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Advice needed regarding parents who do not rsvp to party invites

(24 Posts)
RebelDiamond Tue 19-Jul-11 22:43:15

My dd has just had her 4th birthday party, which was a joint party held with her cousin (boy). They are both at the same pre-school and have the same friends so we thought this would be a good idea seeing as it is their last year before going up to separate primary schools. I know some of the parents but not all of them, so the invites were handed to the staff at the preschool to be sent out, which seems to be the norm - I normally receive invites via lunch boxes or book bags etc. The week before the party, I was away, and had only received rsvps via text message from a few of the parents, and unable to ask pre-school staff to chase the parents up...I wasnt sure if they would do this anyway...and my sister in law didnt mention anything either. Invites had been sent three weeks prior to party, again, seems to be common practice. So the day of the party arrives, and out of 25 children we had 9 no shows. No rsvp, text, nothing. I felt so awful. one of the children is really friendly with my dd, and so she was asking why she had not come, so I had to make something up.i even invited her older sister as my dd knows her too from the breakfast club. I see her mum at the gate sometimes but she never acknowledges me. As it happens, my dd was invited to this childs birthday in december but we were away and couldnt make it, but I ensured that I sent a message via pre school and also text the mum to say I was sorry, as my dd and her dd are good friends - i never got a response. The other girls that were invited and never showed have all invited my dd to their parties earlier in the year and my dd has attended, The mums seemed pleasant enough. I just cant understand why they never showed? And for so many to not show, I could understand the odd one? The staff insist that the invites went out, and that its just the way it is. I did feel a bit vindictive the day after the party i must admit, and sent my dd in to preschool with the party bags that I had prepared for the children who did not come, with a note inside saying, 'sorry you missed the party, here is your party bag'. i have since seen the other mums, some of them have blanked me and others have seemed willing to speak but I havent bothered. Bit childish I know. This kind of thing is all new to me and now i am wondering what the etiquette is here - do i chase parents up? If i dont know them how do i go about this if I have no contact details for them, or is it just the risk you take when you organise a party?. I fear the world of party invites and non attendances as my dd goes up to big school, do these mums not like me - is this going to influence whether their child attends the party? do they not like my child? Am i being too sensitive? Was i just unlucky this time? the majority of the kids got their invites, the whole thing has just really confused me to be honest. All 9 of the kids were girls. The children that attended were mainly boys. Has anyone had any similar experiences? Any advice here would be really appreciated. Thanks.

realharperlee Tue 19-Jul-11 22:56:27

Sorry to hear that Rebel, I too have an invite for one of my DD friend's parties, reading this has just prompted me to rsvpblush. Time flies away with you sometimes. I wouldn't stress at least she had a good turnout and if she enjoyed the party that's all that matters x

omnishambles Tue 19-Jul-11 22:59:52

Its not you - this is just how it is. Bloody infuriating though. And so rude.

Pancakeflipper Tue 19-Jul-11 23:02:23

There's always those who don't ever respond.
There are those who don't respond and don't turn up.
There are those who don't respond and do turn up.

It gets easier at primary age as you can chase parents around the playground and sit on them until they give you a straight answer to the question on whether or not their child can attend.

It's rude to not RSVP - it's not exactly hard to do is it?

But I have been caught out a couple of times because we never got the invite. I think my child eats them or the teacher does.

The problem is with them - not you. Don't worry anymore about them. I hope your child had a happy party.

ponyprincess Tue 19-Jul-11 23:03:14

I think you might be taking this too personally, there are many reasons why they may not have replied--they may be new to party etiquette, the invite may have been lost or not noticed in school bag, etc. or just busy. Having 16 attend sounds like a reasonable turn out.

I think if you have contacts for the parents, then it is perfectly fine to chase it up with a text e.g., indicating you are finalising party numbers and will they be able to come, or similar question if you see them at school--I would not expect school staff to do this. I also would not feel it necessary to bring party bags to school for the non-attenders. In my experience for large parties, there might always be a few who don't reply or say they are coming and don't at the last moment. I do not take this personally, just have a few extra party bags on hand in case and just assume they are busy, etc if they do not come. If it really is the case that they do not like me or my child, just as well they don't come!

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jul-11 23:04:14

IME this is normal, and I'm afraid you weren't just unlucky.

You will find many threads on MN about it. sad

What I have discovered, though that if someone doesn't RSVP, they are highly unlikely to turn up.

