birthday party etiquette - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 11-21-2006, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds(3) has been invited to a b'day party for another child who is turning 3.
It is being held at one of those party places with the giant inflatable things. My son has never been anywhere without me or dh, so I was worried about leaving him for the 2 hour party.
Would you assume that because the kids are only 3 that a parent is expected to stay?
I don't want to invite myself, but I also don't want to freak him out by leaving him alone.
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#2 of 37 Old 11-21-2006, 10:33 PM
 
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Why don't you call the mama?
Personally I would stay, but that is me.
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#3 of 37 Old 11-21-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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I would assume that parents are expected to stay...I would think that is the case until at least 4, but you could always ask.
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#4 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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Around here the general rule of thumb seems to be that a parent is expected to stay with their child until kindergarten. However, siblings (other than small infants) are not welcome unless specifically invited or special arrangements are made.
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#5 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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At three I would definately assume that parents are staying. I can't imagine being left with 15-20 three year olds at one of those bounce house places! :

 

 

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#6 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I wanted to be sure I wasn't out of line for wanting to stay. Lol, can you tell this is his first invitation to a party?
Thank you!
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#7 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 04:54 AM
 
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We just went to one of those parties and the birthday boy was turning 7. All of the parents stayed, and in most cases it was two parents per kid! I think there were more adults there than children.

Just in case, I'd take a pair of socks. The place where we went allowed parents to get in and jump with their kids. It was a blast!
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#8 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 05:05 AM
 
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You're expected to stay. Every parent stayed at my 5yo's birthday party. I'm assuming that next year might be the first year that parents drop off their kids, although I wouldn't care if the parents decided to stay.
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#9 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 05:19 AM
 
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i would stay
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#10 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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At Age 3 You are expected to stay. I'm surprised the Mom didn't make that known up front.

I will stay with DS at Birthday Parties until he is ALOT older...preferably Age 10
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#11 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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I think until a child is school age parents are generally expected to stay at birthday parties... after that you'd probably want to ask the hostess.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#12 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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I'm so glad you asked this question, this is one of the things I stress about as ds approaches the age of being invited to things. He got invited to a Halloween party and we turned it down because I had no clue what was expected of us.

(Why yes, I am extremely shy and socially awkward...how did you ever guess?)
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#13 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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Ds just had his Birthday party at an inflatable party place. Most of the parents stayed. Quite a few kids had both parents with them. I think the parents had as much fun jumping as the kids did. We also had 3 additional people who worked there playing with the kids in the inflatable area and two "party coordinators" in the party room with us.

Definately stay!!!!

Mom to Zach eat.gif , 2 cat.gif, 1dog2.gif, and a whole lot of goldfish.gif!!!! 
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#14 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Parents all stayed at dss's bdays until he was about 6 or 7.
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#15 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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I would not leave my 3yo at a party nor would I want to be responsible for other people's 3yo children in a large party venue, while handling my own child's party :
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#16 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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I would assume up until at least age 5 that parents are expected to stay. That's the way it works around here anyway...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#17 of 37 Old 11-22-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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For 3-year-olds at a place like that, I think there's no question that you would be expected to stay. I can think of very few kids who've been left at my children's birthday parties before the age of 6 or so - and I think it was usually a child we knew well, like one of the birthday child's closest friends, whose parent needed an hour or two to get some things done without their dc.

When my teenagers were younger, they were in one of those things at a big party we went to for my job, and it started to lose air, and almost collapsed. Ds (he was probably 5 then) somehow got stuck with his head between the floor and the wall, and I had to rush in and pull him out by the feet, and he was so stuck that another adult (some guy I'd never seen before) helped me pull him. I'll never forget how scary it was to see that big giraffe head dropping down when it deflated, and to go in frantically looking for my kids and see only his feet sticking out!
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#18 of 37 Old 11-23-2006, 03:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jazzharmony View Post
I would not leave my 3yo at a party nor would I want to be responsible for other people's 3yo children in a large party venue, while handling my own child's party :
Ditto. And I wouldn't even want to handle other people's children in my own home - not yet.

I just hosted an outdoor Halloween Party at my home, and the children ranged in age from baby to about 5 years old. No one dropped off their child, and if they had tried to, I would have asked them to stay.

I have two children, and I had two friends there helping me watch my girls and run the party. There is no way I could have handled a drop-off party. We had a total of 17 children there with all the parents and adults, too.
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#19 of 37 Old 11-23-2006, 03:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Learnintolaugh View Post
I'm so glad you asked this question, this is one of the things I stress about as ds approaches the age of being invited to things. He got invited to a Halloween party and we turned it down because I had no clue what was expected of us.

