To be peed off at parents who drop their children's off at birthday parties...

(331 Posts)
AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:05:30

....instead of offering to help out!
It's not only about the child being able to cope without the parent. I do expect 11 year olds to be ok without the parents but how can it not occur to mums and dads that I may struggle to feed and look after a bunch of 15 kids when they sit down for food and cake?
I find it very rude that the parents just shoot off without even asking if I might need help. AIBU?

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sat 10-Nov-12 14:06:34


If you need help ask for it!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 10-Nov-12 14:06:48


You should make sure you have enough help.

YABU. If you're hosting the party, it's up to you to organise enough people to help so you can cope.

dampfireworksinthegarden Sat 10-Nov-12 14:07:38

it would be reasonalbe for someone to offer, but tbh if i was hosting a party i would have made sure that I had enough helpers myself.
the party is for the children, not an expectation of parents to help out.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 10-Nov-12 14:07:46

Yabu. I would expect an 11 year old to be fine to be dropped off and the hosting parents to have anticipated and organised any help before hand.

WelshMaenad Sat 10-Nov-12 14:07:51

YABU. If you find it that difficult, don't have the bloody party!

Little ones, yes I would expect parents to stay, but 11 yr olds, get a grip!

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:07:57

And how do I make sure I have enough help exactly?

YABU. They are 11. Get them to help you. wink

But 15 11 year olds? Respect.

irishbird Sat 10-Nov-12 14:08:50

Is the party for 11 year olds, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

MarshmallowFarm Sat 10-Nov-12 14:08:54

if the kids are aged 11 I do think it's a reasonable assumption that you don't need to stay at the party with them. At that age I think it's up to the party-giver to assume that no-one will stay and to organise other help if needed, or to limit numbers. Most 11-year olds would be mortified if their mum or dad stayed to help.

The other approach is to make it clear on the invite that you need one or two adult helpers - and hope that someone offers to help. That's what people do for swimming parties and it seems to work.

ginmakesitallok Sat 10-Nov-12 14:08:58

hmm - you ask someone to help??

By being organized before the party

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 14:09:06


You are the host. Arrange the party around your ability to cope. If you need help then have the manners to ask in advance.

RightUpMyRue Sat 10-Nov-12 14:09:06

YABU. If you can't cope with 15 children or haven't got help you've organised yourself then don't invite 15, only invite 3.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 10-Nov-12 14:09:18

I once took DS to party and was roped in to help because the host had not arranged enough help. I was pissed off about it because I had other things planned for the time that DS was at the party (I intended to sit in a nearby coffee shop to do reading for a course I was doing). I did help after all, but I was highly irritated that the party host had not planned things properly.

notusualsuspect Sat 10-Nov-12 14:09:45

YABU, ask people to help if you need it.

Don't organise a party without enough help in the first place.

When you arrange the party you ask the parents of a couple of friends to stay. Offer them wine. wink

ValiumQueen Sat 10-Nov-12 14:10:12

YABVU. You arrange help with family, friends etc. if you cannot manage that many kids, organise something you can manage. Not exactly rocket science.

Notquite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:10:38

It would never occur to me to expect parents to stop and help when they dropped their children off. I would organise help in advance if needed.

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:10:41

Can someone explain how I would go about organising the help? Do you mean pay people to help? Surely that's not straightforward! If I had family living nearby I would ask them

NinaHeart Sat 10-Nov-12 14:10:49

YABU. As all the above have already stated. I'm really not sure at all why you should be annoyed. I'm amazed you should ask this question.

TidyDancer Sat 10-Nov-12 14:10:50

YABmassivelyU. This is not how children's parties work.

You organise the help yourself. You either ask family and friends or you actually ask the parents before the event. To the majority of parents it's a nice couple of childfree hours, why would they stick around unless asked to?!

You can't expect people to want to stay at these things, but I'm sure if you said you needed help, some would be willing to give you a hand.

Tweasels Sat 10-Nov-12 14:11:07

You shouldn't have a party if you cannot handle the children.

Do 11 year olds have party's like that? With cake...

ilovetermtime Sat 10-Nov-12 14:11:22

YABU, just ask for help if you need it.

Are 11 year old's that bad? My DCs aren't that old yet, but I was hoping that it got easier as they get older!

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 14:11:55

Ask a couple of parents of the children invited. Or ask a friend or two. It's actually not difficult.

squeakytoy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:05

YABU. Its you doing the party.. and upto you to sort it out.

Goldenjubilee10 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:06

YABVU if you can't look after 15 children or organise the help you need then don't invite them. You expect parents of 11 year olds to stay at a party? shock

No you don't pay them. confused

Is the party going on right this minute?

Euphemia Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:13

You enlist grandparents, siblings, etc. to help. Failing that, phone some of the kids' parents and ask if they'd mind staying to help.

My DD is 10 and it would never cross my mind to stay at a party. Mind you, I'm a teacher so I can cope with up to 33 children at once!


Bobyan Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:22

OP you sound like very hard work.
Maybe if you weren't your friends would offer...

Notquite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:26

Ask a couple of parents of the invited children, who you know reasonably well, if they could lend a hand. In advance.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:48

YABVU. If you need help, you ask your own friends or family or check in advance if some of the other Mums/Dads can stay.

I did used to get cross if Mums dropped children off for parties without checking if I had their contact numbers (but only when they were very little - up to say 6 ) but have never expected non-friends to stay and help!!!

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:54

You need help with 11 year olds??????

How many are we talking about?

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 10-Nov-12 14:12:57

Ask around when your planning the party? Don't have a party for 15 kids and have a cinema and pizza trip for 3 or 4 instead? hmm

Surely it's a basic life skill to know what you're capable of handling. If someone let you down that's different, but you organised it you surely can't have thought someone would drop their child off and suddenly drop any other commitments to help you serve cake?

Yellowtip Sat 10-Nov-12 14:13:05

I used to loathe and detest univited mothers hanging around. They were usually the really annoying ones anyway. The ones I wanted to stay, I'd ask. Not difficult.

Hulababy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:13:11

Thought you were going to be talking about preschoolers or reception children perhaps?

But 11 year olds - I would;t ever expect parents to stay!

If you need help you need to arrange it before the party - other family memebrs, a good friend, maybe.

But yabu I am afraid.

15 Mrs R. shock

I hope it isn't a sleepover.

EduCated Sat 10-Nov-12 14:13:58

You ask family.

You ask friends.

You ask one or two of the parents who you know a bit better.

You could pay someone, an older teen perhaps.

You hold the party at a venue where the organisation is done for you.

You don't ask more kids than you can cope with. You take a couple of friends for cinema and bowling.

The point is YOU sort it out hmm

Notquite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:14:56

I'm just grateful if the parents take their children away at the end...

Marrow Sat 10-Nov-12 14:14:56

YABU and sound slightly odd!

5madthings Sat 10-Nov-12 14:15:23

When you organise the party ask another parent to help!! But at eleven years old they can help as well and are old enough to sit and wait and help serve food. Seriously its not that hard!

soundevenfruity Sat 10-Nov-12 14:15:52

Lots of disposable plates and cutlery and buffet style food. If you got as far as preparing the food for 15 11 year olds then serving it is doddle. I would fully expect parents of children to skip off to hairdresser's, shops, coffee etc.

KenLeeeeeee Sat 10-Nov-12 14:16:11

YABU. Don't invite 15 kids if you can't cope. If you need help, ask for it in advance by asking members of your family or a couple of the mums that you're friendly with.

Tweasels Sat 10-Nov-12 14:16:19

What have you done for previous parties OP? Parents stopped staying with the children when they were 6/7 down my neck of the woods.

This can't be the first time this has happened.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sat 10-Nov-12 14:16:51


We need to know what you are doing with them.

Yellowtip Sat 10-Nov-12 14:17:17

I'm also one of the ones who makes off after the drop off really fast, unless specifically asked to stay. It's quite bad form to engage the host with chit chat on the grounds that she needs to get on.

lljkk Sat 10-Nov-12 14:18:10

Sorry OP, I am with others. You need to ask for help in advance. Just did a big party for DD (11) and some of her mates were simply foul brats. DH & I just had to laugh about it afterwards.

YY Mrsr I am intrigued. Male or female children?

SamSmalaidh Sat 10-Nov-12 14:18:59


The norm/expectation is that once children are 5 or so, parents don't stay.

If you can't cope with throwing a party, don't do it! It isn't compulsory. Either ask friends to help, or plan a party that you can cope with.

WelshMaenad Sat 10-Nov-12 14:19:04


Yes. Yes, you hire help. You hire Nanny McPhee.

ilovesooty Sat 10-Nov-12 14:19:21

I would say don't have a party you can't organise properly.

Hulababy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:20:13

DD is off to an 11th birthday party tomorrow. We shall drop her off at the restaurant and then Dh and myself are going for lunch not far away, for 2 hours hild free, lovely meal together smile

cece Sat 10-Nov-12 14:20:17

You ask family or friends for help. If no one can help you then you adjust the party plans to something you can cope with before inviting. I would be very pissed off if you asked me to stop and help because you hadn't organised youself beforehand. Especially for a group of 11 year olds.

fuzzpig Sat 10-Nov-12 14:20:52

WTF?! What 11 year old would want their parent staying at a party anyway?

Round here, the unwritten rule is that you always stay at the party for nursery age or below, but from reception up you can sod off (unless you want to stay)

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:20:56

Teachers manage 30 for about 6 hours.

I would have thought 15 11 year olds were easy.
Organise the food; get two 11 year olds to help
Bring your partner
Pay for help

Questions so far

When was the party? If it is in the past did everyone get out ok?
If it is now, you need to go and tend to the children.
Are they male or female?
What was the entertainment?
Is the birthday girl/ boy having a good time. because that's sort of the important bit. smile

GrimAndHumourless Sat 10-Nov-12 14:21:21


yes you need to enlist assistance before the day - you say no family available, so ask friends

if you have no friends then I'm afraid you should ask only the number of children that you can safely manage, bearing in mind the age range(s) of your own child(ren)

Jusfloatingby Sat 10-Nov-12 14:21:25

YABU. Unless the birthday child's mum was a very good friend of mine it would not occur to me to hang around offering to help. I would just assume I was in the way and her close friends or sisters would be helping out.

quoteunquote Sat 10-Nov-12 14:21:44

or just ask the children to help hand out food and drinks.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 14:21:55


At 11, the kids don't want their parents there anyway!

Either don't invite so many, or ensure family/friends are on hand to help out. I have a 10 year old, for his birthday we went to a pool with slides etc. We invited 2 other children, and there was me and DP. So we could make sure they were safe.

I suspect you have bitten off more than you can chew.

