Author Topic: Parents at kids' birthday parties?  (Read 5864 times)

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Roe

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 09:03:59 PM »
Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I have never had or been to a childs birthday party where the parents just left their children. It wasn't until I started reading here on Ehell that I heard about parties without parents sticking around.

Same here.  For me, it would seem rude to drop off your child and leave. 

Surianne

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 09:40:08 PM »
I've never heard of parents staying before reading about it on these boards.  Most parties I've known, the parents rope in a few extra adult minders (family or friends) so there are maybe 3-4 adults for 12 kids, but the actual invitees are dropped off without their parents.  If you can't handle looking after X amount of kids, you invite fewer kids.

Seems to me like this was just different expectations, and a failure in communication on the party host's side.

MariaE

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2013, 12:32:15 AM »
Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I have never had or been to a childs birthday party where the parents just left their children. It wasn't until I started reading here on Ehell that I heard about parties without parents sticking around.

Same here.  For me, it would seem rude to drop off your child and leave.

For me it would seem rude to expect to stick around. It would seem like the parent saying "I don't trust you to be able to take care of my child even though you invited him/her, so I'm going to stick around and do it for you."
 
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violinp

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 12:39:56 AM »
Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I have never had or been to a childs birthday party where the parents just left their children. It wasn't until I started reading here on Ehell that I heard about parties without parents sticking around.

Same here.  For me, it would seem rude to drop off your child and leave.

For me it would seem rude to expect to stick around. It would seem like the parent saying "I don't trust you to be able to take care of my child even though you invited him/her, so I'm going to stick around and do it for you."

Yeah. My mom never stayed for any of the parties I was invited to as a kid, and the same went for all the other kids' parents. I could see the need for parents sticking around if the child was a preschooler or younger, but once they hit grade school, it's just kinda weird unless the parents were specifically asked to stay.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 12:46:42 AM »
My experience has been, like others, that parents generally drop their kid off if it's at somebody's house, and stay if it's at a public place.  Because it's just harder for the hostess to keep an eye on the set of 8 kids among the other two dozen at a party place or roller rink, than it is to keep track of 8 kids who are in her home.  Maybe once the kids are older elementary/middle and can pretty much be responsible for themselves, but usually before that, parents stay.  At a house, parents usually consider drop-off around 5 or 6, depending on the kid.  At my daughter's 6th birthday party, all of the parents asked me if I minded if they left.  I didn't, so they did.  The one exception was a friend of mine, and I think she stayed to keep me company (and to serve as a second pair of hands, which I appreciated) more than because there was any sort of social obligation.  When my two older daughters (6 and 4) were invited to a party for a 5-year-old, the mom told me I was welcome to leave or stay.  The party was a good half hour from my house, though, so I didn't see the point in driving home, and my kids wanted me to stay, so I did.  Lots of parents were there and I had some good conversations.

kareng57

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 01:07:24 AM »
This party was for 7 year olds in a public place.  I totally understand what the author was saying and I agree with her.  She was put on the spot, so she felt she had to say yes when they asked her if they could drop off.  But I have to say that I, as a parent, would NEVER drop off my 7 year old in a public place.  I just wouldn't, and if I were that woman, I'd feel exactly the same as she did:  that those parents were looking for free babysitting, because let's face it, that's how they acted.

They didn't even stick around long enough to make sure the kids were going to be adequately supervised!  That's just insane, IMO, and irresponsible.


Insane?  I think that's kind of OTT.

I do understand that this issue seems to be pretty regional.  IME, when my kids were young, there was absolutely no expectation that parents must stay.  Most of our kids' birthday parties were home parties, and we had them during times when we were both available (Dh worked shifts) and were only hosting a handful of children. Having 7 or 8 kids in the home was completely manageable.

And when they got a bit older - yes, one of our kids, at about age 8, did have the party in a bowling alley.  However, this really was a "neighbourhood" bowling alley - probably about 12 lanes, and about 2 lanes for a kid's birthday party.  It really was not difficult for us to supervise the kids in this small area.

IME the OP should have done a bit more homework as to what was expected in the area.  She's rude in asserting that parents were "looking for free babysitting".

Library Dragon

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2013, 01:55:26 AM »
I've never heard of parents staying before reading about it on these boards.  Most parties I've known, the parents rope in a few extra adult minders (family or friends) so there are maybe 3-4 adults for 12 kids, but the actual invitees are dropped off without their parents.  If you can't handle looking after X amount of kids, you invite fewer kids.

Seems to me like this was just different expectations, and a failure in communication on the party host's side.

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After 5 years old I never expected parents to stay and never encountered an expectation that I stay.  Parents who were closer friends may stay, but not all parents.

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Sharnita

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2013, 07:18:01 AM »
I see it more as the host wanting the parents to be unpaid party staff than parents wanting free babysitting.  I mean, if you want a party with that many kids you could have friends help you, you could hire help, you could choose a different venue.  Apparently the option some people choose is hoping some parents will work the party anf rangle kids, even though they were not invited or even overtly asked ahead of time.  That expectation/assumption just blows my mind.  It does make me wonder if that is why some people show up with uninvited siblings, though.

