Child's birthday party, uninvited plus 1s and limited resources...(22 Posts)
I'm after some good advice:
DDs birthday party is on Saturday. She has requested a small party at home and picked a small group of 8 friends. As it is such a manageable number we've gone to town on planning stuff to do which is a bit special and requiring a bit of adult help and supervision. And specialist kit, ordered weeks ago at some expense. Whereas I have got enough stuff for all the original invitees, including someone who hasn't yet RSVPd ( fine by me ), what I hadn't accounted for was the 2 younger siblings of the other guests who, it seems, are also planning on tagging along. Each invite named one of DD's friends, no mention of siblings. They're not babies, just in the year below at school, so will definitely expect to participate in the activites we are doing. But as I said, I just haven't ordered enough equipment for any extras, and there is no way I can lay my hands on extra kits before Saturday. Whereas I haven't actually had official confirmation of the two siblings coming along (their RSVPs went something like: "Yes, please!" and "Great, see you on the 28th!"), I trust my sources: DD's friend telling DD her sister is so excited about coming, and another mum mentioning how she's looking forward to catching up with X's mum and "her two" at the party.
What's the wise thing to do? Do I scrap DDs chosen activity?? Do I ring their parents to explain that I can't go over numbers this year? Do I wait to see if they actually turn up? Just not sure.
Are parents meant to stay and join in? If so, I think most would expect that to include siblings. But unless the invitation specifically asked parents to stay, it seems a bit odd for them to expect to stay at an 8 year old's party though perhaps that's the done thing nowadays, it is almost twenty years since my eighth birthday party!
It would probably be easier to explain beforehand rather than trying to turn people away at the door and feeling guilt-tripped by over excited children. I'm not sure what the best way to do that would be when you do not actually know for certain that they are expecting siblings to stay.
Perhaps you could send round a general message to all the parents, e.g. DD is really looking forward to her party. Now that the children are older, we won't need parents to stay. Please collect the children at 4pm.
You could always invite parents and siblings to join you all for cake at the end.
Don't send something asking parents not to stay; you'll just get siblings and guests dropped off together and be responsible for all of them!
Be straightforwards and let parents know the invitation is for the invited child only, and that you will not have activity stuff for other children.
One of my DDs friends mums actually writes on her invitations now:" Drop off at ....time , pick up at ....time."
Makes it really clear you are not expected to stay!
Its a bit late for you this time round unfortunately.
I agree with Leslie that it would be easier to explain beforehand rather than have to deal with it on the day. Do you see the parents at all? can you start talking about the party, giving them details of the special kits you ordered, maybe something about how you were stressed they weren't going to arrive on time as you had to order them and doing this activity is going to take up the whole of the party and hope they get the hint. You could even add something about how you are sure that their DC will be excited to show them when they come to collect them after the party.
Then also do Leslie's message to all parents to make doubly sure they get the hint!
Why do parents think it's acceptable to bring a child to a party that they haven't been invited to?
Natty that hadn't even occurred to me. Good point though, they may be completely shameless and just dump them both!
You could perhaps instead say something about just checking to remind everyone that only invited children can come.
I wouldn't go into any detail about kits. You don't need an excuse to refuse uninvited guests. It also gives them the opportunity to offer "solutions" - e.g. sharing kits, younger ones doing a different activity, them trying to source a kit...
Even if I was expected to stay and join in, I would never expect it meant siblings were invited too unless their names were on the invite
The invited one would go with me and the siblings would stay with dp.
I'd give her a ring and heads up re the activity tbh as it's not a case that the two siblings will replace absentees as you only have ONE unconfirmed anyway, not two, and they may well still show up.
I would act surprised when the uninvited guest turns up. In fact, I wouldn't have to act, I'd be so shocked at the cheek of it But if they turn up expecting to stay, I'd just say to the parents 'oh, when you and <insert younger child's name> come back to pick up <older child> I'll make sure to have a piece of birthday cake ready for <younger child>. It's hard at that age isn't it, when they see someone else going to a party?' If you act as if it is completely out of the question for them to stay then the parent will have to ask outright and most people aren't actually brave enough to do that...
I am amazed that people are cheeky enough to bring siblings to a party when they weren't invited. In my opinion the only time it's acceptable to bring a sibling is when the party is in a soft-play place and the parent can then pay separately for the sibling. Even then, sibling shouldn't expect to be treated as part of the party, have party food etc.
How old is DD? Can you tell her to tell her friends that it's just them that's invited, not brothers/sisters? Otherwise speak to parents, just say that your DD mentioned that Xs brother/sister is coming, sorry but can only cater for those actually invited.
I think its so bloody cheeky. When i was growing up if me or one of my siblings got invited to a party that person went. End of.
I would be annoyed too. Could you text saying X is really looking forward to the party. Just a reminder that drop
Off is at X and collection at X?
sometimes siblings go because they have nowhere else to go, but they do not eat, use stuff they are not supposed to or get a party bag. and generally the host is asked if it is ok to sit with them at the venue in or outside the party. or pay to go in yourself if it is an open session. by 8 it should not be an issue. different when they had just turned four in reception.
I would just say there is not the stuff for them
Perhaps get something else in for the siblings and mums to do while the invitees are doing the kit?
At my daughters party i left out bubbles, sidewalk chalks, coloring pages and crayons, all from the pound shop. I left out drinks and snacks for the mums and siblings to help themselves to. It was fine, everyone had loads of fun.
Thanks everyone! I'm not expecting any adults to stay and help, I'll manage the activity just fine. I think I might do the "casual mentioning" to the two mums whose younger siblings want to join us. Annoying as it's not my pick-up afternoon at school, but I'll need to drag myself along if I'm to catch them Thanks again!
No, don't bloody let them stay. Your DD has got to be at least in year one so there is no need for parents or siblings to stay.
Send a text saying 'Emma* is really looking forward to seeing Charlotte* at her party on Saturday. It would be great if you could drop Charlotte* off at 2pm and collect her between 4 and 4.15 as we've got lots of fun things planned!'
* Emma being your DD and Charlotte the named other invitee.
Then you are absolutely clear about no siblings/parents.
I'd just do the planned activity.
It really irritates me when parents assume that because ONE of their children are invited to a party they can bring all of them. The last party my DS had was a pay per guest party, and our small guest list of 10 had 3 siblings turn up on the day - so an extra £45 for random children my DS didn't even know.
If the parents arent staying then i think you are right just to have a quick word with the parents and let them know.
How about getting one of those craft bags from the works/asda for a fiver, some glue and paper. Set up a 'brothers and sisters' table and you're done. It might save the stress and awkwardness?
Hm, a "younger sisters' table"... Might line one of those up in case I lose my nerve in the playground... And a preemptive text is sage advice.
Best to be direct here. You've done nothing awkward or rude so you don't need to hint about anything. Some of the parents are expecting a more casual arrangement... and they are wrong. Ah well. Best give them a call and explain that you've heard they might be sending siblings but you've only got provisions for the invited children.
Do you have mobile numbers for all invited children's parents? Send a message saying "we've got a fun activity lined up for the invited children but this means that we can't accommodate siblings attending. Please collect your child named on the invite at 4pm" so it's clear no siblings can attend.
If you're stuck, write it on a sign and stick it to your front door as back up for when they drop off. Block the door when you open it and only let the invited child through.
I hope the party went well OP, whatever you decided to do in the end
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.