I would find it strange if the parents stayed once they were over about 6 to be honest, unless the child was nervous, or had other reasons for needing a parent there.

I guess it would have been nice if they had asked if you needed a hand - but to be honest, most people assume you have organised your own help in advance.

Fenton Sat 10-Nov-12 14:22:43

Why would you invite fifteen 11 year olds to your house? confused

"Can someone explain how I would go about organising the help? Do you mean pay people to help? Surely that's not straightforward! If I had family living nearby I would ask them"

Well you know those people you are expecting to offer to help? Why don't you start by asking them?


MrsDeVere Sat 10-Nov-12 14:24:03

It's not bu to want help but it is vu to expect parents to drop all at the last minute and bail you out.
You would get more than you bargained for if you roped me in.
You would have to deal with several siblings clustering up the place as well as me being annoyed at you.

I thought it was frowned upon for parents to hang about getting in the way confused

What would you have said if all parents of the 15 stayed?

I am not understanding all this. There must be more information to come.....

BeaWheesht Sat 10-Nov-12 14:24:57

Yabu get a grip they're 11

I've just recovered from had a party for 19 6 year old boys in my house - I had dh to help admittedly and a friend helped for the last half hour but it was fine, and actually if I hadn't been trying to get them all fed with a 2 year old on my hip I wouldn't have probably needed my friends help.

ENormaSnob Sat 10-Nov-12 14:25:48


Very much so.

SufferingLampreys Sat 10-Nov-12 14:26:45

Bet the op would be the first to complain if I stayed to help with the child's three younger siblings too

cees Sat 10-Nov-12 14:28:23

Simples don't invite more kids then you can handle or open your gob and ask for some volunteers amongst the parents.

I love when the parents don't hang about here. Nothing worse then having to entertain parents when I'm organising the cake and games.

TerracottaPie Sat 10-Nov-12 14:30:26

Even when I've stayed at parties when the DCs were younger I didn't help out. None of the parents did. We sat and chatted. And perhaps dealt with the occasional tears or tantrums from our own kids that high levels of excitement invariably brings.

I wouldn't be expecting tears or tantrums from 11 year olds at a party. Maybe I'm wrong about that though?

No matter the age of the child, help for their party has always been sorted by the host prior to arrival.


Clary Sat 10-Nov-12 14:30:38


Why would a parent stay with an 11yo???

My drop and run age limit is 5 tbh.

As others say, if you can't cope with 15 11yos sitting down to eat then don't stage a party (or be a MDS!)

Where would you get help from? ask a friend in advance if she would stay with her child?

I have to say we've never had 15 11yos, but DD had about that many people t her 10th party and they were fine. 11yos are not that bad!

EdgarAllanPond Sat 10-Nov-12 14:30:44

well exactly - if i go to party, you would have me to help....and DS2 (who is very cute, but none too helpful) strapped to me.....DD2 (on a lead) ....very helpful she is! ...

send out invites with 'let me know if you can help please' on it, that way you may get offers of help. you kow, like school do when they send out letters for trips.

littleducks Sat 10-Nov-12 14:30:53

Are you kidding? It would never occur to me!! I actually write 'drop off' and 'pick up' times in dds birthday invite. We invited the full class of 30 about 2/3 came. We had part games with an entertAiner. Then it was just me and dh. Oh and they were in reception.

Vicky08 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:31:29

YABU. You organised the party, not the other parents. It's up to you to think about if you'll need help or not and organize it beforehand.

If at the time of the party you suddenly discover that you need help, ASK FOR IT! But don't expect the other parents to mind read.

PosieParker Sat 10-Nov-12 14:32:48

Gosh I prefer people to bugger off!!! But then I am used to about 40 kids at some of our bigger parties and we have big ones from age 4 upwards.

Vicky08 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:33:59

I've just read that they're 11 yo! My 4 yo tells me to go when she goes to her friends houses so I can imagine that there is no way an 11 yo would want her parents to stay.

BrianGiggs Sat 10-Nov-12 14:33:59

no, you NOB END

HecatePropylaea Sat 10-Nov-12 14:36:23

I don't know how people know what to do.

There was a thread on here only the other week from someone pissed off because people did stay!

If you want help, ask a couple of the parents.

lollilou Sat 10-Nov-12 14:37:17

When my dcs(9 and 12) are invited to a party I start mentally deciding what I'm going to do, ie shopping, eating cake,watching a dvd grin The last thing I would think about is staying at the party to help!
If the parent had asked for my help with a bit of notice that would be fine but you organised the party it's down to you to sort it out.

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:38:18

Hands up then if you all agree!
I have no close friends or family and assumed that a couple if parents would offer to help. Instead they shot out before I had the time to ask for help!
Yes they were very badly behaved and I did struggle to pass the food, cake and drinks around. That's all.

CarpeThingy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:39:13

YABVU and passive-aggressive into the bargain. A party is a party, not a mother-and-toddler group for 11 yr olds. It's the weekend and people have things to do other than helping you. If you don't have family nearby - neither do I, btw - then ask someone beforehand rather than saying nothing and then grumping about nobody offering.

At that age, it really isn't usual to stay and help, so no-one will have known that you were expecting it. They will have assumed it was just like all the other parties that their children go to, and the ones they organise themselves.

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:40:16

Passive aggressive?hmm

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 10-Nov-12 14:40:37

You shouldn't have invited 15 if you knew you had no friends or family- never ever assume people are going to volunteer their free time, why should they for your daughter's birthday?

you are very unreasonable and self centred to think other people can mind read that you are poorly organised and need help.

That's really crap then Anna. I thought there may be some bad behaviour involved. Boys or girls? And did you tell the parents when they came to collect?

But did your DD/Ds enjoy it?

Tee2072 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:41:37

You have to help before the party, not expect them to read your mind that you might ask them to stay. I'm sure they all made plans because they were at least one child down for a few hours.

Honestly, open your mouth and talk. It isn't hard.

CarpeThingy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:42:08

After the last house party I organised - seven 8-yr-old girls - I swore that I would never, ever do another one. And that was WITH the help of my dh and (heavily-bribed) older sibling.

Tee2072 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:42:20

Sorry, you have to ask before the party. Not even on my phone, just not paying attention to my typing!

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 14:42:24

YABU ad a little dramatic they are 11 not 3 if somebody asked me to stay and watch an 11 yr old at a party id be like this confused if you need help ask them they wont expect to have to stay most 11 yr olds are secure without parents you sound stressed about the party TBH

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sat 10-Nov-12 14:43:12

Did they do anything except eat?

Any badly behaved children would get short shrift from me, party or no party.

CarpeThingy Sat 10-Nov-12 14:44:08

Passive-aggressive in that you didn't ask directly for help... then got cross with the other parents when they didn't read your mind and offer... then came online to grump about them.

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 10-Nov-12 14:44:57


ginmakesitallok Sat 10-Nov-12 14:45:29

Next time just ask before the party?? Assuming you get some responses via text, just text back saying "so glad that xx can come to the party, I'm looking for a couple of folk who can stay and help - are you able to??"

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 14:47:05

If they were badly behaved then you should have told the parents what were they doing that you couldnt tell them to stop being naughty I would have told parents if they all hadnt behaved maybe next time dont have a party if you have no help still you shouldnt expect help for 11 yr olds

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 10-Nov-12 14:47:10

Well consider it lesson learned and do something a lot easier next year - at 12 your child will probably prefer something like a cinema trip thankfully smile

WelshMaenad Sat 10-Nov-12 14:47:19

If I'm not explicitly asked to help, I tend to assume that the host has hot her shit together, especially if I don't know her that well

catgirl1976 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:47:24


But I think you know that by now

Ask for help in advance or maye invite the parents too and let them know there will be wine and nibbles for them or something

2rebecca Sat 10-Nov-12 14:48:02

YABU. At 11 you expect to drop and run, parents may have other things to do that weekend and other kids to look after.
Agree with only inviting the number of kids you can cope with.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 10-Nov-12 14:48:54

Don't assume people will help!!

You need to ask because they will assume that, as you are hosting the party, you will have thought this through!!

oh dear op. has this never happened before in all your previous parties? i would not expect help at 11, most parents of 11 year olds would shoot off to do something useful interesting

glastocat Sat 10-Nov-12 14:51:03

You are been unreasonable, and a bit bonkers.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 14:51:59

Your mistake was not asking prior to the day!

Many parents have other commitments! I know there are lots of parties my DS wouldn't have been able to attend if I'd had to stay! Especially parents where there are siblings. My DS has no siblings (well, he will have very soon - 41 weeks grrr) but I don't stay at parties, because he doesn't want me to! I might stay if asked prior though... but I worked FT before mat. leave so given the choice between drop him at a party, or stay, I'd of declined the invite on many occasions - sadly for DS and the birthday child - because I don't have 2 hours to spare many days!

winterland Sat 10-Nov-12 14:53:50

You need to be organised in advance OP. I always just ask a couple of the parents if family isn't available. Although I pretty sure I'd manage 11 yr olds alone. Why were they so badly behaved? What did they do?

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:54:01

No, in previous years I've always had at least a couple of parents come back in time to help with food (after play) without having to ask

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 14:54:53

They threw food at each other and spilled drinks amongst other idiotic things.

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 14:56:56

did you tell them off for throwing food around ? they would have got a swift OIY from me if they did that ,

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 14:57:18

and im sure spilling drinks was an accident

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 14:57:24

I think you need to re-think your childs birthday plans!

Time to stop the parties for excessive numbers, and do something else!

DS wants to go rollerskating for his next birthday. I'll be organising a few adults to be there, and inviting no more than 7/8 kids, because lets face it, 7-8 11 year old boys on rollerskates will be HARD WORK! I'll want a 2-1 ratio. And that is up to me to organise!

If I can't, then he can have a trip to cinema/meal, or a sleepover and movie night etc.

i htink 11 year olds are probably the worse bheaved at parties. ime

Fenton Sat 10-Nov-12 14:58:47


15 eleven year olds in your home

::makes swirly motion with finger next to temple::

GrimAndHumourless Sat 10-Nov-12 14:58:49

well live and learn eh, sympathies for the mess created, hopefully you'll A not ask so many kids next time and B ask for a parent or two to stay and help you before the day

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 14:59:30

That is where you threaten to tell their parents, and stop the party, and send them all home... Maybe I have an authoriative voice, but this usually does the trick...

abbierhodes Sat 10-Nov-12 15:00:55

If an 11 year old (or any child!) threw food in my house I'd ring his parents to collect him immediately.
Spilling drinks isn't poor behaviour though, is it?

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 15:03:55

Yes all boys! They weren't at my house. It was a spy mission kind of party so they played and then sat down for food and that's when all hell broke loose!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 10-Nov-12 15:04:33

You are being very silly. If you couldn't cope with hosting that many 11year olds, you shouldn't have offered to.