(Why yes, I am extremely shy and socially awkward...how did you ever guess?)
Hey there. I just hosted a Halloween Party and speaking as the one who is having the party - just ask next time what is expected of you! I would never be offended if someone asked me. I invite people because I really would like them to be there, so if there is a simple question I can answer to make them more comfortable, I'm happy to do it.

You know what else - I used to be far more shy and socially awkward myself - but having my children in the past 4 years has made me be a little more outgoing for THEIR sakes. I just cannot believe that I'm setting up parties and play dates now and actually having fun with the whole thing! Not that you have to change or that there is anything wrong with being shy - but if you are sort of on the border about it and would *like* to change, it is possible. My Dad was very shy all his life, and after a good friend died when Dad was in his 50s, he underwent a transformation. He is now the most outgoing person, very friendly and can talk to anyone in the room.

Ok, I'm off-topic now, sorry!

Back to the regularly scheduled thread...
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#20 of 37 Old 11-23-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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we yave yet to be at a party that the parents leave. dd is 3 1/2 and everyone still stays at 4 & 5 year old parties around here.
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#21 of 37 Old 11-23-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I think you should stay. I can't imagine being responsible for so many little ones by myself!
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#22 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 08:47 AM
 
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Everyone stayed at my 5 yo's bday party a couple of months ago. Well, except for one mom who had an emergency come up, but she did call me before the party and let me know. The party was at a party place, and she gave her son strict instructions to stay with my son so he'd be easy to find. It went off without a hitch.

DS is invited to two 5 yo parties in December, and I have every intention of staying.
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#23 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 09:00 AM
 
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Parents stay at a 3-year-old's party around here. My niece just had a party for her 6th birthday. She's inkindy so most of the kids were 5 or 6. A few parents asked if they could drop off, which her mom was fine with, but most of them actually stayed.
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#24 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 11:15 AM
 
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I'd be staying, regardless of whether the hostess expected me to or not. I'm not leaving my 3-yr old in the semi-care of a party hostess. No way. No how.

Canadian mom to Boo (Aug '02), Bug (Aug '04) and Bear (Dec '06).
Jesse (July '09)
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#25 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 11:31 AM
 
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Here, it is common to drop off at 4 yrs of age. I stay and I have a 7 and 4 year old. I do not ask if I can, I just let the host know I plan to stay (and I act like that is normal.)

I do not think it is fair to dump a bunch of kids on one mom who plans a party (esp. one that is in a public place) and expect her to entertain them and keep the party running smoothly, clean up etc. I have seen many parties where the host was overwhelmed by the kids (party place did not really run the party and left before the host really expected them to) and only one or two parents stayed (me being one of those parents.) The Ys are notorious for this in our area and I would never leave my kids alone there. It is not a trust issue with the host, it really comes down to how does one handle the needs of so many kids while still running the party. We actually just attended a pool party at the local Y. But I did notice that most of the parents stayed and it was a 7 year old party. I guess they have all figured out the Y is not a good place to drop and run. I was also at a "kiddie pool" party over the summer and there you did not even see the parents drop they were so fast. That party was a bit scary to me, not much supervision on the host part (but then how do you supervise in the back yard and keep the party going) and only three moms stayed.
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#26 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mama2xan View Post
Would you assume that because the kids are only 3 that a parent is expected to stay?
Yes. My kids went to one of those last year for a little girl turning four. All the parents stayed. In fact, all the parent played, too!

Namaste!
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#27 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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In the very mainstream world in which I live parents defintiely stay at age 3 and 4.

At age 5 some stay, some don't.

At age 6, its considered inappropriate to stay unless you are good friends with the host mom. Usually the host mom asks several of her friends to stay (maybe 2-4).
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#28 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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My son was recently invited to a party, he is just 4 and the birthday boys were 5. The kids were all in the general age range. Some parents did stay, others left. The host said we could leave as they had ample supervision. Mom, dad, grandparents etc. I felt better staying since I did not know the parents and my son is younger. We plan on taking it one party at a time. The chuck-e-cheese party we stay at any age. The known parent having a small party I might leave him at this age.
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#29 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 12:43 PM
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I would def. stay. I would stay at any party. But esp. those bounce places...security issues, plus while very fun there's a lot of opportunity for boo-boos to occur while bouncing. Not serious ones, but you'll want to be there to supervise and give a hug if necessary!
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#30 of 37 Old 11-24-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
In the very mainstream world in which I live parents defintiely stay at age 3 and 4.

At age 5 some stay, some don't.

At age 6, its considered inappropriate to stay unless you are good friends with the host mom. Usually the host mom asks several of her friends to stay (maybe 2-4).
I can't imagine letting dd go to a party and leaving her at ANY age if I didn't know the parents and consider them good friends. She's only 4 so maybe my expectations will change, but I don't think so.
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