To expect only the guests I've invited to turn up to my DD's party?

(186 Posts)

It was my daughters 8th birthday recently and I envited all the girls from her class. Most of them replied and one asked if she could bring her sister. I said yes, then kind of wished I hadn't, because I thought now I can't say no to any other siblings and there could be loads.
Anyway, we had all the replies, so I bought the right nomber of party bags, specially made cup-cakes etc and set a pretty table with the right nomber of chairs. Then 3 siblings turn up. There parents hadn't asked me if this was o.k, if they had, I would've set extra places etc. The siblings sat at the table and so there wasn't enough room, which caused 3 tearful girls. I had to squash them in on the corners. Then the uninvited siblings were waiting for party bags. (With their parents!!) The parents even expected that the siblings that hadn't been invited should get a party bag. shock When I said "I'm really sorry, but I only have enough for the girls I invited" They looked rather disgruntled.
Is this quite the norm when it comes to parties? I thought I was very rude, but is that just me??
I put so much effort into this party as it's the first one since she's been at the school, and felt it was a bit of a flop. My daughter has SEN's and became quite overwhelmed and tearfull. She's never had a party with that many children before. (I know that's my fault for inviting too many)
I think next year we'll just have a little party at home with one friend.

Yanbu. I always ask if I can bring along dd2 if I can't get a baby sitter, I take food for her incase there's not enough although there usually is and I sure as hell don't take up a space at the main table or expect a party bag. I am merely grateful that I was allowed to take her so dd1 could attend her friends party.

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-13 12:54:17

Not unreasonable at all and very bad manners of the other mum's to assume siblings were invited. tbh most I've been to from about 5 or 6 were drop and runs so no need for siblings to stay.

whatyoulookinat Sun 03-Mar-13 12:55:59

Yanbu but I'm sure you know that. If they needed to bring siblings because of childcare issues fair enough but very rude to let them sit at the table & expect party bags.
Could it be that they spoke to the parent who asked if older sibling could come & she gave the impression it was fine for others to bring extra kids ?

jellybeans Sun 03-Mar-13 12:56:11

YANBU. It isn't the norm. I have brought other DC to parties but I go off and pay for them seperatly and they do not join the party! A couple of people asked me if their sibs could join and they would pay, I did let them join and did pay but was a bit peeved off as was already at the limit of my budget per head. If some people don't turn up though I sometimes offer the spare places to sibs.

All the parents stayed to this one. Infact one of the uninvited siblings had both parents there! confused Maybe they wanted to make it a family day out.

Phineyj Sun 03-Mar-13 12:57:56

YANBU, did these people expect you to be psychic?!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 03-Mar-13 12:59:02

YANBU, but I have learned from experience to always have spare party bags, extra food and plates as this is a common story. You will never end up with too many because even if only invited guests turn up to the party, you can always give out spare party bags to siblings that come to collect or take spare food home for later in the day as party food isn't particularly substantial.

Party drama like you describe is almost a parenting rite of passage.

Hmm, maybe she did give the nod that it was o.k to bring siblings. They still should've asked though. I caused a lot of stress on what should've been a happy day.

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 03-Mar-13 13:00:34

I had this. 1 sibling that I was aware was coming, and 4 that just turned up, sat at the table so there wasn't enough room at the table for the invited children, and queued up for party bags too.

Well I've had my party drama, I've been there and done that now. Never again though! grin

Meglet Sun 03-Mar-13 13:03:24

They should have told you they had to bring a sibling and checked whether they could stay.

I often have to take both dc's to a party but I always let the parents know in advance and take something for the spare sibling to do / nibble. And to make myself even more annoying I have to stay because of allergies blush.

5madthings Sun 03-Mar-13 13:04:17

Yanbu I sometimes have issues with childcare and have to take siblings but would always always ask first and pay for them myself and no they would not expect a party bag! And if it wasn't OK they wouldn't go and I would sort something else!

We even had tears and tantrums with pass the parcel, as I'd wraped it enough times for all the children to open a layer and get a little chocolate egg. Luckily I bought spare chocolate eggs, but this wasn't enough for one little drama queen.

Tryharder Sun 03-Mar-13 13:06:11

That's weird and rude. YANBU.

I sometimes take my other children along to a party at a soft play centre if one child has been invited BUT they do not go into the room where the food is or join in the party games or get a party bag. They play outside until the others come back out.

I had one little girl unwrap the first layer of pass the parcel and looked at her egg and said "Is this all we get?" I said "what were you expecting?" and she said "a pack of Haribos". shock

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 03-Mar-13 13:11:23

YANBU. The other parents were rude and thoughtless.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 03-Mar-13 13:12:21

And so too were some of the children, to judge by your latest post!

jalopy Sun 03-Mar-13 13:14:48

I can remember as a child doing pass the parcel and there being only one gift at the end! .....and it was exciting.

Thumbwitch Sun 03-Mar-13 13:15:16

YANBU at all!

Rude parents, and rude guests in some instances! shock

Never mind. You've done it once, you don't ever have to do it again wink - and next year's party sounds perfect!

Chottie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:16:46

This is incredible, I think parents who expect siblings to attend the party are very unreasonable. I would never dream of asking either. If siblings are invited it is a different matter of course.

I would say no, I haven't room, the games / entertainment has been arranged for this age group only and is not suitable, etc. But I can imagine, you were caught a bit on the hop!

3littlefrogs Sun 03-Mar-13 13:17:03

I once did a 5th birthday party in a church hall, with an entertainer, party food set out on tables etc.

Some parents brought (several) older siblings who proceeded to eat the food, open the party bags, run around shouting and throwing things. Parents sat gossiping while their kids ruined the party.

Never again.

Some people are incredibly thoughtless and rude. I can't help wondering if these adults were never taught manners when they were growing up, and therefore don't know how to teach their children.

I'm glad you all agree with me. I wondered if I was being a bit too sensitive about it, but when you've worked so hard and spent so much money, you do want it to go well. I was so bussy getting teas, coffee's playing games etc that I didn't get to spend much time with my DD. All in all, it wasn't really worth it but never mind. At least now I know.

TheEndTisHere Sun 03-Mar-13 13:27:13

YANBU Most parties my DD's have been to have been on a Sunday. My husbands only day off so if our other DD can't go we don't go. We always ask and pay for other DD and when we have a party for one of the girls we say siblings welcome but to confirm.

Last party we went to was midday we went shopping for baby stuff in the morning, went to the party and then went to a local farm. DH day off is family time.

Was the 4 children all siblings? I would never assume siblings welcome, how very rude off them!

lostmykeysagain38 Sun 03-Mar-13 13:28:56

I sometimes have to take both DC to a party (if absolutely no alternative!) where only one has been invited. Luckily, most of the parties are in a local soft play place so I obviously pay for the one who isn't invited and then buy them some food while the others are eating. The one who isn't actually invited would never expect to get a party bag as they understand that they are not part of the party.
I would be horrified if they asked for one!
Mind, I deal with some very entitled parents and children every day. I can imagine which of those would do what you have said in your post!

getmeoutofthismadhouse Sun 03-Mar-13 13:32:44

Wow yanbu . I have had a few parties and usually there has been places for siblings so I have asked if they wanted to join otherwise no I wouldn't expect there to be places or indeed party bags etc for siblings, that's rude.
I have never come across this before . Imagine if every child invited had 2 or 3 siblings :O

No, they were from different families. The mother of one of them was really miserable too. Everyone was laughing at the entertainer, while she just looked blank, when we passed each other, I smiled at her and she just looked at me as if to say "what on earth are you smilling at".

I thoght the party would be a good way to get to know the parents. I guess It's been good to know who to avoid too.

KristinaM Sun 03-Mar-13 13:35:19

YANBU. Most parents drop and run for 8yo.though it might be different if they all have SN?

And it's very rude to bring siblings without asking,especially if they sit at the table , play the games and take party bags

I hope your DD enjoyed her party, despite the tears

idiot55 Sun 03-Mar-13 13:35:55

really rude on lots of levels, Ive had similar happen at a soft play party, where a parent brought a sibling and as they came in , just pretended the sibling had been invited too, and placed the sandwich and ice cream order for them too and didnt offer money and sat them believe it or not at the head of the tea table , my daughter ( birthday girl) had to squeeze in on the edge.

so rude, luckily it had been spotted by other parents who also found it rude.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Sun 03-Mar-13 13:43:12

I've taken my little sister 2 parties with me, but shes 13 now, and in the soft play centres, the little kids love her, because she gets in, shes never expected, asked for anything, she normally just encourages DD to join in a little.