You don't give someone an invitation and then assume that they will expect to help. The other parents aren't mind readers!

The fact that they were badly behaved is another issue altogether. I would have been phoning parents to collect children who thought it was acceptable to throw food around. None of the many children I know of that age would be so ill behaved at a party.

Fenton Sat 10-Nov-12 15:09:20

In that case as others have said it's a case of live and learn.

You can't really be annoyed at the parents for not staying. I really wouldn't expect to stay with my 11 year old at an organised activity party.

Tee2072 Sat 10-Nov-12 15:16:45

They weren't at your house?


AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 15:18:30

I never said that they were! I don't know why people assumed that

cory Sat 10-Nov-12 15:19:09

If you needed help, why didn't you organise the 11yos in advance and tell them what help you wanted? That would have kept them out of mischief.

Afraid I organised ds' 12th birthday party by slipping him a couple of tenners and telling him to take his friends into town for a burger. As far as I know that went off without a hitch.

Frankly, if the authority of one adult isn't enough to restrain silly almost-teens, then I don't suppose more adults would be the answer. With this age group ime it is about imposing your personality; you can't hope to do it any other way. Ds at 12 is as tall as me and has the makings of a moustache; if he and his friends didn't listen to me, there is simply no way I could have them round for parties. I would have gone for a much smaller party, rather than expecting the parents to treat it like a young child's party.

Tee2072 Sat 10-Nov-12 15:19:36

Because you said you had no help!

Surely if you were at a place there was staff?

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 15:22:13

No, the staff entertained the kids during the mission but didn't help/supervise the food

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 15:22:25

A children's party invite generally says 'please bring your child to this party' - it does not say 'please bring your child to this party, and stay for the duration to give me a hand'.


picturesinthefirelight Sat 10-Nov-12 15:23:06


Parents do not stay at parties from reception age onwards unless explicitly asked in advance

Only invite the number of children you can cope with.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 10-Nov-12 15:24:47


Wasn't there a thread a wee while ago that complained about parents staying when there wasn't room for them at a party?

I guess you know now so if you want help then ask.

soverylucky Sat 10-Nov-12 15:25:44

DD was 8 a few weeks ago. I had a party in my house. In addition to my children I invited 4 friends from her class. That was all I could cope with. They had a great time. It wasn't even a party as such - a get together. They did baking and craft. I had four extra children because that is all I knew I could cope with. I have no family near and didn't want to ask people.

11 years old is too old for a mass class type party. What was wrong with having one or two friends round for dvd and sleepover?

Yabvu - if you couldn't cope (and I don't think that is anything to be ashamed of with that many kids in party mode) then don't invite them all. Haven't stayed at a party with dd since she was about 5.

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 15:30:42

last party i did was a bowling party for 12 yr olds they did get a bit ott but you really can tell them off next time do a fewer number,

forevergreek Sat 10-Nov-12 15:32:00

huh? i dont quiet understand

so... it was an organised party, with staff/ entertainment spy mission thing. then they had to just sit down where the food was ready (was food provided by the place?)

you paid the place to clean up surely thats why you are there? throwing food/drink was bad behaviour but they expect it at those places and you just get up and go home leaving mess there!!

im not grasping what you needed help with? did you have to spoon feed each child?

at that kind of party i would be sitting in the corner with my kindle, let them get on with it, and applaud myself that i have no plates to load in the dishwasher at the end!

Catsdontcare Sat 10-Nov-12 15:32:13

It's a shame they were so badly behaved I think most parents would assume that a party hosted at spy misision would be supervised by staff. I would also assume most parents would think their 11 year old would be capable of sitting down to eat without being a little sod. I think I would be more annoyed at the kids who acted up than the patents who didn't offer to help

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 10-Nov-12 15:32:17

You might be better off complaining that the staff you paid to help host your party did nothing to help. They are the ones you have a gripe with, not the parents who just accepted a party invitation and are unable to telepathically see that you might need more assistance.

I wouldn't expect to need help if I was paying for a party, nor would I offer to help if I knew someone else was having a party a place that claims to cater for birthday parties. Just because that's part of what you are paying for.

You may have reason to be upset with the parents for bringing their children up like animals who hint it's acceptable to throw food around, but not because they didn't offer to help.

CockyPants Sat 10-Nov-12 15:32:30

What I hate are church hall parties when parents stay on, but make no offer of help to hand out food or clear up. The number of mums who just use the party as a social event for themselves instead of mucking in to help the poor frazzled party host mum...grr. I always stay and help. Polishes halogrin

howlingcow Sat 10-Nov-12 15:32:46

Are you not good friends with at least 1 or 2 of the parents? Normally the offer of wine and nibbles for a bit of help goes down well with good pals. I know for a fact that some party hosts (me included!) don't want a room full of parents hanging about getting in the way expecting small talk when I hardly know them!

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sat 10-Nov-12 15:34:04

Your kid has got to age 11 and you don't understand the basic rules of parties (drop and run after age 5) by now??? Aye right, ..... hmm

MrsMelons Sat 10-Nov-12 15:41:15

YABU if you can't host the party don't have it.

I would be surprised if any parents of 11 year olds would offer to help, I'm sure it wouldn'y cross their mind. I thought parents stopped going to parties with the DCs at Junior school.

Lueji Sat 10-Nov-12 15:42:04

If you want help from the parents, specifically ask them when you invite the children to help, or tell them they are welcome to stay.

Or do pay for help. I'm sure there will be children's party organisers near you, if you can afford to pay them.

I wouldn't assume a party for 11 year olds would need my help.

And it's bad planning to "expect" parents to volunteer to help.

Particularly with 15 boys, some food fighting can be expected.
Next time, have a hose ready. wink

MrsMelons Sat 10-Nov-12 15:43:17

I am really shocked that 11 year olds are that badly behaved at a party. I wouldn't put up with that from a 4 year olds party.

Lueji Sat 10-Nov-12 15:43:58

Ah, missed the last post by OP.

Make a complaint to the venue manager/organisers.

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 15:46:12

forevergreek the staff brought the food on a sort of trolley so I had to pass it around and same thing with drinks and the cake (which I brought from home). It was hard work having to wait on 15 kids never mind the unruly behaviour and food throwing.
Plus the staff were rather annoyed that I couldn't keep them under control

crazygracieuk Sat 10-Nov-12 15:46:48

If you don't know anyone then you need to limit the numbers or do something that needs limited input from you.
Dd had a sleep over for her 9th which was limited to 5 girls as sleep overs require input from me but ds1 had a cinema and McDonalds party where my biggest job was ordering tickets and food so invited 10. (We had just moved so nobody to depend on)

Indith Sat 10-Nov-12 15:49:06

Below age 5 parent stays. 5 and above is dump and run unless otherwise specified.

If you need help you ask the parents of a couple of the kids, usually the ones you know best, if they mind helping you out.

MegaClutterSlut Sat 10-Nov-12 15:52:23

tbh there is no way I would host a party by myself for 15 11yr olds. You were bloody brave to even attempt it lol but expecting the parents to stay without asking....yabu, I stopped staying with them when they were 5

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 10-Nov-12 15:52:45

Really, you need to complain about the party venue, not the other parents.

Would you accept an invitation to a wedding and then expect to conduct the ceremony yourself? No. But you are expecting parents to know that you needed help when there is no reason in the world that they would know!

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 15:57:54

Why would I complain to the party organisers though? That's the way they run the parties there.

nkf Sat 10-Nov-12 15:57:56

You've got the etiquette wrong. Ask a few for help. But for most mums, it's drop and run, yelling yippee at the thought of getting a few things done without the kids aroudnd.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:01:15

Did the venue lead you to believe that they would oversee the food?

I have every sympathy for how difficult you found it.
But I cannot comprehend why you think it is reasonable to expect a couple of people to hang around for an hour to help you out with the food. It is incredibly rude.
If you want people to do you a favour you just ask. It's simple good manners.
If someone asked me I may well help out - happily. If someone just expects it,that is quite a different matter.

The fact that people have been lumbered like this before has just led you to expect them to do it every time.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 10-Nov-12 16:02:09

YABVU I stopped staying at parties when mine were about 5!

DS1 is off to an 18th on Friday, I think about 60 are going. I shall put my glad rags on and embarrass him offer to help the host's mum!

cory Sat 10-Nov-12 16:03:17

"It was hard work having to wait on 15 kids never mind the unruly behaviour and food throwing."

But why on earth did you????

Why didn't you just grab the birthday and two of his friends and make them wait at the table?

I don't get this. There you were with 15 (presumably) able bodied young lads and you did all the work yourself while they sat around getting bored and out of control!!! WHY?

And yes, I do have a boy of this age. If I need a helping hand, I would grab any friend of his who is foolish enough to come within a grabbing radius of our house.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 10-Nov-12 16:04:08

You complain to the party organisers because you don't like the way they run parties there, and you would have liked to have been given the option of paying more for help to supervise the whole party.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 16:04:31

Wouldn't they be able to serve themselves at that age? I mean, the food is on the trolley - instructions to line up and take a plateful each?

cory Sat 10-Nov-12 16:05:32

How do you think teachers manage at school? Do they just leave the whole class sitting watching whilst they set up lab equipment for every single pupil/take the register to the office/move every individual chair? Of course not, they get the young people to make themselves useful; otherwise everything would take ages and be incredibly boring.

I think you gravely underestimate the usefulness of 11yos.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:07:58

no idea why you're getting a hard time,other parents should have helped
they should have graciously offered,and not left you to it
unfair,and a great amount if hassle I imagine

cory Sat 10-Nov-12 16:11:03

To make myself perfectly clear:

YANBU for feeling pissed off at this rotten experience- it sounds dire


YABU for treating 11yos like babies, for not asking for them for help, for blaming their parents rather than the boys when they misbehaved

What kind of involvement would you expect from your own 11yo at a family event? Would you expect him to sit around helplessly or make himself useful? Because I know which one I would expect- and I know who I would get cross with if expectations were not met.

ZenNudist Sat 10-Nov-12 16:11:18

Not only is it normal for older children to go to parties alone ( as has been the case since the dawn of time) but also I'd have thought most parents would assume you didn't want a house load of at least 30 people if each invitee has one guardian with them - double the cost do food & add booze!

Ask some friends, even ask some parent of the 15 kids. Or just don't feel obliged to host such big parties. Easy.

whois Sat 10-Nov-12 16:12:15

Oh wow, you're being totally U! What a sap.

Ask in AVDANCE if your kids best friends mum or dad would stay an help, or you must have some friends?

You don't just randomly get parents staying to help when that wasn't the original plan.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:13:10


Yes.i always expect to have to stay at a party for 11 year olds.

