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Party etiquette

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Situation:  Oldest dd is invited to an informal BBQ/ deck party.  When we get there, she runs to host and asks if her sister can stay too (believe me, we've had the discussion about y you can't do this a million times rolleyes ).  Host says of course my dear, and invites me too.  Do you assume if they had wanted you there, they'd have invited you in the first place?  Assume that if they really didn't want you there, they'd at least be hesistant and say no or make up an excuse?  Not really sure what to do - I don't want to be an extra mouth to feed but I don't want to leave my kids there making more work for the host either.  The dd who wasn't invited has always wanted to go to this party, I think she hasn't been invited because the kids get to pick one guest each; the younger dd is good friends with their kids, but not bffs.  For any other party, I'd politely decline and scoop the kid and go; maybe I'm just rationalizing. 

 

How do you handle one kid being invited to a fairly desirable party and not the other?  What about spontaneous invitations?  Any good tips on how to keep your kids from inviting themselves places?  If it was your party, would you say sure you can stay but not really mean it, or would you only invite people to stick around if it really was all good with you? 

post #2 of 18

In my circle of friends sometimes the kid the same age is specifically invited but the whole family (whoever's not busy) is expected to come. But if they were trying to keep it very small I can see the dilemma. Perhaps agree to stay a little while but think of some pressing thing that needs to be done at home or out and about in under an hour.

post #3 of 18

I think it depends on whether it's a party at home, or a party where the hosts must pay per head. If it's a home party, take yes for an answer. If it's a pay-per-head party, drag your other kid out of there before they bust the budget. 

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

It is kind of a backyard BBQ on a farm kind of event, family and friends - no planned activities except fireworks for the long weekend.  if it were a pay per head party, I'd be sooo outta there lol!

post #5 of 18

Well, if the host is anything like me, she has five times as much food as she needs and would appreciate an extra set of hands.
 

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

For any other party, I'd politely decline and scoop the kid and go; maybe I'm just rationalizing. 

 

Yeah, probably ... Let it go - it's great your oldest is going to a fun party.  For your little one, there will be other parties ...

post #7 of 18

Having no entered a seemingly endless stream of birthday party invites, this thread interests me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

Situation:  Oldest dd is invited to an informal BBQ/ deck party.  When we get there, she runs to host and asks if her sister can stay too (believe me, we've had the discussion about y you can't do this a million times rolleyes ).  Host says of course my dear, and invites me too.  Do you assume if they had wanted you there, they'd have invited you in the first place?  Assume that if they really didn't want you there, they'd at least be hesistant and say no or make up an excuse?  Not really sure what to do - I don't want to be an extra mouth to feed but I don't want to leave my kids there making more work for the host either.  The dd who wasn't invited has always wanted to go to this party, I think she hasn't been invited because the kids get to pick one guest each; the younger dd is good friends with their kids, but not bffs.  For any other party, I'd politely decline and scoop the kid and go; maybe I'm just rationalizing. 

 

How do you handle one kid being invited to a fairly desirable party and not the other?  What about spontaneous invitations?  Any good tips on how to keep your kids from inviting themselves places?  If it was your party, would you say sure you can stay but not really mean it, or would you only invite people to stick around if it really was all good with you? 

 

I would hope the hostess would be honest if she didnt' want extras at the party but I find most people think they saying no is "mean" and therefore will suffer rather then saying 'its not possible today."

 

Personally, I would only invite people to stay if it was ok with me.  I would never let siblings stay just to be nice but I am sort of hardcore about that type of thing.  I know plenty of parents that would be fine with extra people staying as long as it didn't interfere with any activities. 

 

DS has been invited to a number of parties at event spaces, the type where the host is charged per head for the guests.  "Extra" siblings tagging along must be a problem because not only have all the invitations clearly stated only the invited child will receive a wristband/stamp but the one place had a huge sign on the front door warning parents that only invited children are admitted and they must pay for all other children entering the play area and another sign at the check in desk.

 

I was surprised to hear a mother complaining about this, she very much thought her much older child should have been included in the invite.  

post #8 of 18

I would stay, after telling the host that I didn't want to intrude and had not planned on staying - "Are you sure its OK for susie and I to stay? We weren't planning on it, and don't need to stay if its too much trouble" and offer to help - be it supervising/organizing games, helping prepare food, set up, take down, whatever.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I would stay, after telling the host that I didn't want to intrude and had not planned on staying - "Are you sure its OK for susie and I to stay? We weren't planning on it, and don't need to stay if its too much trouble" and offer to help - be it supervising/organizing games, helping prepare food, set up, take down, whatever.

I would assume she was just being nice & say something like the above... "Thanks but we weren't planning on staying," or "I'm sorry my DD put you in that position, we were actually headed out to do errands anyway." If she insisted or assured me it we were more than welcome then I'd feel free to stay though.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I would stay, after telling the host that I didn't want to intrude and had not planned on staying - "Are you sure its OK for susie and I to stay? We weren't planning on it, and don't need to stay if its too much trouble" and offer to help - be it supervising/organizing games, helping prepare food, set up, take down, whatever.


