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

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#1 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#2 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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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!

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#3 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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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?


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#4 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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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.

 
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#5 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 07:18 PM
 
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It seems to be 5 and up when kids start getting dropped off, especially when the hit K age. 


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#6 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


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#7 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 01:50 AM
 
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Around 5 or so unless the parents are really close friends with each other.
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#9 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 04:14 AM
 
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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.

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#10 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 04:50 AM
 
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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


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#11 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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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.


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#12 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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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)

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#13 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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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.


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#14 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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Around here, they start getting dropped off at 4 to 5.
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#15 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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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.

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#16 of 27 Old 09-19-2011, 04:15 PM
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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. 

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#17 of 27 Old 10-15-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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about 5

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#18 of 27 Old 10-16-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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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.   


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#19 of 27 Old 10-17-2011, 12:47 AM
 
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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. 


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#20 of 27 Old 10-17-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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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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#21 of 27 Old 10-17-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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We've been to two parties for 5-year-olds in the past month. Both parties, there were no dropoffs. Some of the kids (like DS) were younger than 5, but even the older kids' parents stayed. I don't know what the age is around here, but I would guess it's not til elementary school and even then at least first or second grade, unless it's a small party at home. (I think the parents are required to stay at party places, but I don't know what the age is for that....)

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#22 of 27 Old 10-19-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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By 5, the norm was for kids to get dropped off and parents to leave them.  It probably helps that we're a relatively small town and we've never been invited to a party more than a 5-7 minute drive away, so its not like we're hacking across a metropolis, back again and then back *again* in the 2 hours of the party.  

 

I wasn't sure at first, in part because I'd read a lot of posts here and other places about "OMG!   How could you drop off your child?!"   But at the first party he went to, when he was just turned 5, I was the only mom who stayed.   Otherwise, the ones who stay are usually the ones who are also personal friends with the birthday child's parents, or just get talking and decide not to leave (In other words, its about socializing between parents, rather than being unwilling to drop off).  


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#23 of 27 Old 10-20-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

 

 

I wasn't sure at first, in part because I'd read a lot of posts here and other places about "OMG!   How could you drop off your child?!"   But at the first party he went to, when he was just turned 5, I was the only mom who stayed.   Otherwise, the ones who stay are usually the ones who are also personal friends with the birthday child's parents, or just get talking and decide not to leave (In other words, its about socializing between parents, rather than being unwilling to drop off).  



Yeah, I read those posts, too, and I never quite get it. I mean . . . I can understand if you're good friends with the parents and want to help out and/or socialize a bit, but baring special needs or separation anxiety on the part of the child, I can't understand why parents would linger.

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#24 of 27 Old 10-21-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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We are hosting an upcoming birthday party for DS who is turning 8. He is inviting friends and school mates and the party is at a pizza place with a huge play area. I am hoping the parents will stay because honestly I do not know some of these kids well at all. And the play area is used by all the kids at the pizza place, it's not private.

 

I don't want to lose someone's kid LOL

 

 

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#25 of 27 Old 10-21-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post

Yeah, I read those posts, too, and I never quite get it. I mean . . . I can understand if you're good friends with the parents and want to help out and/or socialize a bit, but baring special needs or separation anxiety on the part of the child, I can't understand why parents would linger.



But how big are these parties? I know the "rule" is the age plus one, and I can see that being totally manageable. But very few people here seem to follow that rule. I, personally, wouldn't want to host 20 3-year-olds at a birthday party and have no parents there to help supervise/watch their own kids! (Esp b/c last year, DS's party was at a park. I had DH, my sister, and my parents there to help, 9 friends and their parents, and I still had a hard time keeping track of where DS was while making sure everyone had food/drink/whatever they needed. No way could I have also managed the child whose food allergies preclude her from eating nearly everything we were serving, the boy who cries if you look at him funny, and the runner who never stays with the group, no matter how much fun the group is having. And the other 6 kids!) Are these smaller parties you're talking about when you leave the kids?

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#26 of 27 Old 10-21-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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routinely i have about 20 kids. and usually a handful of moms do stay back (those who drive from v. far, or my friends i havent seen in a while). i dont think there is a written rule about how many moms stay but it ends up always 4 or 5 parents stay. 

 

when we have sleep overs with about 5 to 10 kids none of the parents stay even for a little while. i am talking 7 and older. 


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#27 of 27 Old 10-22-2011, 03:25 AM
 
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Where I live, such huge parties are definitely *not* the norm. The biggest kid party I've seen has been 13 kids and that was a definite exception. Most parties are between 8-10 kids, at most. Also, where I live (in Europe), kids only start really having friends over for parties when they're 5 or so. If you're giving a party for your 3 year old, you'd invite family and maybe a few friends and their kids. You wouldn't even have 20 3 year olds, with good reason! smile.gif

 

I suppose if I felt like I needed help with a party, I'd ask a few friends, family, or parents I was close to of the kids invited to stay, but not expect all the parents to stay. Having that many parents around would actually just add to the work load! Mostly, though, I think I'd avoid putting myself in that situation to start with by simply not inviting such out of control numbers of kids. (*not* meant to be snarky! I get that it can be a cultural thing to have such huge parties)
 

Quote:
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But how big are these parties? I know the "rule" is the age plus one, and I can see that being totally manageable. But very few people here seem to follow that rule. I, personally, wouldn't want to host 20 3-year-olds at a birthday party and have no parents there to help supervise/watch their own kids! (Esp b/c last year, DS's party was at a park. I had DH, my sister, and my parents there to help, 9 friends and their parents, and I still had a hard time keeping track of where DS was while making sure everyone had food/drink/whatever they needed. No way could I have also managed the child whose food allergies preclude her from eating nearly everything we were serving, the boy who cries if you look at him funny, and the runner who never stays with the group, no matter how much fun the group is having. And the other 6 kids!) Are these smaller parties you're talking about when you leave the kids?



 

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