Smudging Sun 03-Mar-13 13:47:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loopyluna Sun 03-Mar-13 14:44:15

Yanbu.
At DD's 10th birthday party which was def a drop off and run, one mum turned up with her "cousin" and his 7 year old daughter and asked if the 7 year old could stay too. The child had brought a present too so it had obviously been planned.
It was no biggie really but the child didn't know anyone except her distant cousin and, as the parents didn't stay, I couldn't see why they had done this!
A month later I found out (from the dad) that DD's friend's mum was actually having an affair with her cousin! The bloody cheek!

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Mar-13 14:44:51

One thing I don't get - if other univited children muscled in on the table/the games/the food etc, I would just politely move them!
"I'm really sorry Fred, but Jane needs to sit there. Go over and sit with your mum and dad for the minute, please."
And repeat.

Why put up with such rudeness?

squeaver Sun 03-Mar-13 14:49:09

Absolutely outrageous. What parent is staying at an 8 year olds party anyway? And who, in their right mind, would think it ok to send an uninvited sibling along?

TheCatInTheHairnet Sun 03-Mar-13 14:54:28

Did you expect the parents to stay? Because I would rather poke myself in the eye with a stick than stay at an 8 year olds party. I love it when they get to the age when you can drop and run!

cakebar Sun 03-Mar-13 15:00:49

YANBU but I would be like Nanny0gg, I go into party organising mode. "Sorry x's sister, there isn't enough layers for you to join in, can you go back to mum?". I would have let them have food, but not at the table if there wasn't enough room.

At Ds's last party I stood by the door and collected phone numbers to make sure all parents knew I prefered them to leave. Most looked relieved smile

Bunbaker Sun 03-Mar-13 15:05:26

"Is this quite the norm when it comes to parties?"

Most definitely not. What kind of venue was the party at? Fair enough if it was a soft play and no childcare available for siblings. Then the parent would be expected to pay the entry fee for the sibling and any food and drink they may require. They certainly would not be entitled to a party bag or any party food unless there was any left over.

These parents were taking the mick. Besides what kind of parent stays at a party for 8 year olds?

FlouncingMintyy Sun 03-Mar-13 15:06:10

Gosh, I find this really hard to believe! All the parents stayed at an 8 year old's party and three of them bought siblings and let them sit at the table???

Where on earth do you live?

DeafLeopard Sun 03-Mar-13 15:08:36

I'm another meanie, who would do what NannyOgg would do.

No way would I put up with some chancer trying to dump their other DCs on me and ruin my DCs party.

But at that age I wouldn't expect parents to be staying at a party anyway *usual disclaimer about SEN / allergies etc

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 03-Mar-13 15:13:50

YANBU it is so rude

I know it can be tricky when you have other children and only one is going to a party but you just have to suck it up, no reason to gatecrash some poor childs party

I have found though that since my huge rugby playing scary looking DH has taken over the party side of things for our dc that no one takes the piss anymore grin

Kiriwawa Sun 03-Mar-13 15:16:42

I'm planning on standing by the door and saying goodbye to the parent when they arrive at our house next week. I really don't want them all to stay - I've got enough to do without worrying about making tea and coffee for a load of adults.

That is really rude OP - I've just come back from a bowling party and siblings were all very clear that they weren't invited

BoringTheBuilder Sun 03-Mar-13 15:28:51

That is why I invite only non school friends for dd's party as it makes easier to say a big fat NO to siblings or keep tracking on how many siblings attend. However this year I will invite other whole class and I'm sure siblings will come so I will plan accordingly. It will be at a hired hall so not a big deal and to be fair buying food and loot bags in bulky makes it cheaper anyway. One thing that I'm sure not to do is overdo the food as I absolutely HATE see food going to waste. Will be just enough for everybody and if they still hungry they can fuck off to eat at home. I'm don't mean to hijack the thread but is it better/cheaper buying little juice cartoons from lidl or buy sqash + cups? I was thinking buying cups for water only would be better. Plus do you serve the cake at the party or put it in the loot bag? I went to a party yesterday and they did the later.

WeAreEternal Sun 03-Mar-13 15:29:04

I organised my DN's birthday party a few weeks ago, 4 children that hadnt RSVPed turned up there were also 6 sibblings that came and joined in.

Although I had done a few extra of everything we still had drama.

The venue had only set out enough tables for the amout of children who RSVPed, and because the food was individual lunch boxes there wasn't enough (I had only asked them to do two extra 'just in case') so we were still two short for the actuall invited children.

In the end I had to ask the uninvited children to go and sit with their parents as there wasn't room at the party tables, which caused a lot of drama and two tantrums.
And I ended up having to give explanations to several disgruntled parents as to why the uninvited children couldn't sit at the party tables and have food.
One mother even suggested that I take all of the food out of the lunchboxes and put it on the tables buffet style so that there would be enough for everyone.

We had organised party games, with enough prizes for all of the invited children, but because the uninvited children wanted to join in I had a dilemma. In the end I decided to let them play but not let them win IYKWIM do that all of the invited children ended up with prizes but the uninvited children did not.
Again I ended up having to explain to the parents why they little uninvited darlings did not win prizes.

At the end of the party I did not have party bags for the uninvited children, but as some of the children and parents had obviously worked out what was going to happen they started helping themselves, so several invited children ended up without party bags. I was not impressed, and was very tempted to go to the parents of the uninvited children and as for the bags back, but was talked out of it by DBRO.

I do not see the harm in bringing siblings, but why do parents seem to think they should be catered for and involved in the party. I find it very rude.

MyDarlingClementine Sun 03-Mar-13 15:33:22

yanbu esp at 8 years old v rude of parents to let dc wait for bags/
however i have always done a few extra bags just in case.

TreadOnTheCracks Sun 03-Mar-13 15:35:25

YANBU I do sometimes have to take a sibling along, but would pay for them/buy their food if it's softplay. Usually if the party is too far away to drop and run and no one at home to look after sibling.

As the organising mum/dad I don't think you should ever expect to enjoy the party, you just have to get through it.

I too am guilty of always inviting too many children, so I rope in a grandparent to make sure the birthday child is enjoying themselves whilst I run around making cups of tea, organising games, putting plasters on, sorting food, wiping up sick (new one this year).

After every party I say never again, then by the next birthday I throw myself into it again.

I'm amazed at how passive some of you are! If uninvited children were ruining my child'd birthday party, I would ask them to take their extra children and leave (as tactfully as possible - " your older three don't seem to be finding pass-the-parcel very exciting and are getting a bit restless, why don't you take them to the park, I'm quite happy to watch your little one until the end of the party"). I certainly wouldn't let them sit at the party table at the expense of invited guests.

I always have a few extra party bags for siblings who might be there for the last few minutes waiting for the party to end, but whole families of extra children expecting to take part in the entire party is beyond rude!

Bunbaker Sun 03-Mar-13 15:41:25

I think it is so rude not to reply to an invitation. I would feel very tempted to word an invitation along the lines of:
Siblings and parents are not included in the invitation and food/party bags will be for those who bother to reply to the invitation - but in a more polite format of course.

I admit that I am speechless at the number of people who behave in such an "entitled" manner.

CruCru Sun 03-Mar-13 15:42:39

A friend of mine had one of her sons friends come (invited) and all five of his siblings (uninvited). She said it was embarrassing as it changed the dynamic of the party, there wasn't really enough food and she didn't have party bags for them.

Oh gosh really surprised at everyone saying this isn't normal. In my experience (4 kids, loads of parties) soft play - siblings get paid for by their parents and eat something their parents buy. No problems.
Parties at home - various siblings arrive, parents expect them to join in with food and make rubbish attempts to keep them away from the games and partybags.
Paid for by number (eg krispy kreme) sibling either sneaked in or turns up and sits bored.
I now have to write on invites 'if you have to bring a sibling, you must let me know'
Poor you!

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 03-Mar-13 15:49:29

As others have said, if I have to take siblings along I alwsys pay for them to play and they eat separately (assuming it's soft play). I would never leave them at a house party uninvited. That really is just rude.

PrincessOfThemyscira Sun 03-Mar-13 15:53:07

It seems to be getting to the point where putting a simple RSVP is pointless.
Maybe all invitations now need a "Please RSVP by XdateX to ensure your place. Sorry, NO SIBLINGS."

MousyMouse Sun 03-Mar-13 15:55:48

yanbu
if I need to bring siblings I ask if ok and bring own food and def don't expect a party bag.

hermioneweasley Sun 03-Mar-13 15:57:22

I have had people who didn't RSVP turn up (one with very specific allergies that her mother was annoyed we hadn't catered for!), but never that many siblings!

I'm also amazed at parents staying at an 8yo's party. Round here we drop them and run from reception!

AngelaMartinLipton Sun 03-Mar-13 15:59:59

YANBU The parents shoudl have had better manners.

