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To not understand parents at children's parties?

(69 Posts)
cantreachmytoes Tue 18-Jun-13 08:39:42

I've seen on Mumsnet that at school age children's parties there are often parents turning up with uninvited siblings because of childcare issues. My DS is 20 months, so I'm not there yet, but if a child can spend all day at school, why would parents need to stay because of childcare issues? Surely it's up to the organising parents to ensure they feel comfortable with the adult:child ratio (asking their friends to help out if necessary)?

I don't recall my brother ever coming to a party I was invited to, with my mother, a single parent, unless the hosts were good family friends and wanted my mother there to help out and/or my brother there as he was friends with the birthday girl's little brother (and this was usually reciprocated when one of us had a birthday).

Is it unreasonable these days to drop off and pick up, or will I be expected to hang around, with DH looking after the other child (or vice versa)?

I'm not talking about SN children.

Shesparkles Tue 18-Jun-13 08:41:59

It's never happened at any of my children's parties or any they've been to, and with them being 15 and 11 I think I can call myself an old hand!

ParadiseChick Tue 18-Jun-13 08:43:07

It's not the norm here. From pre school on ward you dump and run, leaving a phone number and enjoy a couple of hours peace. I sometimes ask if they need a hand whilst backing out the door! If I'm organising a part I make sure I have enough helpers.

Pagwatch Tue 18-Jun-13 08:44:54

Mine are 20,16 and 10 and I have never had siblings turn up.

Don't expect it or worry about something that may never be a problem.

ifink Tue 18-Jun-13 08:47:03

It is strange, when I was a child in the UK my mum never stayed at parties. BUT where we live in Australia, its normal that everyone comes along! I just went to a 6 year old's party and all the mums, some dads too and siblings stayed - in fact it's just assumed that mum, dad, siblings etc come along. If it's at a weekend you would be expected to feed everyone! - if it's after school then just a bit of afternoon tea and cake for the kids....I relish the idea of being able to drop DD off at a party but I can't see it happenning any time soon!

justneedhandholding Tue 18-Jun-13 08:48:21

Sometimes it is the age of the children so ie I wouldn't leave a yr child at a party as the parents are not actually looking after every child, IME I have never know parents to leave children that young. I rarely come across parents who have thought about having enough supervision for children under 6.

However I would never take the siblings along - I find it really rude. Someone I know always used to take her other child even if her husband was at home then just hang around till someone invited her other DD to join in. She even brought some other children she had round for the day to a party and her DD plus 2 friends ended up joining in even though the party was only forn10 children as it was.

BackforGood Tue 18-Jun-13 08:48:41

Not the norm here either - I've only ever heard of it on MN.
IMVHO, it's is the responsibility of whoever is hosting a children's party to ensure they have enough people to look after the number of children they invite. Not to say that couldn't include some parents of guests, if they've asked them in advance if they were available and would mind helping, but certainly not assuming a parent will stay.

5madthings Tue 18-Jun-13 08:49:34

Round here in reception parents often stay depending on where it is, is big soft play Area, plus depending on location of part its not worth going home iyswim?

If its at someones how or smaller scale parents go drop and run. From yr one thus tend to drop and run and I have done sometimes in reception. Really depends on the child, the venue, distances involved.

Re siblings, I have had tot take siblings but always ask if its ok and PAY myself, if its not OK then I sort a lift for child invited to party etc.

I have allowed sibling to come to some parties ie in a village hall, or to my home but others like build a bear I couldn't afford siblings and my ds2 is having a tubing party next month, no siblings will be able to go as numbers are strictly limited.

There are lots of variables but I haven come across people being cheeky and turning up with siblings and expecting food, everyone I know asks/checks its OK and pays, or we lift share and take a child whose parent has a sibling to look after etc.

trixymalixy Tue 18-Jun-13 08:51:11

Most parents drop off and then leave at most of the primary age parties I have been to.

Wish I could. DS's allergies mean I mostly end up staying or coming back for when food is served, although I do bring all his food.

hatsybatsy Tue 18-Jun-13 08:53:46

why are you worrying about this if your ds is only 20 months old?

I have had some siblings stay once - we just made sure we had some extra haribo and gave them all a packet in lieu of a prty bag. was no big deal.

parents staying? to be honest thats fine if they wanted to. an extra pair of hands is always useful.but tbh, even YR kids are used to loooking after themselves -they manage whole days at school with far lower adult: child ratios than they would ever get at a party!

raisah Tue 18-Jun-13 08:55:48

I have put siblings invited on invites before but I do reduce the number of invited kuds because I know siblings will turn up. If its a school friend then I dont expect to take my dd aswell but for a family friend the invite is extended to all of us.

lachrymavitis Tue 18-Jun-13 09:18:32

I think it depends on the type of party. If it was at a softplay I would stay unless the parent specified otherwise. We had a party for 20 at softplay and I was quite pleased that parents stayed to help look after their children.

This was a party for 4/5 year olds.

People who brought siblings paid their entry fee. If it was a party at someone's house I would expect that I would drop and run at this age unless the parent asked me to stay.

Don't worry about it. Just be clear on your invitation. I think whether siblings come along is dependent on the situation.

goldenlula Tue 18-Jun-13 09:24:23

I am doing a party for ds2 at the end of the month. He will be 5 and as it is in a hall I have said siblings can come but that I will catering mainly for ds2's friends and the others can join in (we have a magician for the second hour so they will all be amused by him while I put my feet up wink
I do not feel comfortable leaving ds2 at parties unless I know the parents well as he can find it hard to make himself understood so I tend to arrange childcare for the other 2 but if the parties for any of them are at a soft play place I take advantage of the fact I only need to pay for 2 and stay for the party, but provide everything for the non invited children.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 18-Jun-13 09:29:57

I've even seen YR 6 parents staying,so we are talking about an 11 year olds run of the mill party. IMO they have too much time on their hands.