The hard time isn't about needing a hand, most people wouldn't mind helping out if they are asked. But if I drop a dc at a party I will often have arranged to do something else during that time - usually with one of the other dc.

Expecting people to book a section of their Saturday/Sunday around the possibility that the person organising the party might not have made any sensible arrangements is not really reasonable.

SmoothOperandus Sat 10-Nov-12 16:14:07

OP, do you just have the one child? How have you managed their parties in the past? Are you from the UK? What a shame the party was so stressful for you sad but I hope your DS had a lovely time anyway. I think that most mums drop and run because unless they've been specifically asked to stay, they would feel they're in the way of the host. Live and learn I guess - next year, three friends, pizza and a dvd...

soundevenfruity Sat 10-Nov-12 16:15:08

A friend from anither country was impressed with how punctual British are: "There is a queue outside of our entrance door before the birthday party start time". I didn't have a heart to say it's not punctuality per se, it's free childcare.

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 16:18:09

YABU - parents are not mind readers.

You are even more unreasonable in not having expected the boys to take some responsibility for serving themselves. They are 11 not 4. They'll soon be off the secondary school (if not already there).

pigletmania Sat 10-Nov-12 16:21:31

Yabvu if you can't cope dnt have a big party or rope in some help beforehand

pigletmania Sat 10-Nov-12 16:23:02

By asking a few friends op if they can help before the party doh it's not rocket science.

pigletmania Sat 10-Nov-12 16:24:43

When I had a party for dd I asked a couple f friends if they could help which they did

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:25:27

scottishmummy Do you stay at every party your DCs go to??

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:29:10

I had a party once where a child was left over at the end. He was about 12 and the party was at our home.
In the end - over an hour after the party finished and all the other boys had gone - I asked him if he wanted to phone to see if his parents were on their way. He called, talked a bit, then went back to trampolining. By this time DS1 was keen to come back in the house and his friend was still outside generally messing about. It was a bit odd but I didn't mind and he seemed perfectly happy, I told ds to be a good host.

I wandered over another half hour later when they still didn't arrive and asked 'are they coming or is something up? Do you need anything'
'they told me I'm not allowed home yet. They said to call again in a couple of hours'
I was torn between irritation, amusement and sympathy.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:30:28

Scottishmummy is available for parties. Happy to help - a pm should do it
I bet she gets the children behave... grin

pigletmania Sat 10-Nov-12 16:31:14

Op thought at 11 they are way passed pass the parcel and children's party food. Next time do pizza hut and cinema or bowling for a few friends

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:36:54

yes but they're young,IMO drop and go is rude
people should have checked op was ok
sounds ummm very lively

Fakebook Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:01

grin is this a joke?!

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:26

Oh Pag that has really amused me grin.

I wish I had the audacity! Life would be much more fun!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:42

Sounds awful but there was a reason I took 5 dc to the cinema and a meal for ds' 9th. Past a certain age about 5 of them is all you can cope with or want to cope with unless you're a teacher.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:41:22


Yes. I have always imagined that they had an afternoon and evening of acrobatic and energetic shagging.
I never asked because if they had just been to B&Q I would have been so let down

Sorry OP, YABU. If you want help you should ask before the party, from invitee parents who you are closest to. I doubt it would occur to anyone with a child over the age of 4 to stay at a party. Perhaps close friends would offer, but why on earth would you expect parents who don't know to offer? They would assume that if you needed help, you would have enlisted it from friends and family.

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 16:42:15

cottishmummy is available for parties. Happy to help - a pm should do it
I bet she gets the children behave...

she would skelp their behinds for them grin

scottishmummy parents dont really stay for 1 yr old parties especially an organised thing they really just drop kick and go

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 16:42:43

I guess I've managed previous parties with a bit of luck in the sense that either DH was present to help or other mums stayed voluntarily and gave me a hand. No I'm not British, that's why I asked on here because I wasn't sure what the etiquette is smile

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 16:43:00

11 yr olds jeez

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 16:43:31

I take it the kid went home in the end then grin.

You haven't got a new family member?!

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:45:20

really?vast majority parties I attend parents stay
it's a talkin point if they drop and go
I don't want the hassle of someone else snotty wean needing toilet,ate too much cake,or so and so pushed them

Pagwatch Sat 10-Nov-12 16:45:45


Honestly, people will be happy to help. Just ask so they can arrange it.

If I turned up and saw you hassled I probably couldn't stay anyway because by that time I would have told ds we were going to the cinema or swimming or something. If i am asked in advance I would make different arrangements.
Just ask people in advance.

AnnaLiza Sat 10-Nov-12 16:47:03

Tbh I don't know why people keep saying that 11 year olds should be fine and don't need supervision. I found it much easier to deal with them when they were 5 hmm

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 16:47:06

I had a random kid turn up at dd1s 12th birthday party was a disco and her mum just dropped her off she hadn't been invited she had found an invite in somebodies bag and told her mum she knew dd she didnt it was all very awkward I had to run after the mum and say we dont know who she is blush it was actually horrible the mum was livid with her dd

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 10-Nov-12 16:47:53

Drop and go. If you need people to help out, rope in a couple of friends. We had 20 at DD1's 13th birthday party, with me doing the cooking, another being DJ and DH just being there. grin

becstargazeypie Sat 10-Nov-12 16:49:20

shock Mrsjay Wow! That girl had some nerve!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 10-Nov-12 16:49:51

15 11 year olds will need supervision or it's a recipe for disaster. A few of them together will not so much, depending on the dc obvs.

I would never want to deal with dc of that age that I didn't know properly iyswim.

Have you ever helped out at cubs? <shivers>

pigletmania Sat 10-Nov-12 16:50:12

What at 11 Scottish, I don't think so, it would be cringeworthy to have your mum there. Next time op do bowling/cinema fr a few frends

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:52:09

I think op as been imposed upon
I'd be calling al parents on mobile sharpish
but then I make it clear no drop and go. I duscuss party in advance,so if you help me with coats,if you help with pass parcel.they know there's no drop and way

I think 15 11yo is a lot,I think op has had a bad deal

SmoothOperandus Sat 10-Nov-12 16:52:49

Hi AnnaLiza, I did get the impression you were not from here and weren't familiar with the etiquette. Hopefully no harm done and you'll know next time.

Mrsjay Sat 10-Nov-12 16:53:15

Mrsjay Wow! That girl had some nerve!

she was only 9/10 I just think her fib took legs and she couldnt backtrack she was in my cousins dds class it was her invite she took/found and the cheek of it the mum didnt even RSVP either . she took her home i said she could stay and play with X cos she was there I didnt know what else to do confused

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 16:57:23


this is the funniest thread i've read in a while on MN.

Op i dont get why it was so hard to serve the food. either you tell them all to sit down or theyre getting nothing and then you set their plates infront of them (although why the hell would you, they're 11 not 3) it's not that hard. probably a minute's work?


you grab 3 or 4 of them and hand them a couple of plates each tell them to start at the top of the table and pass the food down.

tbh it sound slike you are just pissed off you had no adult company, which is fair enough as parties can be unbearable, especially if you're on your own. my guess is if there had been another adult for you to chat with you wouldn;t have even noticed how they were behaving. i think you just did because that was all you had to 'do' IYSWIM.

and yes in future, if you wnat help, organise it beforehand. either arranging friends and family to help out or put a note on the invites saying "parents welcome to stay and help out if they wish"

15 x 11 year old boys behaving nicely en masse with very little adult supervision?

Have you read Lord of the Flies?

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 16:57:52

"Pass the parcel" for 11 year olds shockconfused.

At 11, ds went to a rugby game with 8 friends and then they came back for pizza, a sleepover and watching Scotland play rugby at the World Cup in the middle of the night.

Certainly didn't want any parents staying on! But likewise, I did expect (and got) a certain level of behaviour.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 10-Nov-12 16:58:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zeeboo Sat 10-Nov-12 16:58:57

Sounds like the 11 yr olds saw the OP coming a mile off!! Heck, I'd have misbehaved for someone so useless they couldn't pass 15 plates of food off a trolley down a table full of pre-teens!!
My 12 year old regularly has 10 or so mates round at a weekend and I don't leave the sofa. They feed and water themselves!!
That poor birthday child must be so embarrassed.

Fenton Sat 10-Nov-12 16:59:28

Lord Of The Flies

yup, <nods sadly>

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:03:09

do read the posts and keep up prettybird before you get all humphyshockhmm
my dc are considerably younger,so pass parcel is age appropriate
the op had bunch of 11yo.hope that helps

I think only two Mums stayed at my DDs party (5). That's why I got my DSILs and DBILs to come along to help out. I also got two of my nephews (14) to stay (the kids love 'em) and one of the boys who came along had his brother stay too (who knows my nephews from school). I organised everything so all I had to do was cut the cake and hand out party bags at the end. Had a gazebo up with a 5 cd changer in it, on shuffle with kid friendly tunes on, and a bouncy castle. Food was in Happy Meal type boxes with cheese and ham depending on the religious beliefs. One of the little girls brought a nail polish set and they happily sat round painting each other's nails, and using the face paints my DD was given. No tantrums or arguments which shock me a bit tbh

Went very well, had help from the family to tidy up and it took under 20 minutes.

I never stay at parties unless its a Mum I know to chat with in the playground. Its not my event, so its not my problem! I think you should only stay if you are asked or if you have a nervous child.

Sorry OP

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:05:52

ot my event not my problem?
so you only stay if it's one of your playground clique
bad form.IMO at 5yo you stay,Id phone you to return

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 17:07:37

I'd return, take my child, and go home...!

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 17:07:58

Scottishmummy - I had read all the posts up to that point, hrncy why I was confused by your post, since this thread was about the reasonableness or otherwise of dropping and running for 11 year olds.

I am also reading (and posting) on an iPod, so once I start typing, I can neither "keep up" hmm nor refer back to previous posts.

Seabird72 Sat 10-Nov-12 17:10:28

Often parents make other plans whilst their kids are at parties - if they know the host really well then it's ok to be asked but I'd feel put out if a mum I barely knew asked me to help out just because our kids were friends at school as chances are if I was the one asking - they would make an excuse. I think it makes a big difference which children you are inviting and who their parents are - do you see these mums at the school gates? I don't as the kids go to middle school now so they all get dropped off in cars or buses and go in on their own - no parents waiting at the school gates at night just in cars so you don't get to know any of them - it's very uncomfortable to stay to help out if you don't really know the host or to actually be the host and have parents stay you hardly know. By 11 we were just inviting kids to come round for pizza and a movie and then we'd leave them alone downstairs and watch a movie upstairs so we were there if needed but once the food was all on the table they helped themselves. Still 15 seems a few too many depending on where you held the party.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:10:29

well you're at somewhat of a disadvantage then,if getting all humphy but not knowing context of post

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:10:30

grin i wouldn't return so you'd be stuck with my child till i'd finished at the hairdressers

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 17:11:45

FWIW - up to about age 8, I used to invite some parents to stay on and bribe them with bubbly and grown-up nibbles grin

But we are fortunate enough to have a large house with solid walls and a large garden where the kids can run riot

But I definitely never expected people to stay.

