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What age did you let your child go to parties alone?

(27 Posts)
frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:12:05

Had a bit of a debate about this today with dh. What circumstances do you feel happy leaving your lo, or dont you, without hovering in the background?
My dh feels 5 is very young for my ds, but I dont want to make him stand out if others are being left. I Dont know what to think, but dh feels very strongly about this.

But what can I do? if you get an invite to someones home and you dont know them and you are expected to leave them there? Say sorry, but I don't know if you will supervise them properly?

This is becoming a real issue for us even though it may sound silly so I would appreciate some help.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 05-Sep-08 22:15:00

at ds1's 4th parents didn't stay.
I can't remember when he went to one alone, certainly last summer (4.10) he did - but most are soft play and it hasn't been worth taking and then going home again.

stitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:15:50

we never had the luxury of being able to decide like this. ds1 went aged five because of younger siblings. ds2 went age 3.3 because it was the only posisble way he could go. this was only three months after being out of nappies. sad dc3 still likes me coming to parties, but as the youngest, she has the luxury of having her mother with her iyswim.

Portofino Fri 05-Sep-08 22:17:51

My dd went aged four to a indoor play party. We checked if they wanted us to stay, but they had 4 or 5 adults so we went for a nice lunch instead! With dd's bday party we had 7 little girls. None of their parents expected to stay - and didn't. Luckily my friend came to give a hand. Party wasn't as organised as I'd planned eg games but everyone was fine. Only one cried and was soon sorted with a cuddle. As long as it's only a couple of hours, I'd make the most of it!

Hulababy Fri 05-Sep-08 22:18:09

During Reception at school.

First few parties were adults staying, as year went on more and more parents dropped off and left.

I only stay now if I have to travel a long distance to get there, or if friends f mine will be there to chat too - though often we pop off to a local pub or coffee shop for a coffee and gossip instead.

FrayedKnot Fri 05-Sep-08 22:19:59

We left DS at a soft play centre party recently and he is 4.5. As long as he is happy being left, I don;t see a big problem.

In fact, DS often prefers not to be left, so I would only do it if he was completely OK with it.

I don;t think I;d be worried about him being properly supervised, but possibly depends on the number of children and adults, and how well you know them.

Is there something in particular you are concerned about?

gigglewitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:20:13

i think you hit the nail on the head when you say if it's at someone's home and you don't know them, in those circumstances i think i'd stay at least for a while, with the option of staying for all of it..wink when they go to [my] friends' childrens parties they can stay without us, but we have the really fabby excuse reason of the dc having food allergies, so we need to check what they are eating hmm

Loshad Fri 05-Sep-08 22:20:57

Generally five, though most parents tended to stay for the reception year parties as was a good way to get to know the other parents better.

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:23:25

My dh just wont let him go, we have had a row sad personally i feel he is ready but dh is very uptight about it.

We have as a result had to refuse a party at this other kids house he really wanted to go to.

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:25:42

and I couldn't face rowing when it would get me nowhere. But now i feel i have let ds down.

Portofino Fri 05-Sep-08 22:25:50

Reading your post again, I appreciate that NOONE will ever care about and supervise your child like you do, but these are parents of a child of the same age. They CAN cope for a little while. It's the first step in them growing up a little bit.

When we moved recently dd was invited to play next door. No formal invite, just she disappeared in there herself and mum came and asked if it was OK. After an hour or so I was concerned that SHE was bothering THEM and went to check. A host of small girls dressed in princess outfits came downstairs. DD quite frankly told me to go away as she was having a nice time! Then stayed for tea. Instead of enjoying the time off, I sat there fretting that my "baby" was now all grown up and i didn't actually know what to do with myself sad

Portofino Fri 05-Sep-08 22:28:20

frecklyspeckly, what is your DH's main concern? That DS is too young? That you don't know the parents? That the parents won't look after him properly?

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:32:39

All of them basically. He struggles to trust people - he just thinks this mum is a bit laid back - as ds is always in front garden playing alone and she lives very close to a main roadis the main one, but ds is very excitable and does need reminding to calm down. he is a lovely dad but i find the worrying very exhausting.

gigglewitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:33:11

I think dads have it harder as often they don't do the school runs <sorry if i'm stereotyping here but it is also the case in our house>
so they're more likely to be sceptical about dc going to other kids' houses. would it help if he took your ds to some of the parties? hmm

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:33:48

I mean that our ds is the excitable one,party boy is the main road one.

Flamesparrow Fri 05-Sep-08 22:35:27


DD told me to go hmm

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:35:27

Its so embarassing - i agree with you gigglewitch they dont know the score as they areso often not the ones doing the mixing.

PootleAndThePoseysMum Fri 05-Sep-08 22:36:06

I think it depends on how well you think you know the parents TBH. My dd has been dropped off, and later collected, by me to parties since she was 4 - (only to other children in her nursery where I'd spent a lot of time hanging around with the mothers so I think I knew them fairly well!?!). In other cases where she was invited to parties by very casual aquaintances that I really didn't know then I'd always stay with her.

PS : If you think its fine but DH has a problem with it then why don't you let him take him and stay with him?

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:39:51

Problem is pootle I am in work and he also has dd that day.

gigglewitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:41:32

back to the little one - if he desp wants to go, why not take a gulp, invent an excuse if you need, and stay with him so he doesn't miss out? Then work on DH/DP having the occasional chance to meet some of the dc's friends and parents at your house/garden (found this worked a treat at our house). you have my sympathy, but having a protective dad is not always a bad thing. [though a pita if you're the enlightenedhmm mum, i agree!]

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:42:01

But he does admit he HAS to let him attend them alone soon -'when he learns to calm down' being the standard answer!

gigglewitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:42:19

sorry x-post freckle. Bugger.

handlemecarefully Fri 05-Sep-08 22:43:14

From Reception class

gigglewitch Fri 05-Sep-08 22:44:03

dses don't really 'calm down' IME grin
more that dad will have to learn to lump it accept that you can't protect them all of the time.

frecklyspeckly Fri 05-Sep-08 22:45:40

Thank you all- I have got to go now. I will try and have a word with dh in a few days. I'm not backing down on this one.

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