some activities and supervision for them while her kids are swimming?
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: WillyNilly on April 24, 2013, 08:55:07 PM
I can't stomach the idea of condemning the act of inviting people to an event for which they have to pay for admission as rude.  I feel that as long as the costs are clearly presented up front, those invited can make an informed decision about whether to attend.

And by up front, I mean in the same breath (or paragraph) as the invitation.

For example, "Hey guys, I was thinking it'd be fun to go to the Twins game next Saturday.  Tickets are $20/person, and I was thinking we could all get seats in section X.  Interested?"

In this situation, the person would be an organizer, rather than a host.

I think that's totally fine. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Right others?  :)

I think it's the "Hey guys, let's go to the Twins game next Saturday. I got great seats behind home plate." And then after they say yes, you say "Hey, can you drive? I don't like driving my car in big cities." Then, you don't offer to pay for parking. And then after they acquiesce and you're on your 3rd beer in the 9th inning, you say "Oh, btw, the tickets were normally $100 apiece. I got them for a discount, so you only owe me $80. And the hot dogs were $5 each."

I think its fine, but actually there was a thread on doing just that not too long ago and it was not universally agreed upon
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=126481.0
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 24, 2013, 09:20:00 PM
I can't stomach the idea of condemning the act of inviting people to an event for which they have to pay for admission as rude.  I feel that as long as the costs are clearly presented up front, those invited can make an informed decision about whether to attend.

And by up front, I mean in the same breath (or paragraph) as the invitation.

For example, "Hey guys, I was thinking it'd be fun to go to the Twins game next Saturday.  Tickets are $20/person, and I was thinking we could all get seats in section X.  Interested?"

In this situation, the person would be an organizer, rather than a host.

I think that's totally fine. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Right others?  :)

I think it's the "Hey guys, let's go to the Twins game next Saturday. I got great seats behind home plate." And then after they say yes, you say "Hey, can you drive? I don't like driving my car in big cities." Then, you don't offer to pay for parking. And then after they acquiesce and you're on your 3rd beer in the 9th inning, you say "Oh, btw, the tickets were normally $100 apiece. I got them for a discount, so you only owe me $80. And the hot dogs were $5 each."

I think its fine, but actually there was a thread on doing just that not too long ago and it was not universally agreed upon
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=126481.0

It looks like the other thread (the link above) is about throwing oneself a party. So there's a "guest of honor" and I could see how it would not be universally agreed upon. I thought what MrTango was talking about was more of one person (so, an organizer, but not a guest of honor) saying "Hey, other friends, let's all do this event together."
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 24, 2013, 09:45:45 PM
It's option 1.  She's planning on having a picnic lunch, sending the kids to the water park, then a couple hours later do the cake and ice cream thing.

Wow that's just... seriously? I'd decline. Unbelievable. I bet a lot of kids leave when her kids take off for those few hours. She'll probably be whining how rude everyone was to leave.  ::)

Edited because I can't get over this and I have more questions. lol

Did she make it really, really clear what her plan is? I'd be concerned that a lot of the kids will be dropped off with the parents assuming the water park deal is either everyone or nobody. I foresee a number of upset kids calling their parents "My friends went swimming. Can you please bring me some money/pick me up now?"

Man I hope none of the kids whose parents can't afford to pay for swimming get dropped off to sit and wait alone. Is she at least planning some activities and supervision for them while her kids are swimming?

I'm hoping it doesn't turn disastrous.  The good thing is that these people are of a certain heritage that doesn't typically just drop the kids off.  The parents of the invited kids are likely to stay.  The moms will likely sit around and gossip while the dads will sit around and drink beer (if that's allowed in that park, if it's not, they'll likely congregate around somebody's pick up truck parked just off the park property).  I wasn't going to go, but there's kind of a weird story behind who these people are to my family, and it's important that we be there for reasons I don't want to explain on the internet. I was planning on taking my boys to that water park soon anyway, so this will just be that trip instead of going just because.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 25, 2013, 08:09:02 AM
It's option 1.  She's planning on having a picnic lunch, sending the kids to the water park, then a couple hours later do the cake and ice cream thing.

Wow that's just... seriously? I'd decline. Unbelievable. I bet a lot of kids leave when her kids take off for those few hours. She'll probably be whining how rude everyone was to leave.  ::)

Edited because I can't get over this and I have more questions. lol

Did she make it really, really clear what her plan is? I'd be concerned that a lot of the kids will be dropped off with the parents assuming the water park deal is either everyone or nobody. I foresee a number of upset kids calling their parents "My friends went swimming. Can you please bring me some money/pick me up now?"

Man I hope none of the kids whose parents can't afford to pay for swimming get dropped off to sit and wait alone. Is she at least planning some activities and supervision for them while her kids are swimming?