"IMO at 5yo you stay,Id phone you to return"

Really? We had a party at our house for 5 year olds, with a couple of parent helpers agreed in advance. I certainly didn't want 12 sets of parents staying and getting in the way! And as for snotty-nosed kids needing taken to the toilet, I think you're focussing on your 5 year olds again, not 11 year olds.

OP, did the other parents not assume the venue would do everything? It wouldn't occur to me to offer to help at a venue, as I'd have thought the staff would take care of this, though I'd help if asked - preferably in advance. What about your DH, have I missed that? Where was he?

Echoing other posters, 15 kids is a lot especially boys. The more there are, the more likely they are to get overexcited and behave badly.

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 17:14:00

Being shocked and confused is not being humphy - it's being shocked and confused at the idea of pass the parcel for 11 year olds - which is what the discussion had been about.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:14:29

hen I do a party have contact nos of all parents
if your kid was unaccompanied I'd call you, expect you return or I'd send kid to you
but no one I know is that ditzy

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 10-Nov-12 17:15:24

We drop-and-run from reception here. If you want parents to stay you may well end up with extra siblings as well.

I had a boy try the throwing food trick at boy's party (at my house). He only did it once. I have a great death-stare.

TigerFeet Sat 10-Nov-12 17:16:55

Here's the thing OP... if my child were invited to your party I wouldn't have been able to stay and help as I would probably be trailing whichever child hadn't been invited.


If you'd asked me beforehand, I'd have left my spare child with dh or some other unfortunate and stayed, and would have been glad to help.

But I couldn't have done it without prior notice. SOrry if you think that's rude.

Everlong Sat 10-Nov-12 17:17:35

Oh give over.

Who is behind all these mental threads?

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:17:39

how would you send a 5 year old to a parent? they could be anywhere. are you saying you'd leave your child's party, put my child in your car and traipse about town hoping to catch sight of me? what if there were 3 or 4 children who were dropped off? would you put them all in your car? how long would you spend looking?

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:20:44

kid minicab to your address, not my problem after that

TheCrackFox Sat 10-Nov-12 17:21:43

My 11yr old would be distinctly unimpressed if I stayed on to help.

Past the age of 5 it is dump and run around here so if you need help you need to organise it in advance.

As most people have said YABU - totally and utterly and without question.

Don't invite more children than you can cope with. If you need help in order to have a party you need to ask and make firm arrangements about helpers before hand.

If you want all the parents to stay and help you have to also be genuinely happy to have at least the same number of children again in siblings at the party. It is nobody else's job to make your child's party a sucess unless you ask them, and most people have more sense than to invite more children than they have made prior arrangements to supervise.

tiggytape Sat 10-Nov-12 17:26:05

The unspoken rule at our school is drop and go from Reception.
The only parents who stay are close friends of the host who might stay to chat and drink wine help or parents who worry abotu leaving their children alone eg if their child has severe allergies.

When they were small, the whole class came to parties <<shudder>> so I used to rope in grandparents and my friends to help out. Now they are older, they each only invite 1 or 2 friends to the cinema or similar so no extr asupervision is required.

Most parents would be very pissed off surprised if you suddenly asked them to stay with no prior warning. Most parents have other children that need to be taken off to or plan Christmas shopping / a haircut or something else when they know their child is at a party.

ChippyMinton Sat 10-Nov-12 17:26:55


Next time, do what I just did and invite the parents to join in the activity, if you want them to stay. DS1 and DS2 had a joint activity party that lasted all day recently. No way was I going to look after 13 9, 10 and 11yo by myself, so several of the mums came along and joined in and had more fun than the kids.

whois Sat 10-Nov-12 17:27:12


kid minicab to your address, not my problem after that

Wow. What a strange and horrible attitude. Unless you had specifically said in advance parents were to stay you're being a total U cow.

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:27:29

you would out a 5 year old in a mincab on their own? ant decent mincab driver wouldn't take them, and they certainly wouldn't drop them off at an address there was no adult at. you're an idiot.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:28:11

reception?as in primary1 we all stay
it's done thing.I know someone did a drop and go at another party hostess unimpressed
and no I'd not spring it on anyone,it's explicit and clear you stay

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:29:17

and why would you have my address? i have never given my address to any of the parent's at parties my dcs have been to.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 17:30:22

I think you might find that the kid in question might not be accepted in a mini cab unaccompanied!

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:30:51

no.idiotic is leaving your kid
I'd call you I'd let you know of course
but best not drop and go.better to stay if needed for own child.instead of treating others like your baby-sitters

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 17:32:02

Your parties sound like fun scottishmummy hmm.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:32:10

we all have each other address,phone no.doesnt everyone?
given I've been to various houses yes I know where folk live

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:33:11

it's not idiotic to leave my child at a party he has been invited to. at 5 he was fully toilet trained and perfectly able to ask for the other parent to call me if he wanted to leave. and as you can see, the majority of other posters on this thread agree that aged 5 it is fine to drop and go.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:34:00

until this never known drop and go so widely done or entertained
no one I know does this
at all

difficultpickle Sat 10-Nov-12 17:34:02

I assume the OP's child has never been to anyone else's party which is really sad to hear. I assume if he had then his mother would know the etiquette. Also sad that the OP doesn't k ow any if the other parents. Really strange to expect parents to hang around at an 11 yr old's party without bring specifically asked. When I host parties I usually do an activity which requires a set ratio of adults to children so I always ask in advance if some parents can stay to assist.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 10-Nov-12 17:34:04

But sm you have chosen to have a load of dc over at your house. Past the age of 5 you are effectively babysitting those dc.

Children's parties are mostly completely hellish and in lots of cases if the parent specified staying then they wouldn't go. Not because of the dc mind but because I don't want my Saturday taken up with 2 hours of forced socialising with schoolgate mums ugh.

scottish we meet again. I of course had phone numbers (home and mobile) of all the children in attendance. I always give mine out when my dd goes to a party. Its the responsibility of the party organiser to make sure they have enough people to help out. The same as when I had my dds party I had lots of adults present considering there was 20 kids.
I do not have a "playgrond clique" there are Mums I gel with and who gel with me and those who dont. There were friendship groups already formed when we joined the school, as my dd went to a nursery and toddler group on the other side of town before we moved. I have friend's outside of school, and a small group of Mums at the school whose aim in life isn't to stand around and claim their child is the best at everything- I hate those type of circles as its not about being mates its about besting everyone else via their kids.

prettybird tis OK scottish finds fault in everything I ever type, don't worry about it!

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:34:31

nope, i dont know all the addresses of my son's school friends, and even if i did, some of the children stay with another parent at the weekends.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 10-Nov-12 17:35:50

sounds like the system is different in Scotland, then.

TheCrackFox Sat 10-Nov-12 17:35:54

What age do you think you might start dumping and running?

Saying that, scottish I am assuming you also don't leave your child all day at school then? You sit behind them in the classroom since we are all adhorrent to leave our dcs at parties where there are more adults than there are in a classroom of 30 kids and the party is no longer than 2 hours and school is 8.45 to 3.15?

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:36:42

given I have absolutely no idea who you are fellow why would I single you out?
our class we all have each other no, I thought twas done thing.clearly not

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:37:21

17 when they can drive themselves home and SM doesn't have to pay for a mincab to take them grin

tiggytape Sat 10-Nov-12 17:38:35

scottishmummy - it really is the norm (as you can see from the thread in general) to drop and go.

Maybe in your circle the children are still only young but generally most parents expect to be able to leave their child alone at a party unless they are told in advance this is not the case (eg a swimming party that will need loads of adults).

You say you do discuss this with those invited in advance so that's fine - if people have Christmas shopping to do or older children but no babysitter, they will decline the invite to your party. But most people - especially if their child is 11 - wouldn't dream for a second that the host would require them to stay and help supervise.

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 17:38:38

When ds was in Primary 1 I definitely didn't want all the parents to stay. Many did especially those that had been told about the bubbly - but we had a children's entertainer who could control look after them. I also didn't assume that they would, as I knew that Silly Billy could control keep them entertained and I had my mum, SIL and dh to help get the food through when required.

We were fortunate though that there never seemed to be a tradition of "whole class" invites, so I think the most we ever had was about 15 4, 5 or 6 year olds. Maybe 18 one year (including cousins and neighbours) - but I think that was the limit that Silly Billy gave us.

cory Sat 10-Nov-12 17:38:54

Itchyandscratchy Sat 10-Nov-12 16:57:47
"15 x 11 year old boys behaving nicely en masse with very little adult supervision?

Have you read Lord of the Flies? "

Myesss, but I have also sent my children to school (which means 30 in a class supervised by one adult at that age), I worked as a supply teacher from age 19 and I am aware that sports coaches and drama coaches have to make do with child-adult ratios which are certainly no higher than that of the OPs party.

Even in Golding's book, Lord of the Flies behaviour doesn't actually kick in until several weeks of unsupervised squalor.

Most of the 11yos I know travel to school on their own. This means large number of children on local buses with no adult supervision whatsoever beyond that provided by the driver. I suppose the reason their behaviour doesn't go beyond noisy is because they know the driver will stop the bus and turf them off and report them to their school if vandalism occurs.

hmm at the idea of parents helping at a party for 11 year olds. However I would expect anyone who invited my child to be responsible for him while he was at the party and that means having sufficient adult supervision.

I too shudder at the memory of helping at cubs. grin

TheCrackFox Sat 10-Nov-12 17:39:21

I would rather eat my own feet than let half the mums have my phone number. My number is for friends and family not for people I vaguely know.

The OP was talking about 11 year olds not 5 year olds, but we've done drop and go from age 4, everyone does where we live (rural Germany) - you follow local convention though, and if your child has ever been to other kids parties you know what it is, if you don't know you either ask or state on the invite.

