need help with birthday invite wording and a time question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is turning 6 at the end of the month and we will be having his birthday party the first weekend of may. I have got to get the invitations out but have been having a hard time figuring out how to word them. He is inviting 5 kids - two are 4.5, one is 6 and I think the other two are 8. Because of the wide age range, I expect some parents to want to stay and some to be fine with just dropping their kid(s) off. I'd like to put something in the invite about it being ok for the parents to come, but also that they aren't excpected to stay if they're fine leaving. My ds also wants it to be a sleepover, and I don't think the younger kids will stay for that. What I'm thinking of writing is

Parents and siblings are welcome, but not expected. Please let me know if you will be joining your child(ren).

or

Parents and siblings are welcome, but not expected. Please let me know your head count before the party.

Does that sound rude? Which one is better? Any better ideas? I really don't want all the parents showing up, we don't have room for that...so I don't want anyone to feel obligated, but I also don't want anyone to feel like they are expected to leave their kid. Would required be better than expected?


ok, the other thing I need help with - time. I'd like to have it on a friday or saturday evening. I am really stressing about having people in my house (let's just say I'm not a great housekeeper), and not having to plan and cook dinner would help relieve that a little. When is the earliest I can plan a child's bday party without needing to serve dinner? If it started at 6 dinner would be expected, right? I'd like it if there was daylight for playing outside...but then I think I'll need to serve dinner. If I start the party at 7 I worry about it going too late for the younger kids (they both live kinda far away and one of them has a 1 yo brither who would probably come with mom)...I know I'm worrying way too much about this, lol.

Thanks if you read the whole thing and can give me your opinion...be honest!

Genie, mama to T (4/02), I (10/04) and T (7/09)
 
 
 

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#2 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Honestly? I don't think you should put anything in the invitation about parents staying. My dd is 6 and I would stay with her during the party. As an invitee, I wouldn't even know how to react to that on an invitation. It's definitely not something that is said explicitly. I think it's implied already by the age of the children. I'd expect that the hostess has at least some hors d'oeuvres for the parents, but not a full meal - not even at 6:00. I would expect the hostess to feed my child an actual meal, though. I'd also try to do it on a day where you can clean before people come.
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#3 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, after thinking about it all morning I had come to the same conclusion - to just not put anything on the invite and maybe let people know when they rsvp, if they ask. I apreciate your honesty. Everything with my older ds is so new to me, lol. I love planning little kid parties, there's no wondering there. (my 3 yo's bday party was great)

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#4 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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I wouldn't be expecting any parents to stay with the ages of the kids coming (yes, even the 4.5 yos). Don't sweat it, but also don't expect many kids to be allowed to sleep over.
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#5 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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We just had DD 6th Bday party last weekend. There were a lot of kids invited (28) and I didn't have room for all the parents too. On the invite I added a small line at the bottom "Please feel free to drop off your child from 1-3pm". All but 2 parents left during the party and they were very happy to have a couple hours to themselves on a Sat afternoon. I had a sign in sheet ready for parents to leave contact info.
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#6 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Our ds is turning 7 at the end of the month. He's inviting 8 kids, and we're having it at the local rec center where we have a room, and then the kids can do open swim.

On his invite I put "Parents swim for free and are welcome to join us! (Kids are included in the party of course.)"

But since yours is just at your house, I wouldn't put anything. Just assume they are going to stay when you preparing food, and make snacks that keep well if you have leftovers. Where we live, parents stay for kids under about 6, 6-7 seems a transition age and most 8 year olds are dropped off.

The best time to have a party is: 2-4 PM. You could probably swing 3-5 pm without having to feed everyone dinner. Any later and dinner will be expected. You'll have to do a snack no matter what.You don't want an evening party for a child this age (the other kids will be too tired, your own child will be too tired, and do you really want to spend ALL day listening to "is it time for my party yet?").

I would recommend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (most church going families are done by noon-1 pm on Sunday; the synagogue attending families I know are done by noon on Saturday and are OK with their kids going to Bday parties in the PM.) You don't want a Friday because families are too frazzled by the end of the week, and you want that extra evening to clean! (Sundays are better for that because then you can clean all day Saturday!)

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#7 of 11 Old 04-14-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Personally, I think that 6 is awfully young for a sleep over. Most of my son's friends (ages 8-9) are only now being allowed to do sleep-over parties, and many not yet. Parties where 1/2 the kids sleep over and 1/2 don't can be really ackward and means that some kids, by definition, will feel left out. My son's class seems to have a rash of "boys from 5-7, girls sleep over things lately and my son is always crushed that he is excluded from part of the party. Almost always cries after he leaves.

So, I would recommend coming up with a plan that everyone can fully participate in. The PP's suggests for afternoon timing were pretty good. If you really want an evening thing, I think the word you want is "pizza delivery". No cooking required, all kids happy. As for parents, my general wording is "Feel free to drop off or stay and watch the fun". And then I make sure I have a few adult nibbles and drinks available.


If you really want to do an evening thing, then
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#8 of 11 Old 04-15-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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It's hit & miss on whether the kids will be spending the night. Here at age 8 almost all kids spend the night(if invited), some 6yo's might/might not. 4.5yo's doubtful unless you're close friends with them.

As for parents staying, here very few would. My 6yo went to a party on the weekend, when I dropped her off the mom asked if I was staying & I said no. When I picked her up there were 3 moms there who'd stayed for a while, though 1 is her next door neighbor. I stayed for about 40minutes after I got there, the other moms left when I did.

If parents stay it is not expected to feed them a meal. I'd offer a drink & cake.

If his birthday is not until May & he's only inviting 5 kids it's pretty early to get invites out.
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#9 of 11 Old 04-15-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Kailey is 7 and we stay at birthday parties (they have all been with our friends).

We have one "friend" who drops all three of her kids off at parties, no matter what ONE of her three were invited.

We actually stopped inviting them over because we would invite ONE of the girls to come over and she would bring all three. The two that had not been invited would throw a fit until mom would say that the one we invited would have to come home if they all couldn't stay.

Oh and they were wild and unruly.

I think I'll start feeling more comfy with dropping off at about age 8.
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#10 of 11 Old 04-15-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Wow, when I was growing up parents NEVER stayed at the party, even for four-year-olds, unless they were also family.

My SD had a 5th birthday party and about half the parents stayed. Her mom hosted the party and left it up to the adults to stay or to leave.

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#11 of 11 Old 04-15-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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Proto- it was the same when I was growing up. I have pictures of my fuorth birthday party (I got a Mickey Mouse watch and was so proud) and not a parent in sight. My mom was the host for 6 of us.

I think people are worried about something "happening" at a birthday party, or at least I guess this is why.

I stay because I don't know what the rules are
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