Author Topic: Parents at kids' birthday parties?  (Read 5458 times)

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ACBNYC

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2013, 02:58:12 PM »
I would never think of dropping off and leaving unless the invite explicitly said that was to be expected. DD is 5 going on 6, though, so that might change when she hits 1st grade. This does sound very regional/community based--it's just what's been done where I am. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other, but since DD hit school age (she's in K now), one or both parents go to every party I've been been to.

If I had an invite that said, hey, drop off the kid, I wouldn't hesitate...after I'd made sure there was adequate supervision appropriate to the venue. I'm pretty lax about what that means, but even I wouldn't be comfortable if there were a dozen six year olds with one adult in a chaotic bowling alley with multiple other parties going on.


cheyne

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2013, 03:39:11 PM »
I read that Cafemom was planning on feeding the adults, but that is not always the case.  If you expect the parents to stay, I feel you are obligated to feed them.  We had a thread about this a bit ago and several posters stated that only the invited kids were to be fed.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=124847.15

IMO if you can't handle the amount of children you want to invite to the party by yourself (or with your DH/mom/friend) you don't invite that many.  My kids are past this stage, but I never stayed at a Bday party with either one of them.  I don't consider it "free babysitting" but hosting your invited guests.

Roe

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2013, 06:23:57 PM »
In my circle, adults are always fed because they stay. 

MariaE

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2013, 06:37:48 PM »
IMO if you can't handle the amount of children you want to invite to the party by yourself (or with your DH/mom/friend) you don't invite that many.  My kids are past this stage, but I never stayed at a Bday party with either one of them.  I don't consider it "free babysitting" but hosting your invited guests.

POD. Don't invite more than you can supervise. If you need more adults, ask for volunteers. I'd think it pretty rude of anybody who invited my child and then got mad at me for dropping her off because I disn't read her mind and knew I was expected to stay. What if I'd made other plans? Of course this is assuming there's nothing about staying in the invitation. If there is, you're in the clear :)
 
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2013, 06:38:14 PM »
We used to have two kinds of parties growing up. Parties with my parents friend where adults stayed and our friends when the parents didn't stay.

One of my parties I was allowed to invite the entire class, imagine if the parents had stayed too!

MrsJWine

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2013, 06:39:34 PM »
I think there's such a wide array of what people would assume is expected, that it's probably wisest for the hosts to be explicit about their expectations on the invitation.


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turnip

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2013, 06:57:47 PM »
I vaguely recall that in one of the first threads I posted to here, parents were accused of being 'rude' for _staying_ at a party at a 'paint your own trinket' place, since the location charged per attendee.     Evidently there is no sure-fire way to please everyone on this subject!

Roe

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2013, 08:02:45 PM »
If I expected to stay with my child and the location charged per person, we'd either decline or I'd pay for myself. I certainly wouldn't expect the parents to pay for my attendance.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2013, 08:07:38 PM »
I vaguely recall that in one of the first threads I posted to here, parents were accused of being 'rude' for _staying_ at a party at a 'paint your own trinket' place, since the location charged per attendee.     Evidently there is no sure-fire way to please everyone on this subject!

If that happens, adult pays for themselves.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 08:39:51 PM »
With my kid's the majority of parents stayed at the party through kindergarten. But in first and second grade a good portion of the parents started dropping off.  Not all of them because it was a chance for many of us to have a nice visit.

I would never have hosted a party at a public place for 7 years olds without organizing and confirming that I had an adequate amount of parents, friends, or family to help me supervise.  Even if parents stayed, I didn't expect them to assume supervisory or hosting duties. They were also my guests and I'd expect them to have the opportunity to enjoy the afternoon too. 

I'm really bothered that this woman invited 13 7 year olds to a crowded, public venue without having arranged appropriate supervision. And then instead of being honest to say to the last few parents who asked if they could leave "Well, actually I had expected some parents to stay and assist, would you mind terribly." she instead takes the cowards way out and puts the kids in potential danger of getting lost.

As a parent, how the dickens am I supposed to know that you invited a ton of kids but didn't arrange adequate supervision? I'd honestly pretty ticked if I got back and found out the situation. 

Actually, the woman's attitude makes me understand why she doesn't know the parents of the other kids.

Danika

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2013, 03:36:09 AM »
I vaguely recall that in one of the first threads I posted to here, parents were accused of being 'rude' for _staying_ at a party at a 'paint your own trinket' place, since the location charged per attendee.     Evidently there is no sure-fire way to please everyone on this subject!