I prefer NOT to have random parents stay - at 4 year olds parties I can be silly entertaining the kids but feel a right fool with other parents watching grin We've done parties at home and at venues - when I felt I needed help (DD's 4th party when all her friends were German but I didn't feel confident enough in my German to keep 12 4-6 year olds under control) I paid the much older sister of one of her friends to help. Other than that I have never felt unable to cope with the kids I had invited and would be shocked to discover another mum had arranged a party she couldn't cope with. If I were asked at the last minute to stay at an 11 year old's party I would but would be very likely to have my other kids with me too, so they'd have to be welcome - if it was a weekend and I was asked in advance I would stay and leave my other kids with my husband, if it was a week day afternoon I'd be unlikely to be able to help without my toddler in tow. I would assume if all parents were invited then they were going to be catered for too in some way, not just expected to help.

thegreylady Sat 10-Nov-12 17:40:22

Parents won't expect to stay at a party for over sixes usually. I think YABU.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:40:59

seems to be something you all do
most certainly not here,not primary 1
you'd be talk o the steamie if you did

Gingersstuff Sat 10-Nov-12 17:42:35

The system is most definitely not different in Scotland. No-one i know would dream of staying at a party for 11-year-olds; it would be an embarassment for the kid and a pain in the arse for the host to have to entertain additional parents! I'd say from the age of around 5 or 6, it's drop and go unless specifically arranged in advance.

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:43:17

and you wouldn't be talk o the steamie (whatever that is) for sending a 5 year old home to an empty house in a minicab? strange place you live.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:44:20

you'd be called you'd have adequate time to return

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 17:45:17

All of the other parties that ds has been to have also assumed a "dump and run" approach from P1 onwards. So such an approach is not unusual in Scotland.

I've occasionally stayed on or gone back early if I've known the mum concerned but never felt under any obligation to do so.

TheCrackFox Sat 10-Nov-12 17:45:31

My days of staring at a luke warm diluted juice in a plastic cup surrounded by the grimness of a local community centre/play barn/scout hut waiting for the candles of a Ben Ten cake to be blown out are long gone. Thank fuck.

BooyhooRemembering Sat 10-Nov-12 17:45:43

how would you know? i could be an hour's drive away.

Viviennemary Sat 10-Nov-12 17:49:33

YABU. It would never occur to me to offer to help unless I was asked or it was a particular parent I was friends with. Just invite the number of children you can cope with. Or ask a friend to help.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 10-Nov-12 17:50:40


No-one at the steamie ever talked about me for leaving my 5-year-olds at Scottish parties grin. One or two parents would stay if they knew their children were anxious, or they might offer to help, otherwise we'd be off enjoying our feedom!

In any case Scottishmummy, surely you realise there is a big difference between 5 year olds and 11 year olds? if not you're in for a shock

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 17:57:06

lol,--why do you need to strikeout the bleedin obvious--
11yo different from 5yo?
who'd have thunk

Because you keep going on about irresponsible parents leaving their children, when we're all talking about 11 year olds and you're talking about 5 year olds? hmm

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 18:03:06

oh do keep up,you see threads digress.people can cope with parallel conversations
so you see lots of digression on any thread
it happens online as it does in rl,things are fluid.topics evilve

zeeboo Sat 10-Nov-12 18:12:49

I can't believe drop and run is now age 5!!! When my big ones were small it was from playgroup age so 3+. I'd rather gnaw my arm off than have a bunch of strange Mummies at my kids parties.
If this is how it is now then little zeeboo will not have parties with strangers ynt

tiggytape Sat 10-Nov-12 18:15:58

Whilst the vast majority of parents with 5 year olds would expect to drop and run (unless they actively chose not to), all parents of 11 year olds would expect to do so. So OP doesn't really have any cause to complain (except it appears she didn't have much experience of these things in advance and got caught out)

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 18:22:50

it doessiund like op had ghastly time
I can see why she cross
next time best be clear advance, that want some help

picturesinthefirelight Sat 10-Nov-12 19:23:21

I rarely drop & go and dd is just 11 but that's only because I live at the totally opposite end of the city to mist of her school friends so I ask if it ok to stay as I can't get home & back in time.

Am aghast at the minicab mum.

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Nov-12 19:41:28

On the phone number front most places where I have booked parties over the years have insisted on me having a contact number for the parent of all the invitees (sports centres, go-karting, paint balling, stables, etc). Doesn't everyone have a class list with phone numbers and addresses? I wouldn't want to be in loco parentis for a child if I didn't know exactly who he was, where he lived and have contact details for one parent.

picturesinthefirelight Sat 10-Nov-12 20:07:01

We definitely don't have a class list. I do leave an emergency contact number if u leave ds somewhere (not necessarily my mobile might be work, landline or dh number) but I don't with dd as she has her own mobile now.

vodkaanddietirnbru Sat 10-Nov-12 20:08:33

no we dont have a class list of phone numbers and addresses - our school isnt even allowed to give out a list of the childrens names (even just the first names) in my lo's classes at school.

DS is in P2 and has been left at a couple of parties by himself. He had his 6th party in the sports centre and a lot of the children were just dropped off and then picked up at the end. DH is normally there and as my sisters kids get invited she is there to help out too.

DD had her 9th party today (at bowling) and there were 8 children there - none of the mum's stayed with us so me and dh looked after them all. They were old enough to sort themselves out at the toilet and although they wandered off around the amusements we knew they wouldnt try to leave without letting us know.

forehead Sat 10-Nov-12 20:10:24

YABU,In fact you have annoyed me. Get your own help.

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:12:45

I have done dump and run since reception, all the nursery parties happened at nursery which was a nice get out of the parents grin

It comes down to the fact that if you cant cope with 15 11 year old (or 3 years old, the age is immaterial), then you dont invite them! You invite precisely the number for feel able to deal with and no more.

What you dont do is invite half the class and then moan when no one is psychic and offers to help with them. Do you hang around at all the parties your kids go to? If you do then a word to the wise......the parents probably think your weird, PFB and OTT protective and wish you would bugger off!

squeakytoy Sat 10-Nov-12 20:16:07

I am still failing to understand why 11 year olds were not capable of helping themselves to food confused

Most 5 year olds could do that, never mind at 11!

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:17:49

Having said that, their behaviour was appalling and I would be mentioning it to their parents if you see them. I would be disgusted if any of mine behaved like that and I would be making sure that you had got an apology from them if they had.

I dont think you issue was lack of help, but the boys attitudes. Seems to me that this year is the year to stop parties.

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:20:03

Re the class list, we dont have that as they never get all of the permission forms in so they cant do it for data protection. Also, there are a couple of foster families with sensitive placements so I would imagine that they wouldnt want their details on such a list.

It is generally accepted that you RSVP by text so that the inviters parent has your number.

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 20:22:36

Never had a list of ds' classmates - not even their names.

At parties, you might leave an emergency contact number - but that would be it. Not even sure I always asked for/gave one.

yes, I'm a baaaaaad mother grin

Ds' friends are now 12 so they tend to have their own mobiles plus know their home phone numbers plus I do the rugby club registration so know everyone's details anyway. wink

MummyBarrow Sat 10-Nov-12 20:23:07

Definitely being unreasonable.

if you need help, you organise it. Do you really expect them to give up time at the weekend, organising cover for their own kids, to help you?

Get real.

I am taking 20 out for pizza and then to the cinema on Friday night. If i need help I will be asking DH or friends, not parents.

exoticfruits Sat 10-Nov-12 20:25:34

You need to have the correct help organised. You don't expect to stay with your DC after the age of about 4 yrs.

scottishmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 20:25:44

righty ho,I was being tongue in cheek no I'd not put unaccompanied 5yo in cab. so wind yer teeth in ladies,put down the childlike number
frankly it was in response to the well what's if I were 3hrs away,sitting in Taylor ferguson
what I am clear on is yes I do know all contact details,and no one drop &goes

exoticfruits Sat 10-Nov-12 20:26:23

Have a small party of a manageable number.

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:30:20

mummy Sheesh! Have you won the lottery?! 20 to the pictures? We were going to take us and 4 of the kids to see Madagascar last week and it would have cost £50 in tickets and parking alone, never mind drinks etc

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:31:40

Scottish Dump and run is the reason for parties! You pay by putting yourself through your own kids parties a couple of times a year when the other parents naff off to Costa for a couple of hours!

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:33:41

and if you are really sneaky like me then you do the double-dump-and-run where you imply to your DH/OH/SO/DM that you have to stay to help, so they look after the other kids, and you imply to the party childs parent that you have to get back to your other kids. Then you bugger off a coffee shop, calling in at Waterstones on the way for a nice new book!

2 child free hours is not to be sniffed at!

picturesinthefirelight Sat 10-Nov-12 20:36:55

That's fair enough Scottish if people know in advance & have the choice if not attending if dump & run is not poss

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 10-Nov-12 20:48:08

OP - for future reference arrange for parents that you know to stay if you will need help.

It does seem that there is a huge variation in party etiquette from school to school and area to area.

We do not have a list of names, addresses and contact numbers for children in our ds's classes. I am not sure that I would want to give that information to people who I do not know.

FWIW, I have only left ds's (7 and 4) at parties held in their friends houses, never at soft play, leisure centres etc. Even then I have always made sure that the host parents had my number. The same has been reciprocated by their friends parents. If parents have left their children at parties outside of our home , parents have always checked if we're happy with that and left contact numbers.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 10-Nov-12 20:49:00

I like your style Bogey!

Bogeyface Sat 10-Nov-12 20:50:09

grin Iwish

After 6 kids, there arent many tricks I dont know, happy to share!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 10-Nov-12 20:52:40

Can you start a thread with more of the same? grin

whatsforyou Sat 10-Nov-12 20:57:05

I would be quite happy to help at a party IF I was asked in advance. If my 11 year old was invited to party I would be making other plans and would assume that the party organiser had everything under control.
I also think that although the boys did behave badly, it is so easy for boys of that age to get wound up and carried away and it does sound a bit like OP wasn't really on top of what was going on as she was too busy acting as waitress!
In future OP, invite less kids and ask for help in advance :-)

echt Sat 10-Nov-12 21:12:35

YABU OP, though I expect you've got that by now. If you need help, arrange it beforehand. I always insisted on contact numbers, and by age 11, the most we ever had was 9 for karaoke, DVDs and sleepover, but no parents staying.

It always went well, though I have the advantage of a death ray glare perfected by 30 years of teaching.grin

2rebecca Sat 10-Nov-12 21:14:25

The system isn't different in Scotland. From school age my kids' parties were drop and go and I rarely knew the phone numbers of my kids' friends. We do both work though so in general their friends' parents aren't my friends. Now they are teenagers they have their friends' phone numbers but I still don't know them. We do live in an urban area though, I suspect in rural areas parents maybe socialise more, especially if they don't work.
I always put party finishing time on invites and rarely invited more than half a dozen.

2rebecca Sat 10-Nov-12 21:17:40

Also many 11 year olds are at secondary school (especially in England) so what is the "class phone number" stuff? There are over 100 kids in the year, it would be breaking data protection laws to hand out all their details to any parent requesting them.
I have never been given a whole classes contact details and would be unhappy if my address and phone details were handed out in this way.