I can't wait for the time where DC are dropped off.

If people ask in advance about siblings, I'll usually agree. Family friends usually bring siblings and both stay.

I hate, hate, hate whole families of mum dad and sibling coming too. I once had grandparents attend at the end as well.

In fact I hate this so much, I don't think we'll host any more parties. A few friends at the cinema/bowling/sleepover or whatever is what we'll do from now on.

facedontfit Sun 03-Mar-13 16:21:57

How ruddy bloody rude! I was begining to think that I was the only person surrounded by self-entitled ***. But reading the MN threads makes me realise that I am not the only person and is making me feel so much better.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 03-Mar-13 16:25:26

It was very rude of the parents. On the other hand, better too many turn up than not enoughwink.

DonderandBlitzen Sun 03-Mar-13 16:27:32

YANBU but the adults who sent along siblings and who even stood there waiting for a party bag with them were extremely unreasonable and rude.

DonderandBlitzen Sun 03-Mar-13 16:39:29

At the end of the party I did not have party bags for the uninvited children, but as some of the children and parents had obviously worked out what was going to happen they started helping themselves, so several invited children ended up without party bags. shock shock FFS...and I bet these people never bother to do parties themselves.

DonderandBlitzen Sun 03-Mar-13 16:40:35

I cannot imagine how rude someone has to be to help themselves to a party bag!!

SanityClause Sun 03-Mar-13 16:46:00

DS used to go to a school where it was the norm for parents to both come, and bring all siblings along.

I found it unspeakably rude, but as I was in the minority, no doubt they all found it unspeakably rude of me to want to drop and run!

At all other schools, only parents where the DC had allergies, or were very shy, would stay, and they would usually be a bit apologetic about it.

If someone dropped out, and there was a spare place, I might invite a sibling to stay, or ring the parents on the day to invite the sibling to the spare place.

DS was 9 is year, and he is my youngest, so I think I have had all the large children's parties I am going to have now. Yay!

SanityClause Sun 03-Mar-13 16:59:44

I have to say, I usually chase up the people who haven't RSVPed before the date. That way you don't get anyone turn up unexpectedly. Also, children can be a bit rubbish about handing over invitations (my DC included) so parents may not be being rude by not responding; they may not have even received the invitation.

Lovecat Sun 03-Mar-13 17:04:54

YANBU OP and I'm horrified that the siblings sat themselves at the party table - I would have had no compunction in chucking them off (but I'm mean!)

DD (8) had her party last week at a party venue where it's pay per head and we deliberately didn't ask one child because her dad has form for bringing her THREE sisters along and expecting them to be included in everything! Given it's £15 a head at this place and he did this to me last year I decided enough was enough and if he or his DD had asked me why they weren't invited I would have told him why. One of her friends has a little sister whom DD adores, and she was invited as a proper guest, so no issues there. But when it came to pick up time one dad brought his toddler along (which was fine) but then asked me if they couldn't organise a party bag for the toddler as he would be 'so disappointed' not to get one shock! I said no, but I was massively taken aback at the front on him for even asking - I think he saw the other little girl getting a bag and thought they were up for grabs!

INeverSaidThat Sun 03-Mar-13 17:08:32

YA (obviously) NBU. How rude of the other parents.

However, I really don't understand why you couldn't have said to the parents of the not invited DC's that you are unable to have any extra DC's. I have one this. I was polite but I didn't make any excuses - why should I?

The parents of the not invited kids must have known what they were doing was wrong.

Still, you will be well prepared for the next party. smile

INeverSaidThat Sun 03-Mar-13 17:12:03

Typo.... blush

I have done this .....

GoEasyPudding Sun 03-Mar-13 17:23:59

I am getting really scared now as I was hoping to plan a party soonish.
So then, how would everyone feels if the invite said no siblings on it?

"Due to health and safety regulations at the venue we regret that siblings will not be able to take part"

I guess that's true if you have a bouncy castle in a hall for example.

I have seen party bags nicely and clearly labelled at one party and we had to collect it quite formally from the kitchen area and give the childs name. I admired that mums fraud proof plan!

tiggytape Sun 03-Mar-13 17:26:46

I'm another meanie who would (and has) spoken up and even reclaimed party bags taken by uninvited children. A swift swoop in with the breezy words 'no sorry sweetheart, these are just for the children in Maisie's class' (whilst easing it out of their hand wrestling it off them) normally does the trick - bloody cheek!
The parents are often very taken aback about being challenged but only because they are used to other people being too polite to cause a fuss.

Childcare at weekends to cover parties can be a nightmare so nobody minds siblings to come along to watch or coming along and paying for their own soft play session but parents who expect them to be catered for or complain about lack of party bags should be told firmly that this isn't going to happen.

Murphy0510 Sun 03-Mar-13 17:35:09

Where are all these cheeky parents and kids? In 13 years of doing kids' parties I've never come across this kind of thing.

If it did happen though, I would have no qualms about putting a parent/child straight about who could and couldn't join in, and who the party bags were for. I wouldn't just stand and meekly watch a pushy sibling plonk themselves down at the head of the table!

thegreylady Sun 03-Mar-13 17:50:05

My dgs2 has just had his fourth birthday party.Dd wrote on the invites:"Sorry we only have room for one adult and the invited child but if you are stuck do give me a ring and we'll sort it out."
It was absolutely fine-sh had one phone call re an older sibling as it is a one parent family so he came along-same age as dgs1 so that was nice for him.

Believe it or not, we live in a lovely rural area of Devon. It is a little Village school. My DD and her best friend are the only 2 children in the school with SEN's. They are lucky to be in the same class, (Mixed year group) Some of the children are comming up for 7.

Only one parent droped off and came back. The parents all know each other really well, and probubly saw it as a chance to catch up. I didn't mind them staying at all, we offered them hot drinks and cup cakes.

I did ask one dad to remove his son from the table, but I didn't know who the other one belonged to, until the end. I told them that they couldn't have a party bag as there were only enough for the envited guests. I really don't like confrontation, but I did stand my ground quite a bit that day, I had too.

I must add that the majority of parents and children were lovely. Several of them went to the little kitchen and helped with the dishes and one offered to come early to help us set up. It was just a handful that let it down.

Murphy0510 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:05:51

Sounds like they are what I call center parcs families, OP

poppycock6 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:06:00

Yanbu. It's cheeky. I had to console one of DD's classmates yesterday as we were one chair short at the table due to a non-invited sibling joining. I managed to squeeze him in thankfully. It's not so bad if it's one or two but more than that and it really messes up your arrangements.

We hired the church hall and had a story teller/ puppet man. I guess the parents thought it'd be a free for all, as it wouldn't cost extra. They probubly didn't expect that I'd set up pretty tables etc. Not that it's an excuse.

spiderlight Sun 03-Mar-13 18:13:10

I had EIGHT uninvited siblings lining up for party bags at DS's party last year. Fortunately I'd made extra and had a couple of no-shows from invited children so there were just about enough, but it was still a bit cheeky.

Murphy0510 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:15:52

I am absolutely flabbergasted at the sheer cheek of the woman who suggested emptying party food boxes so that uninvited kids can share the food!

Oh wow! You were lucky to have enough. (You've obviously done this before) wink The biggest party we've done prior to this, was for her class of 6 at nursery. They bought siblings back then, but at least they asked.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Sun 03-Mar-13 18:19:36

You lot of have put me off childrens parties for life, thank god DD is a August baby.

Angelico Sun 03-Mar-13 18:28:12

Really, genuinely disgusted at how some people behave. Am shock at some of these stories, especially cheeky fuckers grabbing party bags for uninvited kids they have dragged along.

Who are these people?! Are they Jeremy Kyle types?!

Angelico Sun 03-Mar-13 18:29:52

Mind you my DH is a soft touch so can see future rows where he scuttles off out to get extra stuff so nobody gets left out while I stand with arms folded and catsbum mouth.

Yes, he is nicer than me... grin

AllDirections Sun 03-Mar-13 19:14:35

I have been known to be the party bag police for friends who are not as assertive as I am grin

If anyone would like to hire me......

I would've hired you!! It's too late now, as I won't be doing it again. grin

expatinscotland Sun 03-Mar-13 19:46:45

YANBU. That is very very rude.

Sleepybunny Sun 03-Mar-13 19:57:14

YANBU!

Lol @ arms folded and cats bum mouth!

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 03-Mar-13 20:01:21

YANBU, its very rude to bring along univited guests.

Thankfully its not happened here but if it was the norm i'd have no problem putting no siblings on the invites.

bonzoed Sun 03-Mar-13 20:54:29

This sounds like DD's last party. It was at a soft play and priced per head. I had had to give numbers beforehand. 2 parents brought siblings, both to give mum a rest. Fair enough.
I expect they winged it past the till. All of the parents stayed and DH paid for their drinks.

