Author Topic: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question  (Read 3445 times)

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MamaMootz

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Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« on: March 30, 2013, 08:02:18 AM »
http://moms.popsugar.com/When-Bring-Siblings-Birthday-Parties-28690227

I wish that someone had printed that article/guide when DD was smaller. Now here is my question relating to it:

Would it be rude to write "Unfortunately, no siblings invited" on party invitations? Or is it like a wedding invite where you simply write down the invited parties and leave uninvited people off?

My opinion based on my past experience, especially where there are costs involved at an outside venue that is "pay per child", it is not rude to specify - in a position as a guest, I would have liked to know up front if parents were expected to stay or not, and whether or not siblings were invited. To me, the issue is that if you leave names off and believe the guests will understand, I think society in general has not been raised to understand this rule and it's better to be as specific as possible. Thoughts?

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Penguin_ar

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 10:26:17 AM »
I would never assume that siblings are invited (we use birthday party invites to make it a "mommy and me" day), and haven't had any problems with uninvited siblings showing up despite most people here having more than one child, but I don't think it is rude to specify on the invite, same with the whether you want parents to stay or not.  We did this for the first time this year: my older daughter had a "unicorn tea party" at a real tea shop in a shopping mall and we didn't specify on the invite, but as rsvps came in, I mentioned to the moms that they were free to stay (we only paid for tea and cupcakes for the kids), or go shopping for an hour. Most stayed, though I suspect that will change in future years.

*inviteseller

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 10:47:43 AM »
I am lucky that my kids have summer birthdays, so I rent a grove at the county park and have a big cookout for both kids and adults.  Just trying to get people to RSVP is enough of a problem, let alone knowing if people are bringing multiple family members who weren't invited.  Twice now though I have invited a child only to have the whole family show up and stay (once was dad and 5 kids, second was mom and 3 kids).  Although I am not paying per person, and I tend to cook like the third infantry is coming, I only had enough treat bags and game prizes for the actual RSVP's, not all the extra kids.  And neither time was there an apology (altho the dad stepped up and helped with the grill) for turning my childs birthday party into a family outing. (and no, these extra kids weren't known to my children).  I see no problem at the pay per head places to tell people who bring extra kids that only the invited child was paid for, so unfortunately the others will not be able to participate. 

kherbert05

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 10:53:11 AM »
When sis has used a venue or entertainer she has put




RSVP by Date (Head count due to venue)


Then if she gets parents assuming sibs are invited she can tell them no. Sis has no problem telling them no - she has a very strong spine.
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Pen^2

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 11:06:27 AM »
It's rude for people to attend an event they're not invited to, no matter what the event. Parents bringing the siblings of children who are actually invited along expecting the host to cater for them too is pretty bad. But I remember as a child, at every kid's birthday there would always be a few kids who's little brother or sister always seemed to be there. Some parents need a stronger message, it seems. Any event with invitations implies that people without invitations are not invited. It's pretty simple.

kherbert05, I like your sister's idea. Make it clear in the invitation that a head count is needed for the venue, and then parents who bring uninvited siblings at the last minute have no choice but to be turned away, especially since they knew in advance. "As you are aware, [sibling] had no RSVP, was not even on the guest list, and so cannot attend [venue], as was made clear on your invitation." It's hard to argue with that without using blatant non-sequiturs, which can be dealt with by repeating oneself over and over.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 11:38:54 AM »
I always write on the invitation if siblings *are* invited.  In my circle, it's pretty common but not always.  Sometimes when you call to RSVP, the hostess will say, "Oh, and you're welcome to bring the other kids if you'd like to!"  But yeah, if they don't say anything like that, I think assuming that they're *not* invited is the way to go.  I think the clearest way to address it is to put the invitee's named on the front and ask people to RSVP "because we need an accurate head count--thanks!" or something like that.

What do you guys think about being more specific (when they call to RSVP) for known offenders?  For instance, you invited Sally, and you know that last year, her siblings Rob and Mary were dropped off with her when you invited her.  This year, when Sally's mom calls to RSVP (okay, I'm optimistically hoping she'll call), can you say, "Oh, and by the way, this year the invitation is really just for Sally, as we have a very strict number of spots.  We've been having to tell people that we can't include siblings because we just don't have room."  Or something?

HoneyBee42

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 11:59:57 AM »
When sis has used a venue or entertainer she has put




RSVP by Date (Head count due to venue)


Then if she gets parents assuming sibs are invited she can tell them no. Sis has no problem telling them no - she has a very strong spine.

Shirley L from that article could sure use a shot of your sister's spine.  I would never allow a party I'm throwing to triple in price just because everyone wanted to add to my guest list.


kherbert05

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 01:41:29 PM »
It's rude for people to attend an event they're not invited to, no matter what the event. Parents bringing the siblings of children who are actually invited along expecting the host to cater for them too is pretty bad. But I remember as a child, at every kid's birthday there would always be a few kids who's little brother or sister always seemed to be there. Some parents need a stronger message, it seems. Any event with invitations implies that people without invitations are not invited. It's pretty simple.

kherbert05, I like your sister's idea. Make it clear in the invitation that a head count is needed for the venue, and then parents who bring uninvited siblings at the last minute have no choice but to be turned away, especially since they knew in advance. "As you are aware, [sibling] had no RSVP, was not even on the guest list, and so cannot attend [venue], as was made clear on your invitation." It's hard to argue with that without using blatant non-sequiturs, which can be dealt with by repeating oneself over and over.
A couple of the venues she and our cousins have used over the last few years will act as butler/bouncer turning anyone not on the list away. Backfired once Sis forgot to put me and her SIL on the list because she was thinking kid/parents. We texted her and she came out and clarified.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Rohanna