Puppypanic Sat 10-Nov-12 22:23:36

Complete arf at the idea of 11yr olds playing pass the parcel!

Sm it does seem as though you are the only person on this thread who lives and operates the system you do, fair enough if that is how it works around you but seemingly for 99% of the population that isn't the case. Drop and bugger orf since about the age of 6 unless child particularly nervy.

I did a spy mission type party for ten 10 year old boys this year and 3 of my closest friends stayed to help dole out the cake. I didn't ask them and wouldn't have been in the least bit bothered if they had gone off shopping. In fact two of them went off for the first hour or so to do a few bits. They wanted to stay for tea and chat whilst the DC's all shot each other or whatever and then more than happy to cut the cake and hand out. No big deal, no way would I have expected anyone to stay though. I took my book to read in fact as expected to be nobby no mates for two hours.

What kind of princess are you?? If it's only you hosting the party, then only invite as many as you can look after. If I had to have a party of 11 year old boys there'd probably only be 3 or 4 of them. Expecting people to help you is ridiculous; if I was taking my DS to a party, I would have made plans to do something while he was there, so the last thing on my mind would be to stay and help.

Get yourself properly organised in advance and don't expect everyone to fall over themselves to help out poor little you. YABVU.

41notTrendy Sat 10-Nov-12 22:46:48

Do you know what? I'm a bit hmm at the number of parents who see parties as free child care. Yes, the OP should have organised a back up plan, but here the general consensus is to ask if it's ok to leave the kids and to leave a contact number.

Crikeyblimey Sat 10-Nov-12 22:47:27

Barking! - don't stay to help unless asked in advance or a good friend looks in need. Don't stay to make sure my child is ok after the age of 5 and wouldn't expect anyone else to either.

exoticfruits Sat 10-Nov-12 22:52:29

I certainly didn't want parents staying when I was doing a party - it would be highly annoying- just drop and leave.

Yellowtip Sat 10-Nov-12 22:52:56

I've never left a contact number, ever. Nor asked for one, ever. If there's an emergency ring 999. If it's not an emergency then what's the big deal? That's all a bit schooly isn't it?

Crikeyblimey Sat 10-Nov-12 22:53:18

41 - at 11 years old? You'd ask the host parent if it was ok to leave them?? Really???

tiggytape Sat 10-Nov-12 22:54:24

Not really free childcare - it is 2 hours in the middle of a Saturday lunchtime.

And anyway, since most people here operate drop and run, it all evens out in the end: one slightly manic afternoon of being run ragged in return for hopefully 16 or so chances through the year to get a haircut or some shopping done in peace (or run the siblings to their activities) whilst DC is at a party that you aren't hosting.

Crikeyblimey Sat 10-Nov-12 22:55:42

And and and...
I only stay to ensure the child is comfortable not the host. When I host a party, I invite as many as dh and I can cope with or ask (bribe with cake and wine) a friendly parent to help when I pass out the invitations.

So, no - not free childcare. A PARTY organised by someone else.

Crikeyblimey Sat 10-Nov-12 22:56:53

Ooops - dC not dH! I don't throw "those kind" of parties!!!

picturesinthefirelight Sat 10-Nov-12 22:57:55

Presumably the child has been invited to the party as in it is their name on the invite not the parents. Therefore parent should not stay. It's like a wedding thread in reverse!!!!

andallthatjargon Sat 10-Nov-12 22:59:29

I have three children so no longer stay at parties, I do always check this is okay when RSVPing though... I did a party for 40+ kids last year but although a lot of parents stayed they were not required to help as I had already roped friends in for that.

exoticfruits Sat 10-Nov-12 23:00:56

If I am inviting children to a party I am giving free childcare and have ensured that I have got enough help.

prettybird Sat 10-Nov-12 23:01:59

I can understand why I was very popular with ds' friends' parents when, for his 11th and 12th parties, I was comfortable with them staying for as long as they liked! grin

the fact that they were upstairs and we have nice solid walls helps wink

41notTrendy Sat 10-Nov-12 23:02:47

As a courtesy. All ok.. anything you need... sort of thing. The answer is usually yep fine, see you at .. whatever time. But like the OP I'd like to think if I was stuck someone may offer to help out and not be all indignant they'd miss their nice quiet lunch out.

princessnumber2 Sat 10-Nov-12 23:34:15

The standard here seems to be drop and run from reception (5) onwards. I have occasionally been asked if I need help (which I thought was very sweet) but always said no as our house is too small to accommodate the extra parents and siblings.

The most I have had is 13 over excited six year olds in a small house. (Planned to do lots in the garden and then it just poured down all day). But we managed by putting a massive tent up in the garden and doing games and disco in there. It was hard work for me and dh (esp with 6 month old to bf while serving food and drink).

I don't have family nearby but would find it very hard to do it on my own/without dh. We have one person on entertainment/ herding duty and one on food/drink/toilet issues etc.

I wouldn't expect other parents to help as that's not generally the norm here. But on the other hand I probably wouldn't do a big group of any age without back up of some sort - paid or otherwise.

Maybe next time do a smaller group or if you can afford it, a venue where the staff give proper help. I agree that 11 year olds can be enlisted to help with serving food and drink. I've had 6 year olds doing bits (just helping themselves to juice cartons etc) and have nephews who are 11 who are v good waiters wink

But I think people are being a bit harsh to say oh I'm a teacher and I can handle massive groups or why couldn't you handle it. Teachers are obviously amazing at dealing with groups of kids but not everyone has had a lot of experience and some find it very tough.

Sorry you found it so stressful OP sad but think YABU to blame parents for dropping off.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sat 10-Nov-12 23:57:11

scottishmummy just got to page 9 of thread and want to ask where ARE you? That everyone stays, knows everyone's number and address and where mini cabs are safe??? Are you in Hamish McBeth land?

I'm in rural NE scotland, and here too, it's drop and go from about p1 age5. And same for my friends in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London ....... I think your situation must be very very rare, as evidenced by this thread. Off to read rest now.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sun 11-Nov-12 00:13:18

And I'm back to agree that here there are no class lists issued due to data protection either, and that's fine by me as there are def some mums I would NOT want to have my contact number!!! I give out my mobile number to whom I choose, not the school!
And for all parties we RSVP by text so by default the hosts have a contact number if there is a problem and need to get hold of anyone (never happened in our circle so far, cross fingers)

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Sun 11-Nov-12 00:18:50

I can imagine what my 11 year old would have thought if I had stayed to a party he was invited to! I wouldn't even think to ask if he was ok to leave. I've dumped and ran since they were about 5, and that's what most people do here. Sometimes they ask for contact numbers, other times not.

YABU having a party for 15 11 year olds. Actually YABU holding a party at all. I hate parties, so I don't do them.

BackforGood Sun 11-Nov-12 00:26:52

Unbelievable ! confused

I opened the thread expecting it to be about Reception aged children and even then I think you should only invite the number you are able to look after safely.

BooyhooRemembering Sun 11-Nov-12 01:40:49

grin@ SM back pedalling. and yes we know you wouldn't put a 5 year old in a minicab alone. you just say these things for effect.

3bunnies Sun 11-Nov-12 07:29:40

Amazed that anyone expects parents of 11yr olds to stay. Here parents stay for parties until about half way through reception. Beyond that it is up to the host to ask a few friends etc to help with crowd control. We do have class lists, which are voluntary, and organised by class reps so not coming from the school. I always bring that to the party, but most parents don't dd2 is a bit sensitive but determined to go solo, so I do tend to leave our phone number, because as her parent I would hate her to be upset for an hour and for me to be uncontactable, she never has needed me and is much more confident now.

YANBU though to expect the boys to behave. They were probably fired up by the activity, but even so their behaviour must have been exceptional for the party venue to comment. That would be a good reason to have the parent's number, I would be furious with my dc if one of them behaved like that and would happily collect them, but would be a bit uncertain about leaving them with you again if I thought you couldn't cope. My dc are generally well behaved, but children do smell fear so maybe they thought they could take advantage.

scottishmummy if your eldest dc is only in P1, do ask some parents with older children in your school when drop offs begin so you don't get a shock at the next party you organise. If I based my knowledge of party organisation on my experience of the first term or so of reception I would assume parents always attended. By February when my girls have birthdays only about half the parents stay, by year 1 here you only stay if your child is particularly shy or has additional needs.

I actually prefer the parents not to stay, except those specifically asked, as they generally expect drinks etc when I am wanting to entertain their children, and they chat loudly when I want all the dc to be quiet and listen to my instructions. It would be a nighmare as a teacher if you always had loads of parents sitting in the corner of your classroom chatting and having to offer them tea and coffee while trying to make sure their children had lots of fun activities.

It is different though when they are v little, I don't want to worry about taking the to the loo etc, or them in tears in the corner because they didn't win the middle of pass the parcel. But then the parties are different and you can't expect little children to join in in the same way.

exoticfruits Sun 11-Nov-12 07:30:54

An 11yr old would be deadly embarrassed if the parent stayed.

bigbuttons Sun 11-Nov-12 07:38:33

OP, you're very very annoying and I think this is a wind up anyway.

cory's post from 17.38 yesterday takes issue with my Lird if the Flues analogy and likens a party to a class at school or a bus load of kids on their way to school. Not the same at all.

At school, there are set rules & codes of behaviour; the kids clearly know the consequences if they step out of line, as long as the teacher is confident in adhering to them and following them through.

Unless the op circulated a Rights & Responsibilities code of practice prior to the party, the kids are going to pretty much get swept along with the behaviour that evolves with the supervision of only one adult, and an adult that feels self conscious at disciplining other people's children.

Even the politest of children will find it hard to adhere to their usual moral code if everyone else is acting up, with no clear consequences.

And in answer to cory's point that in Lord of the Fliesnether manage to keep order for quite a while, in fact, one of the smallest boys was killed in a fire in Ch2 due to the fact they couldn't keep control when they got over-excited at the prospect of fire.

Presumably this is a lesson learned by the op; one that the vast majority of parents would have learned via the unspoken Party Manifesto, which defines these things.

Ha ha at Lird of the Flues!
Serves me right trying to type on an iPhone with sausage fingers.

AnnaLiza Sun 11-Nov-12 08:03:53

I've been accused of being passive aggressive, annoying, a fake etc. I'm just asking a question to find out what I should have expected as I'm not from here and somehow I haven't had this problem in the past. I am very sad that people choose to be so mean to me for no reason sad

exoticfruits Sun 11-Nov-12 08:08:11

Sorry- never post on AIBU! Now that you have asked , next time only invite the number that you can look after. If you want any help find it in advance. Don't expect parents to stay. If you want them to stay make it clear on the invitation and provide them with food and drink- but I wouldn't, they will just chat and get in the way!