Part of the party was in another room for organized games and food. The party organizer suggested that parents stay in the main room but all parents and siblings went through. The table had been laid out with the exact number of chairs, plates, cups. The siblings were found extra chairs and scoffed away at the shared food but one dad of a sibling had quite a go at me for there not being enough cups. Dessert arrived and there wasn't enough to go round because they started off at the sibling end of the table.

So we get to the end. I give out the named bags but put extra cake and sweets in the bags of those with siblings and let those parents know. Everyone says thank you except one. We get to the last child, the sweetest little girl and her bag has gone. She's in tears. Once she's gone I sit down and rewind. I can picture a hand with 2 bags in it, and it's that rude dad. Stealing from a child? What's wrong with people? And he is the husband of a school mum I get on with. I was so sure she'd text me when they got home with a bag with another child's name on it. But no.

This weekend my daughter was invited to a party at a different soft play for the other child who came with a sibling. For the first time ever I had to both take a sibling and stay. I let the mum know in advance. I paid for sibling entry and paid for extra lunch. Meanwhile rude dad breezes in not paying for sibling and gets free lunch. He's obviously rude to everyone.

KristinaM Sun 03-Mar-13 21:43:00

My SIL did this to me at DSs 5th birthday. She phoned in advance and asked if she coudl bring her 3 much older children as well as their 5yo sister, who was invited. Obv I said yes as it's my niece and nephews but I was surprised they woudl want to be at a 5yos party when they were 10-12. We were over the limit for the venue so I had to plead with the manager and pay an extra £21 ( it was 7£ per child )

My SIL and niece arrived one hour late , Minus the 3older children. When I asked where they were she said airily " oh x has got football and y and z are at their friends" . When I reminded her that she said they woudl be coming she said " yes, they changed their minds "!!!

WorriedTeenMum Sun 03-Mar-13 22:07:01

At the only party we ever did our next door neighbour's DC brought an extra guest - a severe D&V bug!

We were about to move abroad and this was DCs' goodbye party. That was really great, thanks!

What parent sends children to a party knowing that they are already ill?

MidniteScribbler Sun 03-Mar-13 22:11:19

Argh what horrible people! This is why I have refused to have any parties at home (or play centres or other venues). I hear too many horror stories from parents at school about what goes on, and as my child will go to the same school I teach at, I refuse to have parents in my home, and don't want to fudge the lines between school and parent by having big group parties. DS can have a couple of friends to go to somewhere (theme park, movies, bowling, whatever) but he'll just have to learn to live with disappointment over not having a massive whole class party. Fortunately he's a December baby, so that means we're almost always overseas for his birthday (summer holidays here in Oz), so will be able to avoid it most of the time.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 03-Mar-13 22:22:49

Crikey!!! YANB at all U!!! I feel really annoyed on your behalf. That is SO rude. I must admit though I feel better knowing that others have had parties as distressing as some of ours have been! I absolutely loath doing big parties for my Dd. We did them from when she was about 3 till she was about 8 and have now (thank god) stopped and she has a couple of friends for a treat plus a sleepover.

I always found the worst aspect of parties in your home was the one or two horribly behaved children. I remember vividly one child swiping everything off our mantlepiece with a sausage shaped balloon! The next year his sister threw a massive tantrum during one game because she didn't win and then chucked the prize she won in the next game across the room in disgust! That was it for us!

DonderandBlitzen Sun 03-Mar-13 22:27:41

I'm expecting 30 children to a party for my youngest next weekend and I'm now wondering how many extra party bags I need to do to be on the safe side! You would think I would know by now as my children are 8 and 5 and I have done 13 parties so far, including 2 whole class parties!

PurpleCrazyHorse Sun 03-Mar-13 23:02:24

At least you know who to avoid inviting next time grin

foreverondiet Sun 03-Mar-13 23:05:43

I think its odd to stay at an 8 year olds party. By that age I'd expect to drop them off and pick up later. Obviously different at a younger party eg 4 years old where you need to stay and might not have childcare for other kids.

I am putting "Sorry no room for siblings" on DS2's 3rd birthday invites. I know some kids won't be able to come as a result, but there are 15 kids in his nursery class and I only have space for them if no extra siblings.

stormforce10 Sun 03-Mar-13 23:05:48

YANBU. Its one thing to ASK in advance so that you can make a decision and plan as appropriate but quite another to bring them along with no warning and expect them to be treated as invited guests.

I've always done extra party bags and food as this nearly always seems to happen. A couple of dd's friend's have single parents and I've always made a point of saying they can bring their other children along if they have no one else to look after them as I remember how it used to upset my mum if one of us was invited to something and she needed to go along for some reason but couldnt bring the others. Very diffiuclt to get right though

stormforce10 Sun 03-Mar-13 23:10:32

YANBU. Its one thing to ASK in advance so that you can make a decision and plan as appropriate but quite another to bring them along with no warning and expect them to be treated as invited guests.

I've always done extra party bags and food as this nearly always seems to happen. A couple of dd's friend's have single parents and I've always made a point of saying they can bring their other children along if they have no one else to look after them as I remember how it used to upset my mum if one of us was invited to something and she needed to go along for some reason but couldnt bring the others. Very diffiuclt to get right though

MidnightMasquerader Mon 04-Mar-13 02:51:43

YANBU at all. DS was invited to a party at he weekend, and even though DD (18 months younger) also plays with the children whose party it was, she wasn't invited. So, she didn't come. End of.

Quite a few people there did bring siblings with them, and the Mum had catered for extras, so there was no drama. But I dunno, I honestly think basic social etiquette is a lot art these days. Some people seem so clueless.

CheerfulYank Mon 04-Mar-13 03:06:28

Can't believe the cheek of some people! shock

Thumbwitch Mon 04-Mar-13 03:41:38

I don't remember my Mum ever taking my brother and sister to any of the parties I was invited to; but then I don't remember her staying at any of them either. Just Wasn't The Done Thing back in the Dark Ages day.

But it's all part and parcel of the "sense of entitlement" thing that some people seem so prey to these days, isn't it? Talking about the ones who don't ASK, just turn up, and worse, take party bags not meant for them! shock Am utterly disgusted with that Dad from Bonzoed's post and if I knew him, his DC wouldn't be invited again to soft play parties - and I'd block him at the door for any home parties if he turned up with a sibling! Cheeky bastard!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 03:50:58

This just doesn't seem to happen where I am - and if it did, I wouldn't allow it! I set a budget that I can afford for the party, and my DC invite as many of their actual FRIENDS as they can within that budget. Therefore I don't HAVE the money for extras!

Though in another area of the town I used to live in, it was shockingly normal, thinking back to DD's 6th birthday and the extra 6 siblings I ended up with - three that I hadn't even known about, and hasn't seen as they came in!

CheerfulYank Mon 04-Mar-13 04:56:17

If I knew Rude Dad I'd phone and say "did you get Janie's party bag as well, by mistake? She was really upset. I'll pop round and get it back so I can bring it to her on Monday."

I hate it when they bring older siblings and then let them play the games and let them win. The older siblings usually get upset as the prize is 'too easy' for them. Well of course it is, the party is for a 3 year old and her friends and you are 6! Last year I invited 20 children, 16 replied and 23 arrived. Fortunatly I had done 25 party bags. This year we are inviting 25 and expecting 30 but I will only have party bags for the invitees.

Fuck this for a laugh it would drive me mad! I was irritated enough at the 1 who didn't reply at all and 2 more who replied saying they were coming and didn't show or get in though (out of 14). Actually we asked if one of the siblings wanted to join in given that there were spaces we'd paid for but this is totally different.

Bringing along uninvited children AND expecting them to have food and party bags is a whole new level of taking the fucking piss.

As for those of you who prepare extra party bags in case of this happening. Fuck that for a game of soldiers. If any extra children came to one of my sons parties they'd be told (politely) that there was only food and party bags for children who had been invited. I've actually got into the habit of writing 'sorry we don't have room for siblings' on invitations as until recently we've had parties at home and there just wouldn't have been space. I think I'll continue this....

Glittertwins Mon 04-Mar-13 06:17:16

No way would I have catered for the extras so you were very nice to have done so and they were very unreasonable to have brought them.

LtEveDallas Mon 04-Mar-13 06:37:49

I don't do parties any more after DDs 6th birthday when 2 mums bought siblings and dropped and ran. I had 3 extra kids which wasn't a huge issue, but they were all under 5, one was still in nappies (with no change) and the venue wasn't suitable for them without constant supervision.

I was VERY pissed off.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 04-Mar-13 07:23:59

LtEve, oh my god!

