What age for a drop off party? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-17-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's birthday party season in DD1's preschool class. These kids are turning 4.

 

So far 6 kids have had parties or sent out invitations (that I know of).  4 of those six have been parties that invite the whole class (14 kids) and their siblings and parents.  One invited just a few kids (including my daughter) along with their families and siblings.  We just received another invite today.  Her mom explained in an email that it is a joint party with the girls sister and she's inviting just 2 girls from the class.  AND, it's a drop off party.  No moms (or infant sisters!) allowed!

 

I described the party to DD1.  Nothing about the party appealed to her but once I told her that it was a drop off party and I wan't invited she decided for sure that she doesn't want to go.  

 

No problem, I don't think I'd let her go.  Would you?  

 

She's known the birthday girl for two years in preschool.  She's been to her house once.  The girl has been to our house 3 times.  But, DD is not ready to be somewhere without "her grownup".   I was shocked that the mom thought the kids would be ready for this.  

 

What do you all think?  What's the usual age for drop off parties?  When was your kid ready for one?  When were you ready for one?   


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Old 05-17-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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My son is almost 7 and I wouldn't want a drop-off party for him yet!  Most of his classmates are younger (he's in kindergarten), but none of them have had a drop-off party this year.

 

I don't know what an appropriate age for that is, and it probably depends on what kind of party it is, but I agree that preschool sounds too young for that.


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Old 05-17-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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Here people start drop off parties at 4. When I planned ds's 4th birthday party I specified on the invitation that parents and siblings were welcome, and I had one person decline because she just wanted to drop off her kid.

 

I always invite parents to stay and they almost always decline. I once had a mom stay because her 5 y/o didn't want to stay without her, but she also preferred to leave mid-party, as soon as her son was more comfortable.

You can ask the host if you could stay for 15-30 min, until your dd feels more comfortable.

 

I would encourage (not force) her to go. Kids have so much fun at birthday parties.
 


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Old 05-17-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I would allow it at four if I thought my four-year-old could handle it and have fun without me there, but it wouldn't be my first choice.  At that age I feel like they're young enough that they all need a fair amount of attention.  So, I can kind of see it if they're only inviting two kids, but for a real party, that sounds crazy to me.  

 

For my 8 year old, most parents still stay, but it's possible that's more because we are socializing ourselves.  I like to be there if there are other parents sticking around, but that's probably more about me and my 3 year old enjoying parties, too.  shy.gif  But even so, very few parents are dropping off at these parties.


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Old 05-17-2012, 11:22 AM
 
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I don't think four is abnormal for dropping off.  That said, DD was closer to 7-8 before she wanted to be left.  Generally people understood if I wanted to stick around (as she got older that could mean I was reading a book in the lobby).  I was recently babysitting for four year old and he had a party to go to.  I was one of two "parents" who stayed, so it seems common to drop off--- BUT these kids had all been in preschool together for 2+ years.


 

 

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:06 PM
 
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Many at age 4 still stay but some do drop off. Starting in K, the drop offs really increase. I remember by the time DD1 was in 1st grade, very few parents stay. By age 8, I was the only one that ever stayed.


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Old 05-17-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your feedback.  It's really nice to know I'm not alone.  If I had to predict with my DD, I would guess it will be 8 years old or so when she'll want to be at someone elses house (that she doesn't know well) without me.  Sounds like I'm going to have to deal with it more and more though, especially around kindergarten!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

I would allow it at four if I thought my four-year-old could handle it and have fun without me there, but it wouldn't be my first choice.  At that age I feel like they're young enough that they all need a fair amount of attention.  So, I can kind of see it if they're only inviting two kids, but for a real party, that sounds crazy to me. 

 

It's only 4 3-4 year olds and 8 6-year-olds.  If it were her whole preschool class it would make sense to me since those kids are used to being together. 


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Old 05-17-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

Here people start drop off parties at 4. When I planned ds's 4th birthday party I specified on the invitation that parents and siblings were welcome, and I had one person decline because she just wanted to drop off her kid.

 

I always invite parents to stay and they almost always decline. I once had a mom stay because her 5 y/o didn't want to stay without her, but she also preferred to leave mid-party, as soon as her son was more comfortable.

You can ask the host if you could stay for 15-30 min, until your dd feels more comfortable.

 

I would encourage (not force) her to go. Kids have so much fun at birthday parties.
 

 

I think this is good advice.  We've made it a priority to attend these parties with DD since they seem really important for creating a good environment in her class and making her be part of the gang (she's somewhat reserved).  At this point though, we have a party 4 out of the next 6 weeks.  We're definitely going to pass on this one!  

 

It's interesting to hear how much variation there is in this though.


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Old 05-17-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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5/6 seems common for drop-off age parties around here.

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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At age 4 or 5, it was uncommon for parents to stay during the party, but not considered unusual or freakish. 