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 07:42:49 PM »
I've brought my younger son to a few birthday parties for his big brother- when he starts walking I will have to find a sitter. When my husband is working, finding a sitter for a breastfeeding infant is difficult. None of the venues locally charge for non-walking infants under one, so since he's attached to me the whole time I figure he's not particularly in the way (and at the volume of a pre-schooler party, he's not adding to the noise either). I've seen most other parents of under-ones bringing small babies to parties but not toddlers or up unless invited.
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Shoo

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 08:21:06 PM »
When my daughter was younger, we had a birthday party for her at Chuck E. Cheese's.  We invited all the kids from her pre-school class, about 12.  One family brought all THREE of their kids, and sat the two univited ones down at the table with all the others.  I ended up having to pay an additional $10 each for those two uninvited kids.  At the time, I honestly didn't know what to do.  Now, I'd have no problem telling them the extra two kids couldn't sit with the party kids, but back then, I just sucked it up and was irritated.

peaches

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 08:30:21 PM »
I thought this was a good article, except for this:

ď..... it is equally rude [for hosts] to expect a gift and for the parent to pay a babysitter to watch an uninvited siblings at home. "I only have one child, but I have had parents ask if they could bring a sibling and I have always obliged," she says.Ē

This bothers me. Itís not rude to invite one child. If a parent needs to get a sitter for siblings, thatís their responsibility. Or they can decline the invite. 

Itís fine IMO to call the host and explain the situation. But the host isnít required to expand the invitation list (and may not be able to).

This mother seems to believe that since she always lets siblings come to parties, that everyone is obliged to do so. I disagree.


snowdragon

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 11:39:39 AM »
I thought this was a good article, except for this:

ď..... it is equally rude [for hosts] to expect a gift and for the parent to pay a babysitter to watch an uninvited siblings at home. "I only have one child, but I have had parents ask if they could bring a sibling and I have always obliged," she says.Ē

This bothers me. Itís not rude to invite one child. If a parent needs to get a sitter for siblings, thatís their responsibility. Or they can decline the invite. 

Itís fine IMO to call the host and explain the situation. But the host isnít required to expand the invitation list (and may not be able to).

This mother seems to believe that since she always lets siblings come to parties, that everyone is obliged to do so. I disagree.

That irritated me,too. I've never seen this type of "etiquette" and always considered it rude of the guest parents to bring extra kids to a party.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 03:23:17 PM »
I've brought my younger son to a few birthday parties for his big brother- when he starts walking I will have to find a sitter. When my husband is working, finding a sitter for a breastfeeding infant is difficult. None of the venues locally charge for non-walking infants under one, so since he's attached to me the whole time I figure he's not particularly in the way (and at the volume of a pre-schooler party, he's not adding to the noise either). I've seen most other parents of under-ones bringing small babies to parties but not toddlers or up unless invited.

I generally think bringing babies doesn't really count because they aren't costing the host/hostess anything.  They don't cost for entry, they don't eat the food, play the games, or anything like that.  Assuming, of course, that they don't (no feeding your baby scoops of frosting).  I do think that you should be prepared to hold the baby the whole time, or have the baby in a baby carrier that's on your chest.  Strollers take up a lot of space and can be in the way if not expected at a birthday party for a 6-year-old.  And you should be prepared for having to step out/away if the baby is crying or creating a disturbance.

StarFaerie

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 07:30:47 PM »
I've brought my younger son to a few birthday parties for his big brother- when he starts walking I will have to find a sitter. When my husband is working, finding a sitter for a breastfeeding infant is difficult. None of the venues locally charge for non-walking infants under one, so since he's attached to me the whole time I figure he's not particularly in the way (and at the volume of a pre-schooler party, he's not adding to the noise either). I've seen most other parents of under-ones bringing small babies to parties but not toddlers or up unless invited.

I generally think bringing babies doesn't really count because they aren't costing the host/hostess anything.  They don't cost for entry, they don't eat the food, play the games, or anything like that.  Assuming, of course, that they don't (no feeding your baby scoops of frosting).  I do think that you should be prepared to hold the baby the whole time, or have the baby in a baby carrier that's on your chest.  Strollers take up a lot of space and can be in the way if not expected at a birthday party for a 6-year-old.  And you should be prepared for having to step out/away if the baby is crying or creating a disturbance.

I agree. Babies, especially breastfeeding ones, don't count. They are an extension of the parent and go wherever the parent does (within reason). Toddlers and up do count and alternative arrangements should be made for them (Disclaimer: I only have one child so, I admit, I have it easy on this stuff.)

snowdragon

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Re: Sibling B'Day Party Etiquette Article - and Question
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 12:17:30 PM »
I've brought my younger son to a few birthday parties for his big brother- when he starts walking I will have to find a sitter. When my husband is working, finding a sitter for a breastfeeding infant is difficult. None of the venues locally charge for non-walking infants under one, so since he's attached to me the whole time I figure he's not particularly in the way (and at the volume of a pre-schooler party, he's not adding to the noise either). I've seen most other parents of under-ones bringing small babies to parties but not toddlers or up unless invited.

I generally think bringing babies doesn't really count because they aren't costing the host/hostess anything.  They don't cost for entry, they don't eat the food, play the games, or anything like that.  Assuming, of course, that they don't (no feeding your baby scoops of frosting).  I do think that you should be prepared to hold the baby the whole time, or have the baby in a baby carrier that's on your chest.  Strollers take up a lot of space and can be in the way if not expected at a birthday party for a 6-year-old.  And you should be prepared for having to step out/away if the baby is crying or creating a disturbance.


 I would agree for kids events - up to the point where the child is able to move around with out the parent. Crawling, scooting along on their stomach, ect. Once they are able to do that - they no longer belong going anywhere with out an explicit invite of their own.