FlowerTruck Mon 04-Mar-13 07:30:47

This thread is amazing ! shock

KristinaM Mon 04-Mar-13 07:40:51

Re siblings left at drop and run party - I always make sure I have a mobile no for parents who leave a child , I tell them it's in case of accidents.they always looks at me in surprise, as if its never occurred to them that kids at a party MIGHT bumps heads and need stitches etc.

If someone left spare kids I would be on the phone ASAP to get them back.

I remember the mums netter who had an ( invited ) child dropped with no contact details or inhaler for her asthma. The child had an asthma attack , they couldn't get hold of the parents so they called an ambulance. The hospital contacted social services and the father was furious. I expect he I would be more furious if his child was dead shock

mumzy Mon 04-Mar-13 08:07:07

One year a family bought along a sibling and cousin now i just say no, only invited friends. Its my dc day and they should have the friends they want at their birthday party. Also tryinf to include a 5 year old into a bowling party for 8 year olds totally changes the dynamics. We've had a few people not turn up because we've said no to siblings etc but not so problematic that the dcs have actually noticed

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 04-Mar-13 08:19:31

Why do people do it? They see it as free child are for 2 hours.

I have no idea why people think its ok to drop off brothers/sisters.
The excuse that 'its the only family day we have so if both DC can't go, neither goes' or as one poster said 'I always ask if I can bring along dd2 if I can't get a baby sitter' is such a load of rubbish. Can siblings/families not do things independently of one another? And can't get a SITTER for the other one? Um, won't they be with a parent?

YANBU at all OP.

CruCru Mon 04-Mar-13 08:28:19

This is a brilliant thread. What party options are there so siblings basically can't come?

I used to have a friend who's mum would get very upset that her younger brother wasn't invited and try to guilt the parents into having him too (I think she wanted the time off as well). That can't have been much fun for him, by that time they were girls parties and having a younger brother really changed the dynamic.

tiggytape Mon 04-Mar-13 08:31:24

Some of you are very, very soft polite.
Don't let uninvited older children win the prizes in the games aimed for 3 year olds - just tell them their win doesn't count as it is for the little ones.
Snatched party bags should be snatched taken back politely but firmly
Uninvited guests with no food box ushered back away from the table to sit with their mum.

We had a mum who told me in all seriousness that her DD wanted to help open the presents and gets very upset if she's not allowed to. I told her we don't open them until we get home.
She then asked if her DD could just pick 2 to open as she loves doing it. And I told her 'no' She looked stunned - she obviously does this all the time.
When it was cake time same mum asked if her DD could have the teddy bear centre piece off the cake and I told her 'no' to that as well. I felt my saying 'no' was completely reasonable and she was a bit strange to even ask but obviously a lot of parents are used to getting away with behaving really badly.

tiggytape Mon 04-Mar-13 08:33:58

CruCru - anything that involves go-karts or ponies might be fairly sibling-proof. Unless the siblings want to run along behind! Mind you, go-kart and pony parties probably aren't cheap.

DigestivesWithCheese Mon 04-Mar-13 08:55:03

To the posters who take a sibling along if they can't get a babysitter : If the invited child is over 5, why don't you just drop then off, go off somewhere with the uninvited sibling and then come back later? Why hang around the venue at all?

I've noticed whole families that do this and I always think it's a bit odd. Also awkward for the parents of the birthday child, as they might feel obliged to invite the other child to 'join in' just because they are hanging around near the party table etc.

LucieLucie Mon 04-Mar-13 09:38:23

Disgusted at reading about rude dad at soft play party! That is awful. It just shows that we need to be more assertive when arranging kids parties right from the outset to avoid pisstakers like this.

For kids parties aged over 5 invite should state 'drop off 1pm collect 3 pm' (strong hint no parents hanging round with extra siblings! Parents shouldn't need child care if they drop and run. ). If its a pay per head soft play party then I would get the staff to remove any gate crashers and be alert to any parent chancers. Makes my blood boil!

MyDarlingClementine Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:17

our entertainer is quite strict about numbers ie strictly no more than 15 or you need to pay for another entertainer.

Murphy0510 Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:53

Tiggytape I just read your post open mouthed! Is the mother's child Verucca Salt?!?

DonderandBlitzen Mon 04-Mar-13 09:50:49

Some soft play venues are good at checking on the door whether children are invited guests and charging parents for children that are not. I remember taking my children to a soft play place once and there was a party going on there. The staff were asking people as they went in if their children were invited guests and a child piped up that he wasn't so the dad had to pay extra. The dad was ranting on the phone about how the child should have kept quiet to get in free. Presumably he preferred the party host parent to pay extra for his uninvited child! hmm

MrsLouisTheroux: sometimes people really can't get a babysitter and the other parent is not available. There are lots of ways that this kind of situation could arise. For example, a lone parent with no family support (and no budget for paid babysitters), the other parent could be working, etc, etc.

I've had to take DS1 along to parties with Ds2, when DH has been away. There are 9 years between the boys so DS1 is more like taking along another adult (albeit one who is more than willing to help out in fetching and carrying tasks at parties, and otherwise entertaining small children). We'd never expect him to be fed or to get a party bag (and he wouldn't care, he knows he's only there because his brother is too young to be left). I can imagine it would be more difficult with a sibling who was still young enough to want to join in with a party. He's old enough now that he can stay at home and play videogames rather than being bored at a party for small children so it isn't really a problem any more.

A couple of people brought (much) older siblings to DS2's birthday party. They did much what DS1 does at these kind of affairs (helped their younger sibling to remember to actually pass the parcel, etc). It wasn't a problem and no one expected a party bag for them. There was plenty of food and cake though, so a few extra mouths wasn't a problem in any way.

I can't imagine why you'd drop a sibling off at a party though. That's very odd.

shock at some of the cheek described on this thread.

yy to named party bags. I often put slightly different stuff in - esp because we know children with allergies so need to put the right sweets in the right bags.

I don't invite children if I don't know the parents, so I can speak to them all to find out very precisely if they need siblings to come. Many take the opportunity to do something with just one of their DCs. We haven't got to "drop and run" yet though.

For DS1's last party, at soft play never again one mother said very apologetically that that was the day she had both her DCs and a cousin, so was it ok if she brought them along and obviously paid for them and didn't bring them into the party room... in other words she did it right.

Note: I would pay extra for DS1 in a soft play party, obviously. Well, unless the parents had hired the entire centre. In which case, I'd let the staff know that he was there as an 'adult' not a guest. The soft plays that you can hire the whole of round here tend to only be suitable for much younger children anyway, so no one would expect DS1 to want to play. He sat at a table reading a book instead, mostly.

Recently DD1 went to a party where, a invited and her 2 siblings got dropped off at the door. shock No conversation with the host, she just had 2 random children thrust upon her.

The parent obviously saw it as a free childcare session for all, only didn't leave any details of how to contact. Poor children took it i their stride, obviously used to it.sad

FionaJT Mon 04-Mar-13 10:07:59

I'm also very shocked by some of the rudeness decribed here. I've only ever experienced parents asking to bring siblings and paying/arranging food for them. I'd have no qualms about turning extra kids away, though. If I've limited numbers it's because that's all I can afford, and if I could afford more it would be more of dd's actual friends, not some random sibling.

I have never assumed I could leave one DC at a party when the other DC has been the one invited. As parties tend to be on Saturdays around here, and DP works most Saturdays, that has meant I would arrange to drop off one DC, and take other one somewhere else for the duration. Eg timing my shopping to do in the meantime, etc. I have never been rude enough to ask for a party bag for non-invited DCs (although they have been offered once or twice, that's different) and have always ensured my DCs are polite and thank the host/hostess before leaving.

And where I know some parents of invited children have difficulties, I have made arrangements eg car sharing (one parent drops off, other parent collects) to make life easier for all of us.

What's difficult about that? I am so astonished at the rudeness and downright pisstaking of some parents.

KristinaM Mon 04-Mar-13 11:22:25

My boys are 18 months apart so have lots of school friends in common. But I would never assume that one was welcome at a party unless invited. I also have other children and no one to watch them at the weekend, I just take them elsewhere during the party. If you stay at the party venue ( it's its a soft play etc ) then it's too hard to keep the others away from the party and ( when they were younger) they didn't understand why they couldn't join in , play games in the party room, eat the food etc

nipersvest Mon 04-Mar-13 11:26:28

have never ever come across this where i live, thank goodness. i've taken ds along with me when dd has been invited to soft play parties, but he would never join in. i've always taken him off to play and sorted him with his own food, and if he'd tried hanging around expecting a party bag he'd have been told off by me!

DIYapprentice Mon 04-Mar-13 11:40:11

This is why I've made it abundantly clear on DS1's party invites that siblings are welcome ONLY if the parent stays with the child (6 yrs old, some parents still want to stay). Damned if I'm looking after younger siblings.....

