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To ask what age you leave children at birthday party's ?

(48 Posts)
whereiswally Sat 11-Jun-11 22:50:46

Just read another thread on here about mums staying when they shouldn't at parties. I totally understand where the op was coming from.

Then it dawned on me, dd has a party to go to tomorrow at a soft play area and it's a third birthday party my dd is 3 also. I was expecting to stay there as surely it would be too much to look after so many young children at soft play with only a few adults?
But now I am wandering would I be expected to leave?
I don't really feel comfortable leaving her there. I don't know anyone to ask (who is going) as the invite was left in dd tray at pre-school.

Aibu to expect to stay for the party?

Alambil Sat 11-Jun-11 22:53:45

DS was 6/nearly 7 when he stayed at his first birthday parties - I would just take a book and take a seat in the cafe if the soft play has one if they look funny at you staying, but as the party-parent, I'd expect people to stay at 3yo!

worraliberty Sat 11-Jun-11 22:53:47

I think the parents would be put out if you left!

Normally IME, soft play parties are ok for parents to stay at because they're a public building and only the party room is subject to certain numbers.

I used to stay, but when it came to the party room bit...just sit outside and tell my child where I was.

whereiswally Sat 11-Jun-11 22:53:50

Think title should say parties. I know there are some people out there very hot on gramma/spelling but I'm shit at it tbh, clearly from my posts!! Hope it's not too annoying grin

elphabadefiesgravity Sat 11-Jun-11 22:53:56

You generally leave them once they have started school so from age 4/5 onwards.

However we live quite a distance from some of the children at the dc's school so sometimes it is not feasible to leave them, go home and come back again. There are quite a few parents who stay in that case.

whereiswally Sat 11-Jun-11 22:55:42

Oh that's a relief then just had a moment of 'oh crap' maybe Im expected to just drop her off. Thanks for replies.

halcyondays Sat 11-Jun-11 22:58:12

At 3 in a big soft play I would hope and expect that parents would stay. As you say there would be too many to supervise if everyone left. I can't see why staying would be a problem at a soft play at any age as it's a public space and not someone's house.

sazm Sat 11-Jun-11 23:03:53

i was at a party last week for a 5yo,he is still at playgroup and invited all the kids (ranging from 2.9yo to 5yo) i stayed with my dd (5yo) as she asked me to,there was only one other mother who stayed (her ds has special needs) there was one little boy who spent the whole time crying and said he was tired,he was totally miserable,his mum dropped him off,and left swiftly,and didnt even leave a contact number,she came back 3 hours later to collect him,and when we said he had cried the whole time she said ' oh i wasn't sure if he would settle' couldnt believe it!
if i was leaving my child of any age i would leave my mobile number,and i would only leave a school age child.

SE13Mummy Sat 11-Jun-11 23:12:00

DD1 begged to be left at the parties of particular friends when she was 3! They were parties in a friend's home/garden though and so she knew the parents well (I did always check that they didn't mind me leaving her). She's always been pretty independent and was also keen that I leave her for softplay parties too... whether or not I did depended entirely upon the parents of the party child; if they wanted me to stay, whether to be useful or just to be in the cafe/whatever then I did that. Equally, if the reply was, "I've got your number, she'll be fine, go and enjoy the peace and quiet" then I did that.

When DD1 has parties (she's now 6) I make sure I have a contact number for parents 'just in case'.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 23:15:17

I think at 3 you would be expected to stay. Although I had 5 unexpected grown ups today at a 6 yo's party which was a little awkward, at 3 I would have expected it and catered accordingly. We had soft play when my dd was 4, and many of the parents stayed - mainly in the cafe and I had their numbers just in case

sazm Sat 11-Jun-11 23:16:34

i would DEF expect people to leave a contact number regardless of the age of the child,you never know when an accident will happen smile

squeakytoy Sat 11-Jun-11 23:17:52

I think parties in the friends home are fine to leave them at any age if the parents are happy with that, but if it is in a public place like soft play, just as easy to go have a coffee and watch from a distance.

jellybeans Sat 11-Jun-11 23:18:23

I left my girls about 5 but with my older boys they were about 7 before I left them. I stayed otherwise as did about half the other parents. But my boys had speech and language and other issues and were delayed till about 6. One of them also had a bad accident at a friends. My youngest is 2 and I won't be leaving him till I feel right, at least school age. I would turn down the invite if I couldn't stay and didn't feel right.

