13 Yeard old birthday party - advice needed

(12 Posts)
Katylou1234 Wed 09-Apr-14 14:25:52

Hi there. Just wondered if any of you could help me. My dd turns 13 in May and would like to have some kind of party. So far everything I have suggested has been fobbed off as " not what people do" e.g bowling etc. She is desperate for a sleepover with all her friends but only has a tiny room and she has two younger siblings aged 6 and 3 who share the other room. I really don't want a house full of 13 year old girls ( some of whom I don't know at all as she didn't go to primary school with them) and dd tells me that parents do not talk to friends at sleepovers and that they just sit up all night in the bedroom eating and talking and so on. I am happy for her to have one girl sleepover but she says that I am being unfair!
The only other thing she seems half sold on is the idea of a meal out with a selection of her friends ( I am thinking 6 to 8 max!!) at a restaurant so they can all get dressed up. However when I suggested me and her dad stay and have a meal at the same place eg Frankie & bennies or somewhere, but sit at a different table etc, she said the usual " no ones parents do that mum" . Am I in the dark ages here? Should I just arrange for them to be dropped off and picked up at a certain time? I have several issues - I would prefer to see what they are up to , not that I don't trust her, but the though tof them all taking endless selfies in the toilets and so on when others are out for a nice meal isn't great!! Also the money issue, if we are paying I would feel better knowing what was being ordered and be there to pay at the end, and also im not sure what dds friends parents would think about a group of them being left alone ina restaurant on an evening unsupervised? Help would be greatly appreciated!!

midnightagents Wed 09-Apr-14 15:50:17

Its up to you really. I would say either the meal-and you arrange it for early mabe 5;30-8 or something like that? You could book the table, drop them off and bring them back and it would still be light. Maybe go for somewhere you know isnt a rough area, isnt near many pubs etc (not that they would be likely to get in!). I dont really see the issue with the selfies tbh, thats what girls do at that age, might seem a bit sad but its what they do, no real harm in it. Its a tough age to get the balance right but i think what your dd is saying sounds fair. Kids get really embarrassed about parents at this age. As long as they are safe no need to have your presence felt more than neccessary.

Katylou1234 Wed 09-Apr-14 16:16:29

Thanks for taking the time to respond, yes I think that might be an idea to do it earlier.

One of the other concerns is that only dh drives and we only have a small car, so ferrying all the girls their and back again will have to be down to their own parents ( i don't see this as an issue as you would normally have to drop off and pick up your chid from any other party) .The restaurant is in a retail park / cinema complex kind of place It was more about whether the other parents will be happy leaving them at a restaurant unsupervised, and what about if they finish eating earlier than agreed and so on.

Also about the paying / money thing, what is the norm in this area? Do I just let them order what they want ( dd assures me they are all sensible) and pick up the tab and pay at the end? or just give the cash to dd to pay (??) and hope they haven't gone too mad! DD is forever losing everything and whilst I can trust her with £20 to go shopping with her pals - more than that might be asking for trouble!!
And as for the selfies thing- yes I know that's what they all do, and I am ok with that I suppose I was just thinking from a courtesy to other diners perspective - not sure what the people sat at the next table will think sat next to a bunch of 13 year olds with their phones permenantly attached lol!!

Reasontobelieve Wed 09-Apr-14 20:12:35

My dd has just turned 13. We went through a long discussion about her birthday and we did discuss her taking a group of friends to a restaurant - but through her own choice, she invited then to our house.

Had we gone for the restaurant idea, we would have arranged it for lunch time or early afternoon. I would have gone into the restaurant with the. and would have set down some guidelines about what they could order. I wouldn't have stayed in the restaurant, but would have been somewhere nearby. I then would have returned at an agreed time to,pay the bill. I let my dd do something like this with two friends when she was in Y6. I remember that it worked very well.

Having said all this, I do feel that you have to gauge whether this would work by their level of maturity, as well as that of their friends. My dd and her friends are used to going out on their own and sometimes go to Nandos or similar when they are out. The restaurant wouldn't therefore be a novelty. I also wouldn't have let them go for the meal any later, as I feel that as it gets towards the evening, there may be less of a family atmosphere in the type of restaurant you might choose.

TeenAndTween Wed 09-Apr-14 20:56:56

If I were doing this, then I would definitely give the girls guidelines / rules on what they could order
- e.g. any main up to £10, any dessert up to £6, 2 soft drinks each.
I would also speak to the restaurant and tell them I would not pay for any extravagances that they let them order.

How about a Chinese with a fixed price buffet option?

At 13 I think I would want to be eating at the other side of the restaurant, not near enough to cramp their style, but near enough to intervene if behaviour got loud.