Thumbwitch Mon 04-Mar-13 11:58:50

Tiggytape - good for you and OMG at that mother!! What the actual fuck was she on, expecting everyone else in the world to indulge her already-spoilt daughter as much as she did?! shock

When DS1 was 4, he was invited to a 2yo's 2nd birthday party (playgroup buddies). At the end of the party, there was a mass present opening - DS1 wanted to join in. I, in horrified tones, said "Of course you can't, DS1, it's X's birthday, not yours!" And then X's Dad said "oh it's all right, he can if he wants" but I still wouldn't let him. What a precedent to set! X has a baby brother now - really hope Dad doesn't keep up that sort of thing or X's brother and X are going to have interesting problems, I think!

DS1 did get to help DS2 open his Christmas presents this year, but only because DS2 was only 7wo at the time - next year he won't be allowed to unless DS2 wants him to.

Thing is, you can make arrangements with other mothers to avoid the sibling at party scenario. I have in the past had reciprocal arrangements where one mum is looking after the various sibs at home, and the other mum is at the party with the invited children. All DCs happy, and all have learned the important lesson that if you're not invited, you don't go and muscle in.

Now the DCs are much older, arrangements tend to be restricted to sharing transport, as we drop and run grin

tiggytape Mon 04-Mar-13 12:45:48

I just find it so odd so when it first happened to me I said 'no' in the kind of way that indicated I'd never heard of such an odd rude request. I was just surprised anyone would even expect me to agree. Now I am more used to it though, I still say no.

But then you see threads here about people agreeing to have a child on a play date for 2 hours and 5 hours later the mother still won't come to collect them. Or saying no to a play date and getting begging texts all night from the other mother asking them to reconsider.
If I was feeling charitable I might think that some people, especially if they are on their own with several children all week, might be so desperate for a break that they drop and run and palm off the siblings too. But even if you are desperate, it is polite to ask in advance and offer to pay. And there's no reason I can think of for insisting your child get preferential treatment, a party bag for a party they're not invited to or forced shares of everyone else's food when the food is only set for invited numbers.

Most nice hosts will offer a bag if they have one spare or offer food if it is not catered for set numbers but at the same time most polite parents wouldn't presume it was O.K to make demands like that and most polite parents cringe with shame when their child rudely asks for something and won't insist to the host that they should have it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Mar-13 12:46:00

This has to be one of the most jaw dropping threads re: entitled children/doting parents I've read doesn't get out much shock

OP you sound lovely I hope when you look back at the party you'll not regret trying to do something nice for your DD, perhaps next year with a smaller celebration you can relax and enjoy it.

If rude dad had turned up at our party, I would have made it clear to the staff that the extra children were his responsibility and they should chase him for payment.

farewellfarewell Mon 04-Mar-13 13:04:04

I'm coming to this thread a bit late but Yanbu!! I can't believe some of the experiences described above. For starters, siblings at the party?? Have never come across this at all and I have four children. If someone asked me (the "I always check with the mother of party child first....." brigade) when my older ones were little I would prob have agreed due to lack of experience/assertiveness. If someone asked me now I would say sorry but that won't work for me. Rude to ask in my opinion. I don't have a network of family to look after my children but have never imposed an uninvited child at a party (and it is an imposition). Re the party bags...would also firmly say that the child could not have one and would ask their parents to explain why. The people hanging around at an 8 yr olds party, what is that all about fgs?

GreenShadow Mon 04-Mar-13 13:10:47

I am horrified by this!

Maybe things have changed (youngest DS is now 13), but we have never had this with my 3 DC's parties over the years.

Possibly because we never did whole class parties, just a few friends (at most probably 10). I have only ever made enough party bags for the invited children and I'm afraid would not have actively welcomed uninvited siblings.

Likewise, I would never have dreamed of taking a sibling to a party - if I had no babysitter, I would have had to drop the invited child and leave or arrange for him to go with a friend.

To arrange reciprocal childcare, you'd have to actually know the other parents though. This isn't always the case. Although, that said, I'd probably avoid a party for a 3 year old if it meant I had to take a five year old (who would want to join in) along with me.

Bunbaker Mon 04-Mar-13 18:17:52

"I'm expecting 30 children to a party for my youngest next weekend and I'm now wondering how many extra party bags I need to do to be on the safe side!"

None. You make it perfectly clear when parents turn up with siblings that party bags and party food are for invited guests only. When DD had soft play parties it was never an issue as those who brought siblings paid them in and didn't expect party bags or food. They brought the siblings because they had no childcare, which IMO is fair enough.

CheerfulYank Tue 05-Mar-13 03:00:08

Tiggytape my SIL was aghast when I told her DS that he couldn't "help" mine open his presents! He threw a fit but I remained unmoved.

Dilemma247 Tue 05-Mar-13 03:23:25

I've always invited certain siblings And stated thst on the invite when I have done large parties.
I've catered and done party bags
A few times I e in tied siblings to bowling etc as I know the parents need the help.
Ds1 had a climbing party for 5 kids plus him this time ( he was 9) no siblings were
Dropped off, but I arranged ds2 to play at the adjacent soft
Play with a couple of mates

Think you need to be upfront. Say if you have invited siblings or make a quire note on invite otherwise

Kytti Tue 05-Mar-13 03:29:24

I'm having a party for ds next week. I'm fine with siblings, if I know about them! Otherwise, I get grumpy. I have four myself and always worry that people will think I expect all four to go to parties. I don't. TBH it's a blessing when the invite is only for 1, as I can drop and run with the others.

I think it's bloody rude. All my dc's know that a party invite doesn't mean an invite for all.

bonzoed Tue 05-Mar-13 09:58:57

Dilemma* I think putting one person's name on the invite is being 'up front'.

wineandroses Tue 05-Mar-13 10:07:44

When we had our first parties for DD, I was astonished at the number of people who turned up with siblings, without any advance notice. And entire families - why didn't one parent just take the siblings off somewhere? We've had great big 8 year-olds at 4 year-old's parties, shouting out how the magician's tricks are done, spoiling it for all the little ones. Parents ignoring everything. We've been to other children's parties to find that some uninvited sibling with the same name as my DD had taken her invitee badge (DD had to make do with a hastily written sticky label) and try to take the party bag too.

Only once did we have someone try to drop off their 5 year-old along with a random 9 year-old and leave them both at DD's party - I chased after her and and handed the older child back!

It used to drive me mad; the rudeness of these people, and I could never understand why entire families would want to attend a small child's party - surely they have other things they could be doing? I know I have.

So I started to organise parties that had strict number restrictions (such as theatre trips, where I would only buy tickets for exact number of invitees and then only for those people who had RSVP'd - don't get me started on the rudeness of the parents who can't be arsed to say if their child is coming or not. I was pretty inflexible and would include a note with invite that siblings, parents, whomever were welcome and could buy their own tickets at the box office, and would not be seated with the invited party). Or we have parties at rented halls, with no number restrictions, which I cater for (loads of sandwiches, fruit, cakes etc) and so I no longer care if siblings and parents come too. I do make up extra party bags (of cheap crap, plus slice of cake - I give the nicer bags to the named invitees and the randoms get the others), which makes me feel magnanimous, and doesn't cost much.

I feel much more relaxed about parties now.

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 10:33:05

I think putting one person's name on the invite is being 'up front'.

You may think so, but others don't mind. I've been stuck a few times because DH travels a fair bit so frequently away on weekends, DS2 was only small and in nappies I didn't feel I could ask newish friends to babysit him (new to the area), I had no family nearby. DS1 was a little nervous at large parties, and was of the age where others expected parents to stay. In fact such was the expectation that none of the whole of class invites had sufficient adults to supervise the children if all the children were just dropped off - and the one or two parents who did drop off were complained about by the parents of the birthday child.

Another of my friends runs a shop with her DH and they split the Saturday shift, so one of them is either working. She faced the same problem, a very shy DS1 and a DS2 who wasn't able to be left with others.

So either DS1 missed out on the party, or DS2 had to come along with me. Because I sure as hell wasn't going to pay for a babysitter just so that DS1 could go to a party. So I asked politely - only 1 parent was rude to me about it. She only had 1 DC, a DH who was always around on weekends and couldn't fathom why it would be an issue for others - at a whole of class invite to a village hall party, mind!

I agree that it is inappropriate for older children to be at a younger child's party. But it is only when they are older that alternative arrangements can be made easily.

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 10:37:36

Oh and I told that parent that in that case I wasn't sure if DS1 would be able to make the party as DH was on standby for a trip so I would have to say no to DS1 attending the party. She GLARED at me, and said 'well if THAT's the case then I SUPPOSE DS2 can come, but I won't have any food for him or any party bag or anything'.