There's a group of us who tend to stay at each others parties with all our kids, the mothers chat and help out and we bring all our kids. We have 24 kids between us and when you add on the dump and runs from birthday child's class it makes for big parties. It's always at the hosts invitation though, for the older kids we tend to do normal small parties. For any other party I drop and go though, have done since they were 3/4. I'd never stay unless I was invited and would be quite blunt about shooing parents out my door if they tried it on.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 09:39:24

I used to stay at parties a lot because I couldn't drive and would get Taxis there, now I just drop. I was at a party with my DD once when one of the guests mother brought two uninvited siblings, seated them at the lunch table so the host had to get out another table for my DD who was invited to sit alone, fun.

shewhowines Tue 18-Jun-13 09:39:44

I can't see why it would ever be a problem. I can't even remember if it happened to us ever.

If it did happen, I would have expected parents to pay for a sibling. If it was a party in a hall or at home, I would not have felt any pressure to include uninvited siblings. If it was easy or no problem, then they could, but I would have had no problem saying no to anybody that would disrupt or alter the status quo.

I prepared the correct number of party bags. If a child didn't turn up then I would give that to a sibling- even if they were just collecting at the end and hadn't stayed, but there is no way I would have even thought of catering for siblings generally.
Why would you? It's not your problem. If parents are rude enough to bring siblings, then they manage the disappointments. If it happens enough times then they may reconsider doing it next time. It does no one any favours by bending over backwards to accommodate these rude people.

Of course if someone is genuinely stuck and talks to me beforehand, then I would try to help, but I'm not going to be out of pocket unless I want to be. If its a pay venue then they pay for siblings.

It is only a problem if you let it be. If they're rude enough to expect things for uninvited guests, then I'm rude enough to say no.

primallass Tue 18-Jun-13 09:41:45

Dump and run from age 3 onwards with my super-confident DD. My DS would never have allowed that though, as he was very clingy. So for a softplay party I used to pay for DD to get in and sit with her while DS partied. Sometimes she was able to join in for the games, but we live in a village where everyone knows everyone so it is not unusual to have siblings etc invited.

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 18-Jun-13 09:47:27

In most scenarios I'd see it as incredibly rude to drop and run with younger kids...I'm thinking of a class full of kids at soft play.

Tbf, no way would I leave my ds1 (5) at a party for 20 ish kids anyway. You ALWAYs have 'incidents' at this type of thing...xx pulled my hair, xx pushed me on the slide etc. kids have bumps, may end up having a little cry...I don't think it should be solely the parents responsibility.

I have taken ds2 to parties twice when no childcare but always ask before hand and offer to pay for him separately.

As long as other parents afford me the same courtesy I don't really mind if a few bring siblings.

margaery Tue 18-Jun-13 09:52:11

same as lachrymavitis. Around here most of the parents stayed at parties for 5 year olds. All parties have been in a public place, soft play or hall.

I personally don't have people locally that i can ask to supervise my party, and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving my DD at a party as she has toileting problems and she would just walk out of the building if she felt like it.

We had DD's party in soft play area, and a about 4 out of 30 kids were left with me. I made it clear that I would try to keep an eye on them. One parent left child without even telling me. But tbh, I couldn't really keep an eye on those 4 all of the time and if they walked out of the building, no one would have noticed. But these parents seem to be certain that their child would not leave the party and weren't worried about it.

Meglet Tue 18-Jun-13 09:58:09

It depends on where the party is.

DS is 6 and I still wouldn't leave him at a soft play party. There is no way the parents can watch 10 kids and ensure they haven't snuck out the building.

Anyway, he has allergies so I'll be staying at parties for the foreseeable future. I wouldn't expect another parent to check what he was eating and be armed with the epi-pen. I've had to take his little sister a couple of times and always checked with the parents first.

TBH I don't get to chat to people very often so I enjoy staying at parties. Much more relaxed than a quick chat on the school run.

Loa Tue 18-Jun-13 10:18:22

It's normal here to wait around even with older DC - 7- 8 at public locations - sometimes due to transport sometimes just because.

It's normal past 6 to offer them the option of going - most parents still stop. Some people leave younger than that often to surprise of host parents.

Sibling thing - some ask and offer to pay, some ask and seem to expect you to offer to pay and some turn up and go off with other siblings and some expect you to include unasked siblings in everything.

Combine that with people not rsvping - and people who say they will come not turning up then you never know how many will be there - can make it stressful first few parties you throw.

Most venues that you have to pay to enter - do state that on the party invite forms and ask parents when the other parents try and add them.

I think some parents may have assumed we've taken the other DC along - never have but have had party parents invite last minute the other siblings - either as they are near in age to their other DC or because numbers are low.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 10:19:30

I've seen some parents stay with what seems to be the sole purpose of judging the party which is bizarre to say the least! I refused to leave my 3 year old until she was securely potty trained and then it would still depend on what kind of party it is, if you stay and lend a hand fantastic

Feminine Tue 18-Jun-13 10:20:16

Well as has been said, there are no exact rules IMO.

Mine are 14, 9 and 4,they all have different personalities and I parent at parties with that taken in to account.

My eldest hated parties, my younger son loves them!

I agree with meglet soft play is a place where I'd want to hang about. Not for the same reasons ....I just don't quite trust them.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 10:21:08

Because I've helped out at parties where a lot of parents stayed despite their kids being over 5 and wanting cups of tea etc which is a pain

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