There seems to be some new, odd etiquette where if you aren't going to attend, you just don't RSVP. Bloody rude, IMO.

sugarbea Tue 19-Jul-11 23:43:29

You will have more to come. Some will RSVP and not show, some won't RSVP and will show and some bring siblings without asking and expect them to be accommodated on the day. confused I do however speak to the mums that haven't RSVPd to make sure their child is or is not prepared for. Mainly because my dc usually have parties in soft play centres where you have to pay per child in advance. In a situation like that at £13 a child its too expensive to not confirm numbers. Ds will be 7 on his next birthday and he will be celebrating with a few close friends this year thank goodness. grin

perpetualsucker Tue 19-Jul-11 23:48:34

I chase them all up as it gets closer to the party. I don't like not knowing. It also stops you getting paranoid as parents will be personable when you speak to them face to face.

Fifis25StottieCakes Tue 19-Jul-11 23:52:25

Im not too good with invites and normally only return them if i am going. Is there not loads of people doing end of preschool parties, there was when i was there and leveryone seems to have a party in reception so your taling 30 parties in a year.

My kids rarely go to parties now as its just seems like a never ending round of Mr Twisters and magicians. They usually just go to their close friends.

I once went to a party in a massive hall with a disco and magician and only 8 out of 30 kids turned up. It was awful.

I dont have parties anymore, it seems like all the parents just try and outdo each other. We just have a sleepover, tea party or take 3 close friends to the cinema and a meal.

RebelDiamond Wed 20-Jul-11 12:49:56

Thanks to you all for your comments I have found them all most helpful! another lesson learned in the world of parenting! I was asked by my preschool today about another party which dd has been invited to on sunday as i was on the list of those who hadnt rsvp'd yet!! Ha! I did bring in the slip today though in my defence!! Anyway the staff had a list of those who had not responded yet and I had a quick glance - what do you know, all the same names as my non attenders! maybe that is how it is, as Lynette Scavo has observed there seems to be an odd new etiquette where no response = not coming. And I know that these kids do go to parties as I have attended the same ones! However, I am consoled by the fact that the inconsistency in attendance should not mean anything personal, despite the fact that the children i invited are all close play mates with my dd - maybe its just that people are busy, on hols etc. I couldnt look someone in the eye though knowing i'd just not shown,maybe I should toughen up! In addition, we are all busy, I appreciate that, yet i work full time and have two kids under 4 yet I find the time to send a polite text with a decline or acceptance. its all a bit odd if you ask me but like you guys say, she had an awesome party and thats the main thing xx

BlooCowWonders Wed 20-Jul-11 13:06:59

"Im not too good with invites and normally only return them if i am going"

I would consider this extremely bad manners. It doesn't take much effort to say thank you but we're busy.

Fifis25StottieCakes Wed 20-Jul-11 14:52:36

Hm depends if dd gives me them though or even alerts me to them. I would be happy for dd's not to be invited to the 30 parties per year

If somone didnt RSVP me i would assume they were not coming no. Its not like i get a couple a year between 3 dd's

RebelDiamond Wed 20-Jul-11 16:39:07

Fifis25, I can completely empathise - I suppose I never considered the fact that parents must receive a mountain of invites each academic year for each child! At least my sis in law and I have been able to double up on the parties as our children are born three days apart so makes sense. It was a shame though when dd was asking why certain people were absent and I had to lie to justify it. Thats what got me angry to be honest with you. Especially when she plays so closely with another little girl and has done for months and months, and she is probably the only one she would have wanted at the party. Then we go to someone elses party and the child is there?! This was the first party I had organised, her previous birthdays have been for family really.

And whilst I do completely understand what you have said, you mention the party you went to when only 8/30 kids showed up - surely this is a good example of where rsvps may have been useful so as not to disappoint that child, or given the parents the opportunity to scale down?

I have ticked the big party box now and hopefully can look forward to much smaller celebrations throughout primary school!! xx

Fifis25StottieCakes Wed 20-Jul-11 16:49:06

Rebel, the smaller parties are always better imo with just a few close friends, my dd's go to an out of catchment area school and play with kids from the catchment area school. Last birthday dd had 2 from school and the other 3 were her friends from home. They had a sleepover and dvd night with a takeaway of their choice and birthday cake. They all really enjoyed it.

On the otherhand the 2 big parties i have had were a nightmare. Over excited then over tired kids. The whole party thing is out of control. Some kids have a big party every year. Why

From talking to people at our school if you dont rsvp you are assumed as not coming. If i know about it i will tell them in the yard or they will ask me, otherwise a text.

The child who had 8 kids there wouldnt have cancelled it as she had a hall and entertainers booked. What cany you do, you cant force people to turn up iyswim.

