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At what age do you start dropping them off at birthday parties?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Today DS went to a birthday party for a little boy in DS's preschool who was turning 5.  There were 8 kids and we were the ONLY parents who stayed.  DS is 4 and was definitely not the youngest child there.  We know the parents of the birthday boy only casually though preschool and they seemed pretty surprised that we were staying.  I made an excuse and said that we'd stay becuase sometimes DS gets worried when he can't find us (totally not true).  The party was absolutely great and I suppose I could have just dropped him off. 


So at what age do you feel comfortable with just dropping your child off at a party?  I'm wondering becuase not only do I feel like I breached some sort of unspoken etiquette, but I also want to know what to expect when we host a Halloween party next month.

post #2 of 27

Well, in my group of friends we really value community for the benefits it brings the parents, the kids, and society.  Honestly, the kids are all friends BECAUSE we are all friends, so we'd never even WANT to leave--nor would it make sense for us to leave as the parents are just as much party guests as our kids are.  (We're homeschoolers, BTW, so the whole 'kid from school' thing doesn't really apply).


In your situation I don't know what I'd end up actually doing, but I know it would feel really weird to drop a 4 year old off at a birthday party!

post #3 of 27

IIRC at dd's 5th b-day maybe half the kids were dropped off.  Most were older than her (ie. 5 and up) because she's the youngest in her class.  By her 6th bday pretty much all of the kids were dropped off except those with parents who were also our friends.  I never dropped her off at a party when she was only 4, and I probably wouldn't want someone's 4yo who barely knew me being dropped off here either.  I find that pretty young.


At the party you went to were a lot of the kids 5 or older?

post #4 of 27
DD is 10 now and I would consider it if I knew the parents personally. The only bday party they have been to I stayed with them since I cant trust ds to act properly.
post #5 of 27

It seems to be 5 and up when kids start getting dropped off, especially when the hit K age. 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Most of the kids were 4.  I chatted about this with a friend and she agreed- it's way too young to be dropping kids off and she didn't see the point of dropping off int he first place.  We agreed that half of the fun of a birthday party is visiting with the other adults, so I guess I'll probably end up being the "weird" parent who is always hanging around. 

post #7 of 27

In our circle it's 4 and 5. Some of us have known each other since our kids were born or before, though, and those tend to be any age.

For people we know only casually and there's other kids there, usually 4 for us. If  it's a one-on-one occasion, I stick around still. My daughter is 6, son almost 5. Nothing funny is likely to happen with a whole bunch of kids, but I'm less comfortable with parents I don't know well being one on one with mine.


Just go with your gut at each individual situation. There's no need to make blanket policies of x age for y. If your gut tells you there's something about the situation wrong, there probably is.

post #8 of 27
Around 5 or so unless the parents are really close friends with each other.
post #9 of 27

For us it's been around the time they started school so 4-5. DDs birthday is the end of the school year, and we only had a couple for parents stay for her 5th.

post #10 of 27

I was only dropped off for parties that were sleepovers when I was little. At family parties everyone stays but I've noticed some friends of the birthday child are there solo

post #11 of 27

We started birthday parties when ds was 4. I always invite parents to stay, but they all refuse. And we had "mainstream" and less mainstream parents (who homeschool etc.). The only time a parent stayed was because her ds refused to let her go, and even then she decided to leave mid-party.


When ds attends birthday parties, all kids are dropped off. The odd exception is, again, when a kid refuses to stay without the parent.

post #12 of 27

Ds is 4 and we've always stayed and always had other parents stay.  Occasionally someone will say, "I have to xyz and can I leave lo for a bit and be right back" but besides that the assumption in that you stay.  


We did go to a 5 yo party where maybe 50% of the kids were dropped off and 50% had parents stay.  But the kids varied in age (our preschool has mixed age classes 2-6 yo so parties are usually rather mixed in age as well)

post #13 of 27

We just hosted our first "drop-off" party yesterday for DS who just turned 7. However, I invited all of the parents to stay. None did though. DS went to 3 parties when he was 6 where I dropped him off, but all three were friends that we knew pretty well.

post #14 of 27
Around here, they start getting dropped off at 4 to 5.
post #15 of 27

I think this must vary greatly depending on where you live. Parents attend all birthday parties until at least age 5-6 around here. Even at age 7-8 some parents will stay.

post #16 of 27

My oldest was probably 6 before he went to a drop-off party. My middle son was probably 3.5ish. He went to a co-op preschool and I trusted all the parents there with my kid; we took each others' kids all the time and all the families were close. 

My oldest is in 3rd grade now; all his friends are turning 9 and no one stays ever. My middle is in 1st grade and his friends are turning 7; some stay, some go, and for me it just depends on the time and what my other kids have going on. Last weekend I dropped him off because I needed to get groceries and pick up kid #1 from swim practice, next weekend I might hang out. I definitely feel totally comfortable dropping him off and have since 4.5ish. 

post #17 of 27

about 5

post #18 of 27

Ds is 10 and has never been to a birthday party where drop off was the norm.  Some of the kids are dropped off at his schooled friend's parties but a lot still stay so it's not just a homeschool thing.  I worked a party for a (schooled) 7 yo today and there was at least one parent per kid who stayed plus some extra relatives.   

post #19 of 27

it all so depends. but its between 5 and 6. some parents stay, some dont. 


but by 9 i have noticed most parents dont stay. unless the parents are close friends and havent seen each other in months. while the hosts are busy the others socialise. 

post #20 of 27

I haven't ever dropped mine off.


Most of the parties we go are for the kids in our group.  All the parents are friends so all the parents are there and stay.  The school friend's parties we've been to, I also stay at because of where the party is (there isn't really anywhere else to go and it's too far to go home) and I think it's good to talk to the parents of your kid's friends. 


Drop off parties just aren't really the norm here.

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