I'm hoping it doesn't turn disastrous.  The good thing is that these people are of a certain heritage that doesn't typically just drop the kids off.  The parents of the invited kids are likely to stay.  The moms will likely sit around and gossip while the dads will sit around and drink beer (if that's allowed in that park, if it's not, they'll likely congregate around somebody's pick up truck parked just off the park property).  I wasn't going to go, but there's kind of a weird story behind who these people are to my family, and it's important that we be there for reasons I don't want to explain on the internet. I was planning on taking my boys to that water park soon anyway, so this will just be that trip instead of going just because.

I remember a friend who's bday was in the summer and her bday was always celebrated at a local lake with a multi-family party. About 6 or 7 families would come out and there was probably 20 to 30 people total. Everyone brought their own family picnic and the organizing/hosting family provided drinks and dessert and some chips/dips. They were also responsible for securing the picnic space and since it was a state park, I think each family paid their own admittance if they didn't have an annual pass. Some people arrived earlier and would go fishing, some kids would go swimming, some would talk their parents into renting a canoe or paddle boat for them. At the end of the day, marshmallows would be roasted, birthday candles lit, happy bday sung and lots of cake eaten before everyone packed up to go home. No presents were ever brought that I remember.

But this was back in the '70s and families were probably spending $2 for park admittance and maybe $5 for a boat rental. Way less than the cost of a water park admittance.

But if the families are used to day long park picnics this might seem very normal to them.

I can't imagine even being able to pull off the party I described today. In our social group it would be expected that I'd pay for everyone's state park admittance and have rental boats available and fishing equipment for my guests to use in addition to having a full picnic for all guests.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: mmswm on April 25, 2013, 12:12:56 PM
That kind of park picnic sounds awesome!  This is a county park, so it's not nearly as fun as a state park, but it does have the water park attached. Since it's county run, it's not quite as pricey as a regular park.  Kids are $5 and adults $10. But still, with my parents and all of our kids, that's 3 adults and 4 kids (my middle son is with my sister in another state, or it would be 5 kids), which isn't chump change.

I think this party is less rude than it could be, because the parents that are hosting it let it be known upfront that the water park admission isn't included.  The invitations were word of mouth, and when she told us, she made clear that part wasn't covered. 
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: JenJay on April 25, 2013, 01:06:08 PM
That kind of park picnic sounds awesome!  This is a county park, so it's not nearly as fun as a state park, but it does have the water park attached. Since it's county run, it's not quite as pricey as a regular park.  Kids are $5 and adults $10. But still, with my parents and all of our kids, that's 3 adults and 4 kids (my middle son is with my sister in another state, or it would be 5 kids), which isn't chump change.

I think this party is less rude than it could be, because the parents that are hosting it let it be known upfront that the water park admission isn't included.  The invitations were word of mouth, and when she told us, she made clear that part wasn't covered.

I'd give her a pass if she was planning to let her kids (and whoever else wanted to pay) go swimming after the party was officially over, but to have them leave in the middle of it while all the non-swimming guests sit around and wait? I think that's incredibly thoughtless.
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: artk2002 on April 25, 2013, 02:37:58 PM
That kind of park picnic sounds awesome!  This is a county park, so it's not nearly as fun as a state park, but it does have the water park attached. Since it's county run, it's not quite as pricey as a regular park.  Kids are $5 and adults $10. But still, with my parents and all of our kids, that's 3 adults and 4 kids (my middle son is with my sister in another state, or it would be 5 kids), which isn't chump change.

I think this party is less rude than it could be, because the parents that are hosting it let it be known upfront that the water park admission isn't included.  The invitations were word of mouth, and when she told us, she made clear that part wasn't covered.

I'd give her a pass if she was planning to let her kids (and whoever else wanted to pay) go swimming after the party was officially over, but to have them leave in the middle of it while all the non-swimming guests sit around and wait? I think that's incredibly thoughtless.

I agree. I'd like to know what fun activities she has planned for the "gap" for those kids who choose not to spend the extra $$$. If it's "we'll see you in a couple of hours for cake," I'd be taking my kid home (or not even going.)
Title: Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
Post by: Danika on April 25, 2013, 06:26:31 PM
I'd give her a pass if she was planning to let her kids (and whoever else wanted to pay) go swimming after the party was officially over, but to have them leave in the middle of it while all the non-swimming guests sit around and wait? I think that's incredibly thoughtless.

I agree. I'd like to know what fun activities she has planned for the "gap" for those kids who choose not to spend the extra $$$. If it's "we'll see you in a couple of hours for cake," I'd be taking my kid home (or not even going.)

I'm very curious for an update after the event. From my understanding, I suspect there will be children/guests there, in swimsuits, without a cell phone or money who will just be hanging out waiting for a few hours, without any way to contact their parents. I hope one of the adult hosts stays behind to watch these children. I don't know the hosts, so I imagine one would, but it could be very bad if no one did.