Author Topic: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?  (Read 6504 times)

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JaneJensen

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Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« on: September 19, 2012, 07:18:44 PM »
This is a spin-off to the below post about people not RSVP'ing to children's birthday parties.

  This is obviously not a unique problem and I've read dozens of posts about how the host's feelings are more than a little hurt because people can't bother to RSVP to a child's party. What I want to know, is why exactly is this?   What causes people to have so little regard for someone else's feelings that they can't bother to take, literally sixty seconds to fire off an e-mail or text message and say " sorry we can't make it? "  I don't know, I feel like an RSVP is akin to basic social niceties. Like holding a door open for someone or waving at a neighbor as you drive by. It's simple and doesn't take too much effort. Yet, people rarely do it.

Then, I feel like I'm the rude one when I have to call these people and hound them, trying to pin them down to a definite answer. I don't care of they say no, just speak up and say it already!

So, are there that many rude people in the world or is there a logical explanation?  Or do people just not place any value on birthday parties for children anymore? I mean at one time, being invited to a birthday party was a BIG DEAL. You got dressed up, picked out a nice present, and looked forward to it all week.  Now kids act like they could care less and parents act as if it's an imposition ( with a huge sigh about how busy their lives are) when their child is invited somewhere and act like I'm the rude one for trying to get them to say yes or no before the day of the party.

Thoughts?

Betelnut

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 07:40:45 PM »
I don't know but I do know that for my daughter's 6th birthday party at the local pool (this year), we invited literally 25 kids a month in advance of the party.  I heard back from only a handful of people and only 6 actually came to the party.  One of the parents, I kid you not, handed me a fistful of cash as the "birthday present."  I guess it would have taken too much effort to buy a box of crayons while at the grocery store (or something).

It was sad.
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Oh Joy

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 08:05:04 PM »
Of course, it's polite to always respond to personal invitations. 

That said, I think part of the problem is sheer volume...so many invitees to so many events, such as birthday parties to the whole class/team/group.  I understand the reasons for inviting a whole herd, but it makes it (incorrectly) feel like one RSVP in either direction doesn't matter and/or add up to a burden to check the calendar and respond.

Pippen

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 08:14:06 PM »
Of course, it's polite to always respond to personal invitations. 

That said, I think part of the problem is sheer volume...so many invitees to so many events, such as birthday parties to the whole class/team/group.  I understand the reasons for inviting a whole herd, but it makes it (incorrectly) feel like one RSVP in either direction doesn't matter and/or add up to a burden to check the calendar and respond.

I agree. I met a friend I had not seen for ages in the supermarket on a Sunday and she looked exhausted. She had been to 5 birthday parties that weekend and told me it seemed every weekend was spent sent doing this. She was totally over it. Also in our day it used to be a simple affair with a cake a few presents and games and half a dozen friends. Now days they seem to involve a cast of thousands and all sorts of entertainment that drags them out for half a day.

Sharnita

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 08:23:05 PM »
I think that for some peoplr parties might not be fun. In the olf days it was maybe pizza and cake at home. Your parents might even rent a couple of movies and let your guests sleep over. There were rarely "themes" and hosts and guests didn't throw down tons of money. Now a lot of people have large guest lists at expensive venues with entertainment and elaborate menus. I imagine a lot of people feel like each party they atted moves the bar that much higher for them. Not a good reason not to RSVP but I am sure not all parents are happy about invitations.

Pippen

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 08:35:56 PM »
I think that for some peoplr parties might not be fun. In the olf days it was maybe pizza and cake at home. Your parents might even rent a couple of movies and let your guests sleep over. There were rarely "themes" and hosts and guests didn't throw down tons of money. Now a lot of people have large guest lists at expensive venues with entertainment and elaborate menus. I imagine a lot of people feel like each party they atted moves the bar that much higher for them. Not a good reason not to RSVP but I am sure not all parents are happy about invitations.