HappySeven Sun 11-Nov-12 08:14:29

I wouldn't expect to stay - I'd assume I'd be in the way. How did you get RSVPS? If it was by text and you felt you'd need help, could you have texted a reply asking if they would be willing to stay and help?

My ds is 6 and I wouldn't stay now, my parents are shocked we stayed when he was three. Next time I think you really need to call the children on their behaviour, it's a party not a free licence to run riot. You should have contact details of parents in case anything happened, maybe ring the parent of the worst child to be collected? Or at least threaten it and then carry it through if behaviour doesn't improve?

auntpetunia Sun 11-Nov-12 08:50:57

Yabu, have I got this right 15 year 6 boys had a spy/play party in a venue and then sat down for food and you served them! and expected other parents to stay! bonkers!!

do you normally wait on your son? he may be in for a hard time in school on Monday.

happyinherts Sun 11-Nov-12 09:03:16

I think your original post is very confrontational. You are peed off.... You find it rude....

I think a lot of the mothers of your son's friends would also be peed off and find you rude to be complaining.

A party for an 11 year old is just that... Parents are not welcome, don't expect to stay and neither would their offspring want them to stay. It is to be assumed that if you're sending out invitations to a party then you have the arrangements in place to cope. If you thought you could but realised too late that wasnt the case you are out of order in being peed off or thinking other parents rude. If you have anyone to be venting anger at it's organisers of party venue if you think they didn't provide enough staff.

I hope the mothers you are peed off with do not read this post as I don't think you're going to be very popular.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 11-Nov-12 09:08:00

I've been to quite a few soft play parties where the parents have not stayed. I've been a bit shock at that because the parties are in a public place and the parents are relying on the other parents who did stay to look after their dc. The hosts are usually too busy to keep a proper eye on all the dc, so I feel it's risky leaving a small child there.

As for 11 year olds - I would trust mine not to go wandering off, but if I'm honest, I wouldn't like to leave them in a busy public place with a host who didn't have any help. I would have offered to stay, so I could keep an eye on my own child. It's a tricky one for parents because quite often the hosts don't want other parents to stay. When my 11 year old has been at someone's party in their home, I have not stayed because I don't want to intrude on their space. There is an assumption as dc get older that they can be trusted more and it is up to the host to actually host their own party.

I feel for you though, because kids without their parents present can be very badly behaved and you don't want to spend the whole time telling other people's kids off.

WofflingOn Sun 11-Nov-12 09:08:42

So, you were ill-prepared, did little thinking about the actual circumstances that might occur and didn't ask for advice or help in advance. Now you are cross with the parents of the children, and the children themselves because you proved inadequate to the event.
Well, now you know that wrangling 11 year olds takes a bit of skill, I suggest you think ahead about next year and get DS to choose something different.
Cinema? bowling? paintballing? With half the number of children.

Scholes34 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:09:43

My time is very precious and mostly accounted for. Were I to be asked at drop off to help out, the chances are I wouldn't be able to and I wouldn't expect to be asked at that stage. It's quite possible parents have arranged to lift share, so wouldn't be making the return journey to pick up, so have other plans for the duration of the party. However, had I been asked prior to the event, I would have been able to make time to help. You do feel when the children are older that you'd be in the way.

I'm surprised you don't know your DC's friends well enough to have a few stern words with them about unacceptable behaviour that their parents wouldn't allow in their own homes.

gettingeasier Sun 11-Nov-12 09:10:54

An amusing thread with my Sunday morning coffee

Fair enough OP if you didnt know the form at these parties and actually I am feeling a little sorry for you as you sound somehow isolated .

I am with crackfox in not missing parties but most of all not missing shopping for or getting party bags - hated them !!!!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 11-Nov-12 09:20:07

You want the parents of 11yo's to stay at a birthday party? Eh?

Surely you arrange to have enough of your friends to help out, and if you don't have enough friends who will help you to safely take care of 15 11yo's, you, well, just don't invite as many?

You invite as many as you can cope with. Where I live, parents don't expect to stay at parties once their DC's are in Y1, except in the cases of particularly shy DC's. and they would be there for their DC's, not to help out with the party.

If you wanted parents to stay, why didn't you ASK them?!

dysfunctionalme Sun 11-Nov-12 09:26:32

Well I think you just sound a bit lost and that a lot of posters have been unneccessarily nasty. You get that in here.

It seemed obvious to me you were not local and unsure what to expect.

No it would not be normal to stay at an 11yo's party. Invites here (nz) usually specify whether parents are to stay or not but usually from 4 they go solo.

The kids shouldn't have been throwing food, that's incredibly rude. And I think you can see you could have done with some help so in future I would recommend you ask another parent or a friend whether they might be able to stay to help.

But that does seem like a lot of kids for an 11yo's party. Maybe go smaller next time and get a friend to help you out just so you don't have to worry in advance. It's nice to have another adult to chat to when there are lots of kids around.

Drop and run for ds2's class from reception.
Loads of ds3's still seem to stay (year 3). Although luckily as I'm not in the clique they generally don't stay for ds3's. Thank God.

For ds3's last year I thought I might need a bit of help. So dh, me, we arranged for ds1 to go elsewhere, and for one of his helpers to come and lend a hand (paid her obviously). One dad stayed but the others cleared off, including the parent of the child with autism. The dad who did stay wasn't needed. With the party host person as well (it was outside) all ran smoothly.

What I used to hate was people staying AND bringing siblings. Please no. Just go.

People always stay if we do one for ds1, and I would be aghast if they left, but all his party friends are severely disabled.

TBH if dump and run wasn't normal there would be very few parties that ds2 and ds3 could attend.

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Sun 11-Nov-12 09:28:06

It's generally the norm now for our parties to be drop off, ours are 5, but we do put it on the invites, so people know they are not expected to stay, and there's no confusion/embarrasment.

We do have a list of eachothers numbers, left over from playgroup though not school.

Oh yeah, if anyone put my kid in a taxi, and sent them home because I didn't stay they would be the talk of 'the steamie' (what ever that is smile )

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 11-Nov-12 09:34:11

I did a bowling party for (then) 10 9 yo's, a 7yo and a 6yo with a 10 week old baby single handedly. One of the 9yo's has ADHD, the 7yo has Autism, and the 6yo had ADHD and Autism. (They are 10, 8 and 7 now)

I also had my then 12yo with Autism there, who was suffering from sensory overload due to the darkness and neon lights.

And you can't manage 15 NT 11yo's?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 11-Nov-12 09:38:05

shock A bunch of 11yo's were throwing food around?! I would have given them my very best stern look, and told them that that was NOT acceptable behaviour, and that if they didn't stop, I would be informing their parents of their behaviour when they were collected!

You need to perfect your death glare stern look, OP!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 11-Nov-12 09:44:27

I would be very irritated with a bunch of 11yo's that didn't know how to behave at a party, actually.

I wouldn't have expected their parents to stay, but I WOULD have been picking the 11yo's up on their behaviour, and I WOULD be telling their parents.

I've only had to tell the parents twice in 14 years of hosting birthday parties for 4 DC's, though.

<<Concerned that DC's behave for me at parties 99% of the time.>>

<<Wonders how scary I actually am!>>

did you tell parents of the particularly badly bheaved dc? i have done in the past, and got an apology and flowers from one dc <<and his mum>>

op you can borrow my mother. she is very good at being stern and she would love it grin

cory Sun 11-Nov-12 10:08:31

Itchy, what about public transport then? All our local buses are filled with pre-teens in the morning and afternoon and they do not descend into LOF desert islands. Noone to supervise them, driver downstairs, but on the whole they do behave, if a little noisily.

What I meant was not that children cannot be carried away and misbehave- of course we all know they can- but that one adult without special training can keep them under control if said adult makes it clear that there will be consequences to misbehaviour.

When I was doing work experience as a 14yo I was left in charge of a whole class of 10yos while the teacher popped to the office. They obeyed because they knew I would have no qualms about telling on them. Absolutely no reason you can't make that clear at a party you are organising.

The OP did not know, next time I hope she will come down like a ton of bricks, send them home, tell the parents etc. It is allowed, OP. You don't have to suffer in silence, it's just a question of attributing the blame in the right quarters. Remember, the ones at fault here are not the parents, certainly not you, but the boys themselves. They need to learn that if they get carried away, they will get punished and nobody will excuse them because they got carried away.

I have a 12yo and I would be devastated if I found a parent let him get away with misbehaving because she was afraid of telling me. But my anger would be directed firmly against ds, not against anybody else. Come to think of it, ds is grounded at the moment....

WofflingOn Sun 11-Nov-12 10:08:34

What happened at his last party, when he was 10?
Or the one before?

WofflingOn Sun 11-Nov-12 10:10:09

'did you tell parents of the particularly badly bheaved dc? i have done in the past, and got an apology and flowers from one dc '

smile I did tell one particularly awful 9 year old girl that she could either remember her manners or go home, and I'd phone her parents for her.
She chose to stay.

prettybird Sun 11-Nov-12 10:11:37

YANBU to demand and expect reasonable behaviour from 11 year olds. Excited and over-exuberant they may be, but food throwing and not offering to help is not on

In future, invite a smaller number (ask your ds who his true friends are) and make sure that they are clear about what your expectations of their behaviour is.

DowntonTrout Sun 11-Nov-12 10:34:44

It seems clear you have not experienced these parties before. Have you moved from abroad where the form is different? I think people are disbelieving because that is how parties are and you were obviously expecting something else. It can't be the first time you have had aparty if your DC is 11 so where you lived before it must have been the norm to stay and help.

You must just put this down to experience. If you are trying to fit in somewhere new you have to realise these parents are not rude or unhelpful- they just did not know you needed help. Just as you did not expect them to drop and run.

By 11 parties are quite often smaller. It is ok to just have 3 or 4 friends and do cinema/ bowling/ go karting or videos and sleepover type things.

If you need help supervising it is ok to ask- just do this when you are planning the party.

Share a party with another child who has a birthday around the same time. We had 6 January birthday children who shared a big party one year. We shared costs, had loads of helpers, each child had their own cake and they had brilliant fun. This might be worth thinking of if you do it again, and when you know people better or if you have younger DCs.

I'm sorry if I have got this wrong and presumed to much, I just couldn't come up with another explanation as to why you were so shocked.

Snog Sun 11-Nov-12 11:32:06

Annaliza the parents were not rude, it is your expectations that were very wide of the mark here.

If you need help then ask your friends or other parents well in advance. That's what everyone else does.

Sorry to hear it was a bit of a nightmare but I bet the kids loved it.

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