Skinnymant22 Mon 15-May-17 09:34:04

I have found using to be really useful. It saves using your mobile phone number as the RSVP, for your kids childs party. I found this blog and its a good helpful tool . The site allows you to print of invites with the QR code on in the corner, so parents can use their phones to RSVP. The site gives you a RSVP page, with its own link, populates a list for you and captures photos. I have found this useful, don't get me wrong the perfect scenario would always be for people to respond straight away. feel your pain.

Starlight2345 Mon 15-May-17 09:49:28

Fifis..It is plain rude not to reply.. If you know you can't come.Parties do tend to get smaller as they get older. I party host needs to know how many party bags, how much food or pay per head. The fact you are not alone..Some people don't RSVP then turn up so no people don't assume you are not coming , they simply don't know.

Just to add one girl at our school whose parents never replied, Now never gets a party invite. The child's party you just ignore might be a good friend next year.

As for OP...

Next time I find a date for RSVP helps. Also I tend to send invites out a few weeks before..DS birthday is around Easter so dependent on when Easter actually falls but never just week before school holiday. so I can chase. But if your not around week before party send list in week before.

As DS has got older I know the parents of all children attending.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 15-May-17 10:12:00

I have had dms call me a week after party saying they found the invitation at the bottom of their bag!. I wouldnt waste energy on it as this kind of stuff will happen all through school and if you take it personally your head will be fried. And continue next day as if nothing happened as peoples bad manners dont need to change your personality.

waterrat Mon 15-May-17 18:55:39

I think you are over thinking it. If there is a child I know my child particularly wants there I will make sure I have an actual conversation with the parent so I know the have the invitation and I can find out if they are coming.

I wouldn't leave it yo the chance of invite in bookbag and actually it's a reason just to stick to smaller groups

It is rude however ....!

ProphetOfDoom Mon 15-May-17 19:03:54

zombie thread

cakegirl17 Sat 20-May-17 11:01:57

This is so common and so the norm. Unfortunately it's Mum wars that can ruine child friendships. I always used to get my child to choose who she wanted to come and she would give invites to those I had missed. Often at young ages there are more than one party going on at a time. You have done a lovely job of giving the party bags regardless. The mums that blank you will do the same if their child comes and they don't win a prize. Next time just as office if can give you parents contact. They may say no but worth a try. Look out for my ad coming soon. It's So My Party. Well done you

Lushmetender Sat 20-May-17 11:57:54

We had a lot of rejections this year and a few that didn't reply. I saw one of the dads at rainbows and he chased his wife up. One person I know it wouldn't be like her to ignore. I didn't chase up but believe the invite never got to the parents. One person didn't reply last year nor this. There are always reasons. We found an invite on the floor 2 weeks after the party was over. I felt bad for not replying but explained after and all was ok. I was particularly stressed re replies this time but tbh we had more than enough turn up. Last year we clashed times with someone else's party- that an happen too.

froomeonthebroom Sat 20-May-17 12:08:39

I am in a similar situation today. Out of 12 children 4 haven't replied. The party is weather dependent and because of this we've moved location. I don't have contact details for the non-replies so they might still turn up at the original venue!

froomeonthebroom Sat 20-May-17 12:12:14

FFS should have RTFT before replying to a zombie.

Roomba Sat 20-May-17 12:13:40

I don't know the answer to this problem. Some people are just fecking rude. It's a very common issue and I've seen lots of threads about this before on MN and elsewhere.

For DS1's 8th birthday, we invited 28 kids. After a lot of chasing after parents in the playground, texting people whose numbers I had and getting teachers to put notes in book bags asking could we please just have some idea if they were coming, we had 16 replies stating they were definitely attending and two replies saying sorry they couldn't come. So I was expecting 16 kids on the day and paid in advance at the venue for them. Nine kids turned up on the day - two of them were kids who hadn't replied at all beforehand! So of the 16 who actually said they'd come only 7 showed up. I was fuming as I'd paid for them so I spent hundreds for nothing and had enough food to feed the five thousand left over. I got one apology text afterwards as the child had been ill. Everyone else just ignored it and carried olive normal or blanked me at school to next week.

Never again. After that I've always just got my kid to invite a couple of mates and we've gone to the cinema then pizza hut or a similar thing.

I have only once not replied to a party invitation. That was because DS had taken it out of his bag at his dad's and forgotten all about it. When I found out I rang them and apologised. She was lovely but DS didn't get invited the the next party. Fair enough, I'd feel the same.

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