Birthday Parties Invitation Angst - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-21-2010, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm having a bit of internal debate, so I'd appreciate any insight.

DS is at a transitional age regarding birthday parties (turning 4). In the past we have always invited families, not individual children to our parties. It worked out well because we have a fairly tight group of friends which children around the same age. The parties were time for the adults to hang out as much as it was for the kids to celebrate.

However, DS is getting to an age where he wants to have some input on the invitee list (rightfully so). Additonally, he's going to preschool now so he's made some new friends. Adding a few children makes a big difference to me since we invite families. Adding 1 child essentially means adding 3 or 4 (parents and/or siblings) to my count for food, drink, cake etc.

Of particularly difficulty are larger families where there are 2 or 3 siblings in addition to the child my DS wants to invite.

Obviously in the future (when the kids are old enough to be left at a party) we'll be inviting the specific child only. But at this age where the kids are not old enough to be dropped off, how does everyone handle this? Is it possible to invite a specific child (and somehow just one parent?) only at parties for 3 or 4 year olds?
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#2 of 6 Old 08-21-2010, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by noobmom View Post
Is it possible to invite a specific child (and somehow just one parent?) only at parties for 3 or 4 year olds?
I think this is fairly normal. In fact, at four, DD was attending drop-off parties as well.

I wouldn't worry about inviting siblings. At least in my area, no one would expect siblings to be invited just because one of their children was invited.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-21-2010, 10:35 AM
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For B.'s 4th birthday she invited 3 friends from daycare to attend, I addressed the invitation to both her friend and the mom. It was actually kind of nice, more like a playdate really
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#4 of 6 Old 08-21-2010, 11:30 AM
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In my experience, very very few of the school friends will come.

I invite families, siblings included. I find only close friends take me up on that and usually it is just the child and one parent, if they even show. But, I think it is completely accepted (and expected) to have only the friend invited.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-22-2010, 12:04 AM
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As a mother of four, if I get an invite for one of my kids for a school friend, I assume it is only for them and not the entire gang (I did take my youngest with me as a babe in arms to some of my oldest parties but he was nursing and not eating or particating.). I was really surprised last year at a party when I dropped my DD off when the host asked me where her twin brother was (He was not friends with the party girls or even in the same class)!
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#6 of 6 Old 08-23-2010, 03:54 PM
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At DS 4th birthday, he mostly invited preschool friends (and a couple of cousins). I think there were about 12 kids total, and with the exception of the cousins/aunt/uncle, only one parent and the invited child showed up. In my area, drop-off parties didn't start until 6 y.o. birthdays, and it is unspoken that the party invite is for the invited child/friend of birthday child and one parent to supervise them at that age.

For DD's 4th birthday, she wasn't all that interested in inviting school friends so we kept it to relatives & family friends, but I'm sure she will be for her 5th.

If you think you're going to get a large crowd regardless of of you word the invites, maybe schedule the party after lunchtime so you can just serve some easy snacks & birthday cake?
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