This, it seems like a more the merrier type of event to me.  Did you wind up staying?

post #11 of 18

in this case - if the host said ok (I vote she was being nice)

 

other times I view as if they wanted the sibling, they would have invited her in the first place

 

personally I would have scooped up and left- it seemed informal but no way to tell if a set number of items had been bought (gift bag, food, etc) and what if everyone would have done this not just this child? - makes for a lot of unexpected guests certainly not in the planning-for small children this can be one less item, such as a party hat or something and at certain parties if I was the host I would be left scrambling  

 

something to think about- it's great your children are close but it doesn't always work for others- I had a friend growing up that had to do EVERYTHING with her sister and I didn't like it, talking to other friends years later they felt the same way- most of us stopped hanging out with this friend because it,

it was forcing a relationship on us and with so many of us the same age and one younger it didn't go well, once in awhile is usually ok, always, maybe no

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

We wound up staying, sort of - I made an excuse that kept me busy for the dinner part, so there wouldn't be food shortage issues, and took the opportunity to grab some chips and stuff to bring.  I also called the mom who invited us and cleared that it was OK and there wasn't any specific reason that she had not invited dd2; she just didn't want her mom to be overwhelmed since the party wasn't at her own house and she didn't know who all else was invited.  But she assured me that her mom wouldn't have said it was OK if it wasn't, and that they'd love to have us.  It was more of a sitting on the porch or by the bonfire kind of party than a birthday party, too.  I'm glad we stayed, it was fun and reminded me of the farm parties we used to have as kids.

post #13 of 18

When I think of an informal BBQ/Deck type party, I think of something the whole family would be invited to, so I probably assumed that I was staying with younger DD right from the beginning, especially since it seems like younger DD also is friends with the kids in the family.    That is probably just what I would assume, as I would find it a bit odd to have a like that and only invite 1 child in a family when both children play with my children (even if one is much better friends than the other).  

 

Now, for a different type of party, like a specific birthday party  or a party specific to one child with planned activities, goody bags, prizes or a party at a venue that requires admission, etc..that is different. I would not assume both children are invited and wouldn't stay with the 2nd one.

 

But the informal deck BBQ sounds totally different.
 

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post
If it was your party, would you say sure you can stay but not really mean it, or would you only invite people to stick around if it really was all good with you? 


If it were my party, I wouldn't invite someone if I didn't really mean it. (One scenario that comes to mind is that I may limit a guest list for logistical reasons, then have people not show up, in which case I'm more than happy with some extras. Sometimes, finalizing a guest list involves some hard choices, and if I end up with an opportunity to undo them, I'm quite pleased.) So, yeah - I'd only invite people to stick around if it was all good with me. I'm also not even a little bit bothered by children inviting themselves, because I know it takes time ot absorb that kind of lesson.

post #15 of 18
I would have declined the invite if only to show oldest DD that you should not ask for invites not extended. Why wouldn't she continue to ask people if her sister can join?

I've also heard enough complaints from mothers about kids asking for an invite for their siblings that I'd have assumed she was just being nice.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticity View Post

I would have declined the invite if only to show oldest DD that you should not ask for invites not extended. Why wouldn't she continue to ask people if her sister can join?
I've also heard enough complaints from mothers about kids asking for an invite for their siblings that I'd have assumed she was just being nice.

 

Agree. Remaining at the party undermines any attempt to teach your DD that it's rude to ask for an invitation. 

post #17 of 18

If it were me throwing the informal party, all of you would be invited.  At a pay-per-head party, with my own kids, I would assume only the child that is the classmate/BFF/relatively same age as the b-day child is invited.  I would find a way to get to this party with only that child, or the other way I might do it at a CEC type place would be to plan to get my own table, pizza, and tokens for my other kids.  That's the kind of place where they don't usually hang together too much anyway. 

 

We had an incident sort of like this the other day--my dd tried to invite a friend last minute on a zoo trip.  She told the other little girl to ask her mom and then they came and informed me her mom said it was OK.  We were meeting other people, I'd already packed my family's lunch, and we needed to leave RIGHT THEN--no time to talk to another mom.  So the answer was NO and then I informed my dd she needed to talk to ME first, BEFORE inviting a friend.

 

Now....in a situation like this with an informal party we are invited to, I've either asked or simply brought only the b-day child, kind of depends on what I know about the person and the plan.  A couple weeks ago, all my kids were included in an informal park party of DD"s preschool classmate.  This was cleared beforehand and she was happy to have some extra cake-eaters. (especially when TWO of the invited classmates, out of 16 showed up.)  In another week, we are going to another park party for a friend from the school DD will be going to K at.  This party is at a park where I don't like to take all of my children anyway because it has many playgrounds located far apart, and this party is for older kids and has a larger guest list from our more close-knit elementary school...so, no I am not bringing her siblings.

One of my son's classmates has a sister close to my daughter's age--both my kids are included in his parties because it gives his sister someone to play with too.  Others don't, I bring only my son.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticity View Post

I would have declined the invite if only to show oldest DD that you should not ask for invites not extended. Why wouldn't she continue to ask people if her sister can join?

I've also heard enough complaints from mothers about kids asking for an invite for their siblings that I'd have assumed she was just being nice.

Agree. Remaining at the party undermines any attempt to teach your DD that it's rude to ask for an invitation. 

I also agree.

If I were the party host, I would definitely feel backed into a corner. Saying no would feel rude to me, so I would say yes but be privately annoyed.

We like to invite the whole family when we have birthday parties, and we try to be really clear in the wording of the invitation. On one occasion, we were not able to due to limited space, and indicated as much. Everyone was fine with this. I think if the party invitation was addressed to one child (especially in a case where your families are friends, and therefore they KNOW about DD2) then that means ONLY that child is invited.
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