IMO 3 is far too young. Many a time at parties, I have had to comfort someone else's child or kids have wandered off while not being watched properly. Alot of parents are too busy doing the food etc.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 11-Jun-11 23:22:26

Where des this "You're expected to leave them at 4 or 5" come from??? I only just leave my DD who is 6....I have always been assured that parents are welcome....why dont people want parents to stay? 5 is very little.....no all kids are happy in loud environments and get nervy or unhappy without their parent.

I think it's bizarre tbh...getting pissed off because a parent wants to stay with their child in a home they do not know!

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 23:27:32

mumblingragdoll - maybe they aren't pissed off, but would like to know in advance as numbers can matter if there are space issues - as I found out to my cost today. Not everyone has space for lots of extra people so I think you really should let the parents know if there is a chance you might need to stay

MumblingRagDoll Sat 11-Jun-11 23:29:28

Yes...I suppose that's odd. They could call and ask beforehand. But some people do assume...because 5 and 6 is still young and they're jst not comfortable leaving such little ones in the home of a stranger.

CocktailQueen Sat 11-Jun-11 23:32:04

I didn't leave dd at parties by herself till school age - 5 at least - but have just left ds at a party by himself and he's just turned 4 (but then, his sister and her friends were all at it). but at 3 I'd expect all parents to stay, esp at soft play where there is no space restriction. And I still get mobile numbers for parties and dd is 7.

shock at sazm's story! some parents!!

wudu Sat 11-Jun-11 23:38:32

I would say, as a general rule of thumb, not before the child is in full-time school (so 4/5yo).

After that I guess it's how long is a piece of string?

My eldest wouldn't be left till she was around 7 (very shy child)
My second was happy to be left at 4 with adults that she knew. 5/6 if she didn't know them very well.

inchoccyheaven Sat 11-Jun-11 23:44:36

I would say when the child is ready to be left which of course will vary from child to child.

in3minds Sat 11-Jun-11 23:46:22

MumblingRagDoll - I assumed in the opposite direction today (i.e. assumed no parents would be staying). I am now completely embarrassed as I didn't cater for the parents at all and couldn't even talk to them as I was too busy..honestly, a bit of a heads up would be appreciated I'm sure if someone thinks they might stay

jellybeans Sat 11-Jun-11 23:55:11

If I did stay, I wouldn't expect to be catered for, that is the exception I have found. I know how stressful parties are and would expect the parents to be busy enough with that. I wouldn't worry, the parents won't care as long as their child enjoyed the party. I never have parties at home. Mainly as we have little room and also because of mess etc and as we couldn't fit a load of kids and parents in. If it is soft play etc. it doesn't matter, although I have bought them all a coffee before now and felt I should. But obviously it bumps the price up.

Tarenath Sun 12-Jun-11 08:52:24

I've been wondering this. DS has been invited to a party at a softplay centre. He is 4 and a bit, and most of the other children there will be age 5/6. I was planning on staying, partly to offer help, and partly to keep an eye on ds. He would be fine with me leaving him but he has a habit of getting distracted at soft play and not making it to the bathroom in time and I wouldn't want to lump that on the staff/host family.

jubilee10 Sun 12-Jun-11 09:11:55

I left ds3 (almost 5) at a party last week because he wanted me to. It was in the childs home and although I didn't know the parents well I felt comfortable with them. There were parents of older children who stayed. This is the first time he has stayed alone although at a soft play party recently his brother (13) stayed to keep an eye on him.

pigletmania Sun 12-Jun-11 09:16:18

At 3 years parent usually stay, well the parties that dd has been they have, even 4th birthday parties. At about 5/6 (not incl SN) than they can be left alone me thinks!

nagynolonger Sun 12-Jun-11 09:25:30

I left mine at 5 or 6 depending on the child. I think they need to know most of the DC and you need to feel OK about the parents.

I would never leave a 3 yearold unless it was a family only do ie GP, aunts uncles and cousins.......and they were OK with me going.

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