Emmy

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2013, 07:19:26 AM »
This party was for 7 year olds in a public place.  I totally understand what the author was saying and I agree with her.  She was put on the spot, so she felt she had to say yes when they asked her if they could drop off.  But I have to say that I, as a parent, would NEVER drop off my 7 year old in a public place.  I just wouldn't, and if I were that woman, I'd feel exactly the same as she did:  that those parents were looking for free babysitting, because let's face it, that's how they acted.

They didn't even stick around long enough to make sure the kids were going to be adequately supervised!  That's just insane, IMO, and irresponsible.

I think the LW's accusations of 'free babysitting' were uncharitable because of her failure to communicate.  If she wanted the parents to come, she should have invited them as well as the kids.  The parents can't read the hostesses mind that she expected them to stay and that she had food/beverage for them as well; most people would not be comfortable with joining the party if not specifically invited and certainly wouldn't want to sit in the background away from the party to keep an eye on their kid.  I don't have kids in elementary school yet, but at all the birthday parties my parents have hosted or I have attended as a child, the parents would drop their children off so I assume that would be the norm.   If the hostess threw a party for 13 kids without inviting the parents, she should have been prepared to keep an eye on that many kids.

Thipu1

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »
Looking at pictures of my larval stages, it seems that parents (usually Moms) all stayed at birthday parties.   Almost all the Moms were SAH and my birthday was in the summer.  These parties were an excuse for them to sit in the back yard and enjoy a cold drink together.  For serving the cake and ice cream, I recall them all chipping in to help. 

There was one girl whose Mom was a nurse.  If she had to work,  the Dad came and hung out with my Dad over a beer in the kitchen.  Just dropping a child off would have been considered odd.

Of course in the 1950s, birthday parties for children were much simpler.  They were never in a public space and the games were 'Pin the tail on the Donkey', 'Musical Chairs' and the like.  It was the talk of the neighborhood for months when one family offered pony rides. 

Sharnita

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2013, 09:47:46 AM »
Looking at pictures of my larval stages, it seems that parents (usually Moms) all stayed at birthday parties.   Almost all the Moms were SAH and my birthday was in the summer.  These parties were an excuse for them to sit in the back yard and enjoy a cold drink together.  For serving the cake and ice cream, I recall them all chipping in to help. 

There was one girl whose Mom was a nurse.  If she had to work,  the Dad came and hung out with my Dad over a beer in the kitchen.  Just dropping a child off would have been considered odd.

Of course in the 1950s, birthday parties for children were much simpler.  They were never in a public space and the games were 'Pin the tail on the Donkey', 'Musical Chairs' and the like.  It was the talk of the neighborhood for months when one family offered pony rides.

It also sounds like the parents knew each other and were friends so the parents would be genuine guests, not strangers

Thipu1

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2013, 11:11:57 AM »
Looking at pictures of my larval stages, it seems that parents (usually Moms) all stayed at birthday parties.   Almost all the Moms were SAH and my birthday was in the summer.  These parties were an excuse for them to sit in the back yard and enjoy a cold drink together.  For serving the cake and ice cream, I recall them all chipping in to help. 

There was one girl whose Mom was a nurse.  If she had to work,  the Dad came and hung out with my Dad over a beer in the kitchen.  Just dropping a child off would have been considered odd.

Of course in the 1950s, birthday parties for children were much simpler.  They were never in a public space and the games were 'Pin the tail on the Donkey', 'Musical Chairs' and the like.  It was the talk
of the neighborhood for months when one family offered pony rides.

It also sounds like the parents knew each other and were friends so the parents would be genuine
guests, not strangers

Yes, they all knew each other.  Apart from a few cousins, all the children at my birthday parties lived only a few blocks away. Some of us met each other at the corner and walked to and from school together. After school, we played at each other's houses. 

It was a very small town. Things were very different in the 1950s.   

   

Roe

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I have never had or been to a childs birthday party where the parents just left their children. It wasn't until I started reading here on Ehell that I heard about parties without parents sticking around.

Same here.  For me, it would seem rude to drop off your child and leave.

For me it would seem rude to expect to stick around. It would seem like the parent saying "I don't trust you to be able to take care of my child even though you invited him/her, so I'm going to stick around and do it for you."

Different expectations and culture for sure.  I would feel like the lady in the link, as if they wanted free babysitting if they just up and left. 

Winterlight

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2013, 12:40:07 PM »
I think that if you want parents at the party you inlcude them in the actual invitation. And if you are affronted by people leaving their kids with you, a parent they don't really know, you don't invite the kids of people you don't know. Finally, you don't get huffy about them expecting you to take care of 13 guests, you chose that number, not them. In fact, I am unclear how they would know you had 3 guests or 13 coming.

Agreed. I also think she's rude for getting upset and accusing them of wanting free babysitting when she said it was fine to leave.
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bah12

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 02:50:34 PM »
I have a three year old and every party that we've been to, we've stayed along with all the other parents.  This especially when the party is in a public location.  I don't really have experience with when that changes (or should change), but right now, I'd find it odd to just "drop off" and a birthday party and leave.   It does seem irresponsible not to at least make sure that the kids will be properly supervised first. 

I suppose that as my DD gets older, we may have to start clarifying the expectation when she's invited to parties, but to be honest, at 7, I think I'd have a hard time dropping her off in a public park unless I knew for sure that there were enough adults present to manage all the kids.  And I wouldn't let her stay if it's just the birthday girl/boy parents supervising a gaggle of children.