Author Topic: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..  (Read 16506 times)

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lkdrymom

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2013, 06:51:34 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

Margo

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2013, 06:57:12 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"

JenJay

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2013, 07:00:55 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.

singingserpent

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2013, 07:22:32 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.

Margo

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2013, 07:28:13 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.


HoneyBee42

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2013, 07:52:48 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.

Penguin_ar

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2013, 08:00:33 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."

Cami

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2013, 08:54:12 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.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 09:13:59 AM by Cami »

bopper

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2013, 08:58:24 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.

artk2002

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2013, 09:40:25 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.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2013, 10:08:16 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.

rose red

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2013, 10:23:40 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*

Hopefull

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2013, 10:29:33 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.
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Calistoga

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2013, 10:54:34 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.

mmswm

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Re: Your kid is invited to a party, please fork over cash..
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2013, 11:09:55 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.
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