How about
- ice skating
- laser quest
- go ape
- donnutting at a ski centre
- karting (pricey I think)

HolidayCriminal Wed 09-Apr-14 21:06:38

Dd will be 13 in October. She is adamant that she wants a disco party with a chocolate fountain. She has picked out the venue, too (a community centre affiliated with the main town church).

My sons at 12 & 13 regularly go out for dinner or lunch with friends smile

The either go to a chinese buffet or to places with fixed price menus Think Frankie & Bennies/Nandos only independent and nicer!

Mostly they all just take their own money and the bill is easy as they all pay the same. When it's been a birthday, I go in at the beginning and pay for the meal and One large soft drink each and I give Birthday child enough cash to buy another drink each if required.

They go early so as not to disturb people going for a quiet meal. 've never had any issues with them fed back and restaurant have always been happy to have them back.

If you want to do the sleepover instead, I think standard practice is to give them the livingroom with sleeping bags, give them snacks, a couple of dvds and order in pizza and leave them to it.

Katylou1234 Wed 09-Apr-14 22:05:10

Thanks ever so much for all the advice everyone. Love this site! ( only discovered it this morning when searching about teenage party ideas on google!)

I think after talking to her again this evening, she wants to opt for just a day shopping with a group of friends and maybe just have a couple of friends sleepover and get pizzas etc which makes things much easier!! And her reason behind all this is that she is friends with lots of individuals from different groups at school and she thinks they might not all get on that well together as they are not all in the same friendship groups at school. Shopping is that bit more casual!

Now onto the next world event... non uniform day on Friday grin
Loved reading some of the posts on here- so glad Im not the only one having dramas- dread to think what 15 is going to be like shes not 13 for another month!!
Thanks everyone !!

momb Wed 09-Apr-14 22:08:23

For my EDs 13th they met at the cinema (parents dropping off). I paid for their tickets and stood with DD until they were assembled. They saw the film and then walked over to Frankie and Benny's (I'd booked a table) and ordered from the junior menu (technically 12 and under but several were under 13 at that point and I OK'd it with the restaurant). One girl was difficult about his but I did tell them that if they wanted to order extra fries/garlic bread to share that was OK. (They didn't actually do this in the end)
F+B's were fab and really helpful: they encouraged them to order the same dessert and made it into a giant sharing pudding with sparklers for them all to dig in. I turned up to pay the bill and ferry home any who weren't being collected by parents.
For her 14th they went to a chinese at lunchtime for a set meal and I paid the bill and took them on to an activity(spy mission) for a couple of hours. The food bill for 6 of them was less than £35, so we went via a supermarket and a tray of doughnuts.
They need to be independent at this age and yet still need a little help. Don't stay around, but be close by to pick up the tab/deal with emergencies.
My dd regularly eats out with friends/on dates, but most of her friends hadn't (I was surprised).

Madmog Thu 10-Apr-14 10:19:34

If you're eating out, then you'll probably find some parents will be happy to drop off/collect the other girls. My daughter was invited to a bowling party 10 miles away and we took her and another girl and the other girl's dad collected them.

With regards to cost, you could tell them everyone has a limit of £10, £15 or whatever you've got in mind.

You could always say she can only have six for the meal, but as a compromise (and as you knew she'd like a sleepover) one of the girls can come back after for that. It's totally acceptable to point out there are younger children in the house and they will need to quieten down around 11pm - you may find a bit of whispering going on though.

With regards to being with them, I personally would want to be around to make sure everyone was okay and they weren't getting too loud/silly, so perhaps you could have a table a few tables away where you can see what's going on but they have their own space. I've met most of my daughter's new friends and I have to say they are all really polite, socialable and respectful when we're around.

survivingthechildren Thu 10-Apr-14 12:02:37

What about a mall scavenger hunt? Friends of our did that for their DD's bday. Was an absolute hit, her friends all had scavenger hunt parties for the next few months! All you have to do is park in a cafe with a brew for a couple of hours.

I think big sleepover is out given your house situation - they won't be quiet, I'll tell you now!

mygrandchildrenrock Thu 10-Apr-14 22:17:06

My youngest DD was 13 recently and had 7 friends round for the afternoon. They wanted their nails done but we live in a rural location and the local beauty place couldn't physically fit 8 girls into their salon. Instead, the nail lady came round to our house and took about 2 hrs to do all the girls nails, they sat round the circular dining table and talked non-stop for the 2 hrs! It was so noisy, they all talked at the same time about different things! The nail lady cost £50.00 which I thought was reasonable.
We then went out for afternoon tea at a lovely tea room in the village. The DD and friends sat at one table and me, DH and DS sat away from them.
Everyone had fun, but maybe out in the sticks they don't mind their parents hanging around!

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