Pfft to that....

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 10:45:07

With my kids we always issued a blanket invite to the whole class. We never had a case where parents self invited siblings. So, your scenario is a bit strange.

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 10:48:30

I just read all the posts and I was shocked to see how commonplace this was.

atthewelles Tue 05-Mar-13 11:29:05

Really stunned at some of the behaviour described on here and I have to say, I have never experienced it myself.

God, some parents are incredibly self entitled and rude and are obviously bringing up their children to be equally grabby and unaware of the rights or needs of anyone else. I wonder are they also the parents who just bring their uninvited children along to weddings, adult nights out etc?

I often had no choice but to bring sibling(s) along but I always bought a packed meal for the sibling and they had to sit out of the way with a DS console or something. I certainly never expected them to get a party bag or participate.

Thankfully, DD is now old enough to be just dropped and DSs both can stay at home alone whilst I do it.

I've never experienced anything like the behaviour described on this thread. At DDs softplay party this year, a sibling joined in but, as I'd already paid for the invited guests by then, I was fine with it. The venue even provided her with an ice cream and a party bag!

MsPepperminCreams Tue 05-Mar-13 12:13:38

DS's party is in May. I've heard nightmares from friends with older kids about this. I've put on the invite (yes I've designed them already blush) "Please RSVP to (mum) by (date) so we can put your child’s name down on the guest list and book the catering." The venue is actually a pre-school during the week, and the staff are very good at being a bouncer, and they ask for a guest list.

It's not going to stop them is is? grin

Viviennemary Tue 05-Mar-13 12:17:40

I think this is just simply not acceptable. But if the DC's are very young say three or four then I can see why a Mum would have to bring her other children if she wants to stay at the party with her child. And that's fine. But eight is absolutely old enough to be left. I don't think people should put others in a position and ask if another child can come. And to bring other children without asking. I think that's very cheeky.

battyralphie Tue 05-Mar-13 12:20:04

your party sounds lovely, and I dont think that because your dd was tearful and overwhelmed makes it "a bit of a flop" at all. I would say that its pretty normal, so dont feel bad.

midastouch Tue 05-Mar-13 12:27:48

YANBU i havent had a party for my DCs yet (im a bit mean) i dont remember my mum staying with me at parties and my brother didnt come unless he was invited, he did sometimes get a party bag if organised mums had extras! From reading the comments im not looking forward to my DCs parties!!

farewellfarewell Tue 05-Mar-13 12:45:40

Well perhaps at soft play/somewhere siblings go off and are looked after by their parents......but generally.......siblings at someone elses party? New one on me. Whole families turning up??shock

CelticPixie Tue 05-Mar-13 12:46:47

This is one of the rudest things I've ever heard! I would never ever assume the both of my children were invited to a party, and if I was ever stuck for child care I wold telephone the parents in advance and ask if it was OK to bring them along. I most certainly wouldn't expect extra party bags though, how flipping rude are some people?!

babyfirefly1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:13:32

I've never experienced this thank god!
But can't get over some of the stories on here, some people are just plain awful.

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 14:09:08

Oh, don't get me wrong. I didn't expect to be given a party bag or food - Pfft was for the glare and the 'I SUPPOSE DS2 can come' in a very disgruntled manner. They were the options - both children or no children - especially given that SHE didn't want children dropped - she was unimpressed with either option.

Seriously, some parents want EVERYTHING their way. All invited children to attend the party unless you can come up with a damn good reason (can't have their DC looking unpopular), parents to stay with children (superivising invited children? Oh no, we don't want to do that), no siblings allowed (in a great big hall that was half empty). JUST DOESN'T WORK FOR EVERYONE!!!!

So it's not just the parents of invited children that can be a PITA. The parents of the party child can be huge PITAs.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 05-Mar-13 14:22:14

YANBU. It has happened to me too many times.
Even worse are the parents who never RSVP and just turn up!
I've never had my numbers right yet!

tiggytape Tue 05-Mar-13 14:25:58

The parents of the party child can be huge PITAs.

So don't go then. Generally if you are invited to a party that requires you to stay and supervise but you have other children and no childcare, then surely you just decline the invite not creat a big fuss about what a PITA it is.

If the party mum wants people to stay to supervise but is not keen on younger / older siblings running round then she'll either have to put up with a few less people attending or be flexible on siblings - that's up to her.

If people ask for a sibling to be able to come (and make it clear that they don't expect party bags and they'll supervise them so they won't spoil it for the older / younger children already there) then that's fair enough but I don't think you can assume people must accept children they haven't invited. It is up to them whether they want to or not and it is rude to have a 'its no skin off their nose' attitude about it.

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 14:46:25

I don't think you can assume people must accept children they haven't invited

But when you're in a small village, where you know EVERYONE in the school, you know all the siblings (names and rough ages), and when all the other village hall parties have been more than welcoming of siblings - then it is not unreasonable to ask if it would be ok, as otherwise the invited child wouldn't be able to come. I would have been quite happy with a 'no, we're limited with numbers'. Almost all of the other mums would have been upset if I had turned down an invitation to DS1 because I didn't have someone to look after DS2.

And its certainly not reasonable to have your head bitten off for daring to ask, and then to be lecture on my childcare options (I kid you not!). Trust me, she was a PITA. We did end up going without DS2 as DH's trip didn't eventuate and DS1 really did want to go.

When DH was outside with DS2 waiting for the party to finish and walk us home (hall next to the playground and party running over time) she then smiled really sweetly and said 'Oh why doesn't DS2 come in, there's plenty of room and cake'...... hmm

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 14:47:49

And no, DS2 did NOT go in.....

tiggytape Tue 05-Mar-13 14:57:00

Fair enough DIY - she was rude to you and that's not on.

But a party invite is an invite not a summons.
If the host makes 'unreasonable' demands on guests to the extent that she knows half of them won't be able to go, that's her problem. As a guest, the polite thing to do is roll your eyes, ring up and say 'I'm sorry I'm on my own with the kids that day so I won't be able to get DS1 there' (and see if she jumps in and says it is O.K to bring DS2).
It isn't polite to ask if siblings can go when the no siblings thing has already been flagged.

Like the child-free wedding threads (hope I'm not openeing a can of worms here). Nobody would argue there are some true Bridezillas out there - but the person who does the inviting calls the shots.
The polite thing to do is to decline. What isn't acceptable is to ring up the bride and tell her that the DCs will be no bother, won't eat much and anyway what kind of a miserable day is she going to be hosting because doesn't she know weddings are family affairs...

lesmisfan Tue 05-Mar-13 16:50:39

Of course YANBU and it was an 8th birthday party. Why on earth did the parents all stay?

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 18:25:20

But in this case the no sibling thing hadn't been flagged. Once it was flagged, no problem. There have been some parties that the invite flagged 'no siblings' and if I couldn't have taken DS1 and left DS2 with someone then he either wouldn't have gone, or would go with someone else, and other parties were a sibling could come but you pay for them yourself and get their own food.

But tbh going with someone else is a new thing, as he really is only old enough and confident enough to do so now - 5 turning 6, loud noises can stress him, he's usually easygoing but won't stick up for himself and there is one particular child that we have bullying issues with so a lack of supervision would be an issue for me (this clearly would not be a standard issue for most children, but I can imagine the lack of confidence one would be quite common in 4 - 5 year olds). The last party was a disco party, and if I couldn't attend that with DS1 he DEFINITELY would not have gone, because the noise completely freaked him out, and it was very crowded. He took a good 40 odd minutes to settle into the party, and if I hadn't been there I doubt he would have settled in at all.

My point is I don't think asking whether a sibling could attend is always rude - as some people are saying. If it is a fairly close knit group, where you also know the siblings (and know what they are like) I think it is quite acceptable to ask (but not insist!). I know I, and most of the other parents at our school, would prefer to have siblings attend rather than the invitee not attend - especially younger ones or the ones just a year older and still at the school as we all know the children! I guess in a larger school where you wouldn't necessarily know the parent or the sibling all that well (or at all) it would be quite rude.

Gingerodgers Tue 05-Mar-13 18:50:01

If I said sibs ok, they would get a party bag! I am astounded at the amount of people who say they don't expect one for sibs. In fact most party's we have gone to ,( drop, not stay) a party bag is provided for sibs anyway.

Kiriwawa Tue 05-Mar-13 19:36:26

DIY - your posts are terrifying me. I've invited a specific number of children over this weekend for a bear-making party. I have enough kits for the number of children who have been invited and no extras.

I don't care if you don't have childcare for your other children - bluntly, it's not my problem. At 5/6, I am expecting/hoping everyone will leave their children. I don't have the room/time to entertain a load of adults and siblings.