If that happens, adult pays for themselves.

So now, as a parent, you'd be buying the birthday child a gift and paying for your own food at Chuck E. Cheese's or painting pottery? So instead of just thinking "Hey, my kid will want to go to their friend's birthday party, how fun" you would also have to consider your budget. "Do I have money to purchase pottery that I don't need? Should I eat a power bar in the car on the drive there so that I'm not hungry while I watch my kid eat pizza?"

Where we live, it's typical for parents to drop their kids off at a party, even preschoolers. When I have parties for my toddler or preschooler, I make sure to invite entire families - parents and all siblings. And I mention that there will be meals and cake for adults and kids. Then, there's no question about if they're leaving the kids, if they're welcome to stay, if they will go hungry or be expected to pay their own way.


My DD is 5. Recently, she was invited to a birthday party. For the location, only an address was provided. It looked like a house address so I wrongly assumed that was the case. Every other invitation we've had before this has stated explicitly "At the park, address is..." or "At the indoor place with trampolines, address is..." not just an address with the parents' names on top.

I emailed the mother to see if we were supposed to leave the kids or stay with them. DD's name was the only one on the envelope so I imagined that meant that only she was invited. I didn't want to stay and seem like I was saying "I don't trust you" but I don't know the parents other than in passing, so I don't know them well enough to trust them. I figured if she would be offended or annoyed that I stayed at her house, I would just bring a book and park in front of the house, and tell DD if she needed anything, I was just outside and she could come get me. I wanted to ask the parents and get a feel for what they expected.

Here's part of what I wrote:
"Also, do I drop DD off with you all and come back and pick her up or will parents be staying?"

She replied that parents were free to leave because they have the place all to themselves. Saying "the place" was when I realized that it might not be at their home. I had to search on the internet to see what was at that address. Google said it was a store that sold antiques. That didn't make sense. I did more digging. That antique store went out of business a couple of years ago. So it was a building in a commercial district but I didn't know what it was. I had to dig more on the internet and found that it's a new kids' party place with bounce houses. There will likely be tons of other strangers there. No way am I leaving my 5-year-old alone in a place like that.

Poor communication!

Yvaine

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2013, 08:26:26 AM »
She replied that parents were free to leave because they have the place all to themselves. Saying "the place" was when I realized that it might not be at their home. I had to search on the internet to see what was at that address. Google said it was a store that sold antiques. That didn't make sense. I did more digging. That antique store went out of business a couple of years ago. So it was a building in a commercial district but I didn't know what it was. I had to dig more on the internet and found that it's a new kids' party place with bounce houses. There will likely be tons of other strangers there. No way am I leaving my 5-year-old alone in a place like that.

Poor communication!

Actually, if she said she they had the whole place to themselves, I would think she'd paid extra to rent the entire party space, and there wouldn't be any strangers other than the employees.

That said, yes, it was poor communication to say just "3794 Whatever Street" instead of "the Discovery Zone at 3794 Whatever Street." (Does Discovery Zone still exist? I remember they had a horribly catchy commercial back in the nineties.)

Sharnita

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2013, 08:32:28 AM »
Yeah, saying they have the place to themselves seems like a clear indication that there won't be strangers.  And I don't see how it would be leaving DD alone when there is suprvision.  Leaving her alone would be pulling up to the door on a random day and telling her to go inside and have fun.  Dropping her her off with people who will supervise her is not leaving her alone.

Betelnut

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2013, 10:31:39 AM »
"Bounce Palace" type places typically do have birthday parties where the kids have the bounce place to themselves.  Not all of them but most.

I've never been to a vendor-based birthday party where the host didn't provide food for the parents who stayed.  If that were to happen, I would be disappointed but, frankly, usually those parties are only 2 hours so not eating cheap pizza or cake bearable!
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Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Parents at kids' birthday parties?
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2013, 12:02:34 PM »
My daughter is only 4, but generally parents stay at kids' parties.  Mostly, it's both parents (with the exception being princess parties, where dads never seem to show up).  Parents are always fed.

Of course, our preschool is pretty small so the parents all know each other from various school events over the last few years.

My best friend's kids are a little older, but once they started elementary school they started being left at parties most of the time.  If the hosts want parents to stay, they're pretty explicit on the invitation.

It will be interesting to see how parents treat parties once my daughter starts kindergarten in the fall.