Also agree. My SIL runs a company planning and running kids parties. $20,000 AUD is not unheard of, which I just think is utter madness and the parents get very competitive about having the bigger, better party like it is some kind of contest on showing whose child is more popular. We just used to get dropped off but now the parents are expected to stay and watch the whole thing and socialise with a whole lot of people they may rather not spend time with. Woe betide the parent who picks out a token or cheap gift, your social kudos goes straight down the toilet.

katycoo

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 09:12:22 PM »
I think that in this new era of inviting the whole class, and not leaving anyone out, is that:

A) Kids get invited to more parties so there's less novelty

B) They may not even be friends with the person of honour

C) Rudeness breeds rudeness.  If people don't rsvp to their events, they think its not important and stop doing it themselves.

yokozbornak

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 09:26:39 PM »
I wonder if sometimes the invitations get lost.  We have had two calls from parents in the last month asking if my girls were coming to parties to which we never received invitations.  The were both supposed to have been handed out at school, but we never received them.  It's possible that the teacher didn't put them in the bookbag or that my daughters had them and lost them.  I try to mail invitations or hand them out personally for that reason.  That helps somewhat, but we have still had kids that never RSVP'd show up for parties and some who don't bother to respond at all. We only try to invite friends so it is hurtful when they ignore an invitation.   

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 09:35:24 PM »
I don't know but I do know that for my daughter's 6th birthday party at the local pool (this year), we invited literally 25 kids a month in advance of the party.  I heard back from only a handful of people and only 6 actually came to the party.  One of the parents, I kid you not, handed me a fistful of cash as the "birthday present."  I guess it would have taken too much effort to buy a box of crayons while at the grocery store (or something).

It was sad.

Oh so this has happened at other parties, too? One kid who used to be a friend of the boys and then became a bully once gave my son a toy of his that he just shoved into the box and didn't even wrap.  I don't mind if the parent tucks money into the card, but some have handed me cash.  Once the kid handed the money to me and I felt bad cause the kid looked embarrassed.  The boys didn't care though cause hey, money is money!

The sweetest though was that one girl who actually hadn't been invited but her cousin was and this girl had autism and I guess I would have minded more about her crashing if she weren't so sweet.  Because she had just dropped by she didn't have a present for Pirateboy1 and so for her "gift" when he opened the presents, she handed him the bag of candy she'd collected from the pinata and said he could have that.  He told her she didn't have to do that but she said "No, I want to!" And she hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. :)

For my oldest's birthday this year we actually didn't bother too much with a party since we hadn't had much luck with them recently and the most that ever came was one friend.  So instead I took him and his brother to see "Pirates Band of Misfits" in 3D and got popcorn and drinks, leaving the baby at home with dad.  They enjoyed it and he called it the "Best birthday ever!!!"

I noticed the kids who have their parties at places like JumpZone, Pump It Up or Monkey Joes (with the inflatable play structures) get better turn out so I wonder if it's just that these days home parties are just boring and so no one wants to go.
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Venus193

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 10:06:49 PM »
I am not a parent nor do I play one on TV, but if the issue is that everybody in a kid's class must be invited, can the parents get together on monthly parties?  Share the expense, use the home with the largest space or book a kid party venue, and dispense with the gifts?

Slartibartfast

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 10:26:32 PM »
I am not a parent nor do I play one on TV, but if the issue is that everybody in a kid's class must be invited, can the parents get together on monthly parties?  Share the expense, use the home with the largest space or book a kid party venue, and dispense with the gifts?

The corollary to the "must invite everyone" issue is that kids see each other less and less outside of class.  Once upon a time you would play with the other kids in the neighborhood and then all end up waiting at the bus stop together for school - now your classmates may live half a county away, everyone's parents drive them to school, and you all do dance/swimming/music lessons either as individuals or with a group which is also made up of kids from all over.  The result is you see classmates at school and other friends elsewhere, and the parents may never actually meet the classmates' parents except for at birthday parties.  I'm much less enthusiastic about taking Babybartfast to birthday parties for kids I don't know, to socialize with parents I don't know, at someone's house I've never seen, who live half an hour away, and who may or may not actually want Babybartfast there but had to invite her because they had to invite the whole class.  I do try to RSVP anyway, but it's much more frequently a situation like "We'll see how busy Saturday ends up being" rather than "I can't wait for Saturday because so-and-so is having a birthday!"

kareng57

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 11:14:40 PM »
I think that for some peoplr parties might not be fun. In the olf days it was maybe pizza and cake at home. Your parents might even rent a couple of movies and let your guests sleep over. There were rarely "themes" and hosts and guests didn't throw down tons of money. Now a lot of people have large guest lists at expensive venues with entertainment and elaborate menus. I imagine a lot of people feel like each party they atted moves the bar that much higher for them. Not a good reason not to RSVP but I am sure not all parents are happy about invitations.