I do know all the invitees and their parents fairly well so I hope the parents leave. God I really hope they do or I will feel like I'm in an OFSTED observation situation ...

Bunbaker Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:23

" I am astounded at the amount of people who say they don't expect one for sibs." I'm not. At a class party at a soft play that could potentially double the number of party bags. I admit that I have been astonished at the number of parents who have assumed that siblings are automatically invited to parties. I wonder if some of the problems haven't come from the birthday parent not being able to be firm about no siblings.

I don't care if you don't have childcare for your other children - bluntly, it's not my problem

Personally, I would go out of my way to help someone whose child would not be able to attend due to childcare problems.

tiggytape Tue 05-Mar-13 20:04:50

That's nice of you DragonofSoup. But some parents won't want to do that.

....because the party is a bear-making, numbers limited one and they've no extra stuff or because half the invited children have younger siblings who will want to stay too or because other cheeky parents will also plead no childcare to go off shopping child-free for 2 hours, or because they don't want to babysit much older or much younger children who will spoil what they've got planned....

If someone offers though, that is lovely.

Kiriwawa Tue 05-Mar-13 20:15:12

I'm a working single patent, NotaDragon with no relatives living nearby so childcare is a constant issue in my life. But that's my issue, not anyone else's. It's just a fact of life and it applies to my down time as well as working.

And at 5/6 I wouldn't expect parents/siblings to stay because that's year 1 and year 1 NT children should be able to be left without parental supervision.

There are some parties where it's appropriate to take a sibling (group party at a soft play where parents pay) and some not (small party at someone's home where a specific theme is mentioned which hopefully indicates that it's unsuitable for siblings). I haven't even bought party bags because the bears are the take home gift although I could probably cobble together a load of tat from previous parties if necessary.

Kiriwawa Tue 05-Mar-13 20:19:03

Oh and if one of his friends said 'X would love to come but I've got no care for Y and X is absolutely terrified of you and won't be in your house unless I'm there' then of course i would say that they could stay with Y. But actually Y will be bloody miserable while everyone is stuffing bears.

And no one has asked anyway so I don't know why I'm getting anxious. <fret>

DIYapprentice Tue 05-Mar-13 21:25:19

Kiriwawa - a bear making party is very different to a village hall party. As you said, the activity is number specific. I can't imagine you having 25 children running out of control there, can you? A smaller, controllable number, with a set activity is very different, and as you say, most children will be happy being there.

We've just handed out invites for DS1's 6th party, with the option for parents to go with their DC or to drop off. So far, all the parents are indicating that they would like to go. (Actually in this case, as there's planes involved, I suspect we'll have a few dads there!!! grin)

Rowgtfc72 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:45:58

Worried now ! Its dds 6th birthday party in a hall on Sunday. Have enough party bags for the twenty four invited children (shame only 14 of them have bothered to reply to invites that went out on the 15th Feb and the reminders that went out last week ).I assumed parents of 5/6 year olds would drop and run, not so sure now. I never even considered siblings ! But it has prompted me to label party bags and find out what the child with allergies can and cant eat.

Yes, be afraid. Be very afraid. grin Labeling party bags is definatly a good idea. That would've saved me some bother. Also assume parents will stay. They usually do, from my experience.

Good luck. grin

KristinaM Wed 06-Mar-13 13:50:28

Once I arranged a theatre trip for my Dds 10thbirthday.one mum asked if she coudl come too as her child was shy ( they had all been friends in the same class for 5 years [ hmm] ). So I asked her if she could take another 3 children in her car, to save my SIl having to come along too ( Dh was at home with baby and toddler ) . Also she could have my SILs ticket as I couldn't get an extra ticket near where we were siting in the theatre. Fair enough

About half an hour into the performance the mum whispered to me that her DD wasn't enjoying the show so they were going home. And they promptly departed, leaving me with 8 children and no way to get them home in my 5 seated car . I couldn't even get Dh to drive into town and get us as the children wouldn't fit in his car with a baby and toddler seat.

DeskPlanner Wed 06-Mar-13 13:56:04

Yes, labelling is a good idea. Parties are so stressful.

DeskPlanner Wed 06-Mar-13 13:58:49

Kristina What did you do ? That woman was so rude.

lia66 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:10:26

I took dd (5, yr 1) to a bear making party at a house last weekend. I left dh at home with dd (7) and sleeping toddler. Dh asked me if I could just take dd (7) with me as she'll be bored at home with noone to play with shock . I said absolutely no way, even if it wasn't in the child's house, still bad manners.

expatinscotland Wed 06-Mar-13 14:30:39

What a cow she was, Kristina!

KristinaM Wed 06-Mar-13 14:45:17

I had to phone another of the mums to come and collect us. I thought about walking them all to the station about 2miles away and coming back the next day for my car. but it was a freezing January evening and they were dressed in party type clothes.

Apparently the mum who left was quite aggrieved that I hadnt phoned her up later to see how her Dd was . Clearly the mum didn't think she had done anything wrong ...

Which is kind of a theme on this thread, isn't it? Parents who fancy a child free aftrenoon and can't see why their little darling will make any difference when you have 20 others. Parents who assume you will pay for their child , buy food and prepare a party bag on the off chance that they are free that aftrenoon. Families who assume that you will be happy to provide an afternoons entertainment for them all,rather than just the child you invited.

Sigh

Rowgtfc72 Wed 06-Mar-13 17:54:29

mummy loves lucy-thanks for that.Have passed parents today who still havent replied and I cant be bothered to chase them up now ! By the way Dd is a Lucy !

Kiriwawa Wed 06-Mar-13 18:05:01

lia66 - I was almost too scared to read your post but it's actually very heartening. I don't know why I'm getting so anxious - I've been to loads of parties with the same group of kids and no one ever insists their siblings get a party bag or any other kind of abhorrent behaviour so they're unlikely to suddenly go all partyzilla on me.

Kristina - I am absolutely speechless at that. WTF is wrong with some people?!

lia66 Wed 06-Mar-13 18:14:29

I was surprised he thought it was ok.
The woman at the theatre though, just wow shock

Nanny0gg Wed 06-Mar-13 18:21:06

Anyone else hoping that some of these entitled parents are on MN?

stormforce10 Wed 06-Mar-13 18:28:53

I popped back onto this thread specially to tell you my horror story about dds 4th birthday party at a soft play area. The vast majoirity of parents stayed and there were a few siblings whos parents paid for them. I had extra party bags so for the younger ones I did give them one.

However one mum was there with her 3 year old at the entrance when I arrived and immediately said thanks for having them I'll see you later. Before I had chance to draw breath she'd gone leaving me with 3 year old. I didn't even register the them. I took 3 year old inside with us and after about 10 mintues she burst into tears and started asking where her sister was. Finally managed to calm her down enough to find her mum had sent her sister to the toilet just before we arrived and we located weeping 6 year old outside toilets.

I've still get the rage and panic thinking about it. FFS I was left with a child I'd never laid eyes on and didn't even know I was responsible for.

angry

Oh and then there was the mother who dropped her 4 year old at dd's 5 birthday and phoned about an hour after the party started to tell me "by the way X is allergic to eggs in all forms and she's vegeterian" Sadly by the time I noticed I had an answer machine message X had just guzzled a ham sandiwich and a big slice of cake. I just told her mum when she turned up that her message had come to late so X may have a problem with the eggs in the cake I didn't dare mention the ham sandwich

NeverWinsMNComps Wed 06-Mar-13 18:48:54

I'm on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum. Every bugger and their neighbor's cousin gets invited in, fed cake/wine (as appropriate), roped into playing ridiculous, and messy party games, photographed and embarrassed on facebook where possible. As long as everybody plays nicely, they're welcome. Parents tend to stay because it's a laugh, although they may end up fishing rainbow drops out of their cleavage for hours afterwards. I'd be really sad if somebody didn't come because their sibling didn't have childcare. But horses for courses, and all that...

chipmonkey Wed 06-Mar-13 19:10:28

Oh, by now, I 'm resigned to the fact that people will:
1/ Not RSVP and not turn up
2/ Not RSVP and still turn up
3/ Bring siblings who weren't invited
I always do extra party bags, and most of the time, the extra ones get used up.

digerd Wed 06-Mar-13 19:25:39

Wondering what these awful people do when they invite children round to their house for a party. Bet it's double standards for them.

Thumbwitch Wed 06-Mar-13 21:04:48

Kristina - I am utterly disgusted with the self-centredness of that mum! How awful for you and the other children, and thank goodness another mum was able to come and help you out.

stormforce - argh! That woman couldn't have cared less about her 2 DC, obviously! angry What a thing to do to them!

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