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14 year-old birthday party etiquette...

(50 Posts)
Pinkbatrobi Tue 27-Jan-15 21:47:06

AIBU to think that asking your guests to "bring £20 to contribute to the bill" is not acceptable? My daughter came to me asking if I didn't think it weird that she received an invite for a party in a restaurant with precisely that request and smiley face... And I certainly do! I am surprised that anybody would ask such a thing. We have always paid for our children's parties, and when she wanted to take friends to a restaurant last year we limited numbers to her two best friends and paid for them, we didn't invite 9 and asked them to pay for themselves... AIBU to think that if you can't afford it (and they are a well off family, double income, detached house - not short of money!), you don't do it? After all there are loads of ways your kids can celebrate their birthday that are inexpensive...Besides, we looked at the restaurant's menu, and you'd be hard pushed to spend £20 quid there - a pizza, a drink and a dessert are about £12. So my daughter wants to go, bring only £12 and ask to pay her bill separately. Are the extra £8 each for the cake? hmm I think it would be better not to go at all and avoid the whole embarrassing situation. In fact I'd push to avoid this girl altogether in future...so...what do you think? AIBU?

LadyLuck10 Tue 27-Jan-15 21:50:23

A pizza, drink and desert is more than £12. Maybe it's just a heads up of what it will cost.

Groovee Tue 27-Jan-15 21:52:33

My daughter is now 15. Last year we paid for her and her friends to go out for dinner. Then out of all the parties she attended last year only 3 were no money needed by her. She was not amused that I said no to paying for all her friends. Only her 2 best friends went out for dinner.

Caronaim Tue 27-Jan-15 21:53:06

It is an invitation to join in a social event where each individual is paying their own share. Nothing unusual about that, most adult social events are arranged along a similar vein.

Either accept, participate and enjoy, or decline if you can't afford/don't want to spend that amount of money, exactly as your daughter will be doing many with invitations for the rest of her life.

MrsTawdry Tue 27-Jan-15 21:53:37

It's just a step towards "grown up" parties OP. Many adults pay for themselves...

OhMittens Tue 27-Jan-15 21:53:54

It's cheeky. There's no mitigating circumstances for it. Personally I would decline the invitation, unless DD is desperate to go or it would be socially awkward if she didn't.

TwinkieTwinkle Tue 27-Jan-15 21:54:08

Hahahaha! What an absolute cheek! Send with enough money to cover the meal and no present. Since the parent's are too cheap to cover their daughter's party, I would assume it is because she is getting amazing presents from them and won't need any others. Too far?

evmil Tue 27-Jan-15 21:55:11

tbf, she may just be taking money to cover her own bill. i.e. if she takes £20 and only spends £12 she will get £8 change. The parents may have asked for £20 to ensure everyone will have enough.

My DSS's have been asked to take money for food at parties like this before and just pay for what they eat so i think YAB a bit U. If you/she don't want to pay then don't go.

Also, where is the party at? £12 for a meal, dessert and drink is quite cheap. And she might want a second drink as well...

OhMittens Tue 27-Jan-15 21:56:47

Re the "grown up" parties comments.... that's when the (actual) grown-ups earn their own money so can actually pay for themselves.

Plenty of time for individuals paying their own share when they are actually grown up.

In any case, it's very rude, grown up or not, to be told on an invitation to bring a specific amount.

mrsfuzzy Tue 27-Jan-15 21:56:56

it's okay if she pays for her own food but not to give the money to the parents to pay the bill, just in case the menu is as cheap as you say, i would begrudge donating to the parents pockets.

lomega Tue 27-Jan-15 21:57:09

Growing up, I never had to pay to attend another child's birthday party or outing; it was just the norm that the parents of birthday child paid in the hope the invite was reciprocated by said child's friends/parents.

There's plenty of time for bill splitting and table politics when she gets older imo. It'd leave a bad taste in my mouth if DS came to me asking for money to attend a friend's party if he was only 14. Just being honest!

JakeShit Tue 27-Jan-15 21:57:34

Mmm, I'm not sure but I think it's ok. If kids are younger then I think the party hosts should pay but with older teens it's normal for guests to pay if you go out for a meal.

I think at 14 it's ok to ask 'guests' to bring £20 - I'm assuming you might get change if you spend less.

The most important thing is that is clear what the arrangement is. It's you and your DDs choice if your DD attends.

LadyLuck10 Tue 27-Jan-15 22:00:20

The party is at a restaurant not at home. It's much cheaper to serve food at home. Why should the parents foot the bill for eating out, and for a good many kids?
Give your dd the money and ask her instead to pay for what she had rather.

BarbarianMum Tue 27-Jan-15 22:01:11

I think it's fine. Attendance is optional you know.

LemonYellowSun Tue 27-Jan-15 22:03:11

I think it's out of order. Agree if you can't afford it you don't host it

sticklebrickstickle Tue 27-Jan-15 22:04:13

YABU. If a friend invited me to a birthday meal I would expect to pay my way. As adults nobody expects the adult having the birthday to pay for the entire meal and I think by the time teens are 14 it's fine to ask those invited to pay for themselves. Once children become teens they start being charged adult prices for things and there has to come a point at which people start paying their own way for social occasions - it would be very expensive for the birthday girl's parents to pay for a group of teens, all eating adult portions, to eat out at a restaurant and seems reasonable to ask people to pay their own way. As with any similar adult social engagement people are free to turn down the invitation if they don't wish to pay for it.

That said I would only expect each guest to pay for what s/he ate and I wouldn't expect guests to pay for the cake or any similar 'extras'. Are you sure they want your DD to give £20 towards the bill rather than to bring £20 and then pay for what she's had, bringing home the change? It seems sensible to ask guests to bring more than what they will need.

Heynowbill Tue 27-Jan-15 22:04:53

"Avoiding the girl altogether in the future" is somewhat of an over reaction confused

slithytove Tue 27-Jan-15 22:10:00

At that age I think it's fine

rinabean Tue 27-Jan-15 22:12:23

No that's rude. £10 each as a contribution and topping it up themselves would be alright (still a bit rude but acceptable) but at £20 it's like you're subsidising the presents "from the parents" which is ridiculous

MerryInthechelseahotel Tue 27-Jan-15 22:12:30

I wouldn't have a problem with this at all.

Usernamerunningout Tue 27-Jan-15 22:14:41

When I was 14 my parents gave me £140 and said I could take friends out and whatever was left over was my birthday present.

I chose to go bowling and burger party.

Unbeknown to my parents I told my friends they had to pay, all paid, I kept my birthday money as a gift.

blush

MidniteScribbler Tue 27-Jan-15 22:18:11

If it's a 'formal' invitation (written invitation to an organised event), then I think you should pay (this applies for adult events as well). If it's a case of some girls getting together and deciding to go out for dinner for a friend's birthday, then I think paying for themselves in fine. By the time I was in high school "parties" generally became a smaller group of friends deciding together to go out. We all felt very grown up being up to go out to dinner by ourselves (until it all descended in to teenage giggles and hijinx around the dessert bar).

serin Tue 27-Jan-15 22:18:16

Not heard of this at 14 before.

DD is 17 and it's common practice amongst her friends who all have part time jobs, but not at 14.

LostTeacher Tue 27-Jan-15 22:18:45

I think at 14 it's perfectly normal isn't it?

At this age I imagine the girls organise their own parties and meals out like young adults.

I did this at that age. All my friends did. Sometimes we'd have to really spell out how much to bring (about £20) because some would come with £5 or hide when the bill had to be paid.

But we organised it without and adults getting involved.

Loletta Tue 27-Jan-15 22:24:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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