 

Personally, I preferred parents to leave, because we had fairly short parties (about 2 hours or so), so it would be very busy and I wouldn't have time to socialize. If I'm organizing and running after 8 or 10 kids, I don't have time to serve tea and chat. I really dislike other parents trying to help out - generally, they just got in the way of whatever I had planned. If parents wanted to stay, it was fine with me, as long as they melted into a corner and stayed there until it was time to leave. However, I've never known any parents who could resist interfering in the events or messing in my kitchen or distracting me from getting things organized. 

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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My dd is 7, going on 8, and she had her first drop-off party this year. It was after I knew the mom for a year though. Around here, the kids don;t really do big whole class parties once they are past K or so. I did last year and told the parents they could stay or drop off, but if they left, I needed a cell # where I could reach them. I'd say it was about 50/50 with who stayed and who dropped off. Before that, we did parties at the pool, and all parents had to stay for those. At 4, if she played there once, and I knew the mom and trusted her, I'd be OK with it but wouldn't love it. I'm glad that moms around here give the option to stay.

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Old 05-19-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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I agree, around here 5/6 is the norm. DD is having her sixth bday party tomorrow, and it's drop-off. I think there is one mom who will hang around, and that's fine, although I will be very busy running the party. I will not have any adult food/drinks, either.

 

I think it's different for your first-born vs. the following ones. I was dropping DD (my second) at 4 y.o. parties when I wouldn't have done it with DS (my first-born). Sometimes it's because at that point you've known the families much longer -- DD has known a handful of friends literally from birth, because we all had our first kids at the same time, and then our seconds as well.

 

But so much depends on your kid's personality, where the party is, who else is there -- so I agree, a lot of variation!

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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We dropped DS off at a 4yo party but only because we knew the family very well.  We were invited to stay and when I called the mom, it came up in the conversation that both sets of grandparent would attend and both the teenage daughters would also be helping for a party of five 4 year olds.  (also knew the families of the other little kids)  It was a two hour party and when we arrived, DS happily scampered off.  On the flip side, the parents in this "crew" dropped their kids at our DS's party but we all have said we are only comfortable doing this because we are comfortable with each other. 

 

However, I have heard from many friends with older kids that there are plenty of parents out there that are more than willing to drop kindergarten age kids off without a second thought. 


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Old 05-22-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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4, 5, 6 here. I've let my 4YO off at a few parties, but only those with a horde of other kids. I wouldn't leave her alone one-on-one with a friend whose family I didn't know really well yet, but I think with a group of kids, it's fine.

 

My 3YO will be having her 4th in July and since most of her friends are older (4 and 5), I'm thinking we might do parent-optional, so that they could either drop off or stay and hang.

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Old 05-22-2012, 02:27 PM
 
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4 is the average age to drop kids off here. I'm fine with it. I don't know what is likely to happen in a room full of 4-year-old kids running amok, but party games and cake sounds like about all.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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Four to five is norm here, too. It`s okay for parents to stay on most occasions, but most are happy to leave.

 

Parents (including me ;) ) even leave their kids with families they don`t know too well, but honestly that frightened me a bit, last time (there was this scary dog at their home, which I saw when I picked DD up)
 


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Old 05-24-2012, 10:24 PM
 
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My kids go to a school where all of us get to know each other fairly well quickly...there's one room per grade and parent involvement.  That said, I had a first grader last year and most of us stayed when we could.  I dropped DS off at a couple of his parties---one for part of it and regretted not being there like a couple of the other moms because it was fun! lol...the other baby DS was going through some testing.  Others, I stayed.  I'm taking DD to her second party and I'll be staying, she's going to K.  I don't think she'd want to just be dropped at this one, she doesn't know them well, though she does know and like the little girl.  :)


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Old 05-25-2012, 02:10 AM
 
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DS is 5 and so far all the parties he's been to this year parents have stayed, the only children who've been there without a parent that I know of have been where a couple of families have got together, one parent taking the children to the party and the other watching the siblings elsewhere.

 

I think it was around 6 that most people started dropping kids off at parties, although we still had a parent staying for DDs 7th.

 

I think it also depends on where the party is, for parties in big play centres I find more parents stay. I know I feel more uncofrotable about someone supervising lots of children there than a few at home but also the ones by us tend to have a cafe attached so often parents will get a coffee and chat. I usually opt for smaller parties at home and most people tend to drop the kids off, though they do usually check when replying. Either way is fine with me.

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Old 05-27-2012, 11:04 PM
 
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I don't find that four is an odd age for allowing drop-offs at a party if the parent and attendee are so inclined, but I do find it to be a very inappropriate age to REQUIRE drop-off only. Many, many four year olds (and/or their parents) simply aren't ready for this. I actually find the invitation with a drop-off requirement rude.

Depending on how importance attendance seems to DC, I would either decline or call to explain that DC really wants to attend but isn't ready for drop-off. I would make childcare arrangements for infant sister so as not to create a distraction or further impose on the party hostess if you are able to come to some agreement about accompanied attendance.

Depending on my mood, the relationship with the other parent, and other factors, if neither of the above options seems workable, I might just show up and stick around, playing dumb about the drop-off requirement. (But again, I would only do this if I'd made other arrangements for infnt sister.). I realize that this is not the most considerate option, but if the circumstances were right, I'd stoop to such a level. :P
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