I agree; when my kids were young there was never an expectation that the whole class must be invited (I only remember that happening once).  Generally, the parents/babysitters discreetly passed the invitations around during pre-pickup time.  I know that's not often an option these days when many kids are picked up by a daycare van, and the school administration is not allowed to give contact information between parents.  I used to pretty much go by the age-plus-one rule (for example, 8 kids at a 7 year-old's party) and we almost always did simple parties at home.

While I'm not excusing parents not-replying in any way - it could be pretty overwhelming to be getting all these invitations for a child that their own child barely knows (or knows, but doesn't like).  And if it was me, I'd be having to give a lot of "no" replies, even if my child did want to attend.  I could handle a $20 birthday party gift every couple of months (this was around 20 years ago), but not every other weekend.

nolechica

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 02:53:16 AM »
I was a kid in the 80s and still remember the whole class getting invited to skating/bowling parties ad nauseum.  It gets old.  However, a lot of those parents seemed to get better results with Regrets Only rather than RSVP. Also, getting invited just because the whole class did gets old for the kids too, not just the parents.

Iris

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 03:03:47 AM »
I think that for some peoplr parties might not be fun. In the olf days it was maybe pizza and cake at home. Your parents might even rent a couple of movies and let your guests sleep over. There were rarely "themes" and hosts and guests didn't throw down tons of money. Now a lot of people have large guest lists at expensive venues with entertainment and elaborate menus. I imagine a lot of people feel like each party they atted moves the bar that much higher for them. Not a good reason not to RSVP but I am sure not all parents are happy about invitations.

Also agree. My SIL runs a company planning and running kids parties. $20,000 AUD is not unheard of, which I just think is utter madness and the parents get very competitive about having the bigger, better party like it is some kind of contest on showing whose child is more popular. We just used to get dropped off but now the parents are expected to stay and watch the whole thing and socialise with a whole lot of people they may rather not spend time with. Woe betide the parent who picks out a token or cheap gift, your social kudos goes straight down the toilet.

WHAT??!!?? Sorry, I mean WHAT??!!?? And to think I thought I was being a tremendously generous mother stumping up $200 for DD2's party...

On the OP, DD2 and her friends still get very excited about parties and go if they can possibly make it at all. We don't have the 'invite the class' thing though so maybe that's the difference. I haven't had any hassles with RSVPs really, but now that they're 10 most kids RSVP directly to the party girl at school. Actually her next party is in school holidays and invitations are going out on the last day of school so it will be interesting to see what happens...
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Pippen

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Re: Do kids just not care about being invited to birthday parties?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 03:13:31 AM »
I think that for some peoplr parties might not be fun. In the olf days it was maybe pizza and cake at home. Your parents might even rent a couple of movies and let your guests sleep over. There were rarely "themes" and hosts and guests didn't throw down tons of money. Now a lot of people have large guest lists at expensive venues with entertainment and elaborate menus. I imagine a lot of people feel like each party they atted moves the bar that much higher for them. Not a good reason not to RSVP but I am sure not all parents are happy about invitations.

Also agree. My SIL runs a company planning and running kids parties. $20,000 AUD is not unheard of, which I just think is utter madness and the parents get very competitive about having the bigger, better party like it is some kind of contest on showing whose child is more popular. We just used to get dropped off but now the parents are expected to stay and watch the whole thing and socialise with a whole lot of people they may rather not spend time with. Woe betide the parent who picks out a token or cheap gift, your social kudos goes straight down the toilet.

WHAT??!!?? Sorry, I mean WHAT??!!?? And to think I thought I was being a tremendously generous mother stumping up $200 for DD2's party...



That was my response as well. More money than sense. I feel sorry for those kids because everything needed to be controlled and was all about the parents showing of. Half of them wouldn't even know it was their kids birthday if they didn't have a planner to remind them.

My nephews2nd BD party they arranged for a petting zoo to be set up in their tiny Melbourne garden with rabbit and lambs and ponies and calves and the like. My brother was asking the people running it where the calves were and they pointed out an animal that was in no way bovine. It was a full grown sheep that had been shaved really close and painted to look like a baby cow. They insisted it was a calf. My brother knows a cow when he sees one but he was the only person there out of about 40 people who noticed.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 03:23:50 AM by Pippen »