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Childrens Parties where DCs seem unsupervised??!

(20 Posts)
gabid Sat 08-Jan-11 13:24:43

A lot of parents seem to be dropping off their children aged 4-6y at parties leaving them unsupervised in village halls or other venues, or so it seemes to me. Sometimes there were 30+ children, an entertainer and a handful of parents helping out. Is that normal?

At Ds's last birthday party at our house a couple of parents we didn't really know just dropped off their child without even leaving a contact number. Now Ds has asked for a party somewhere else - but I am not happy to take the responsibility in a public place where children seemed to wander in and out.

Is there usually an arrangement amongst some parent to look after a number of children? I would feel a bit silly asking parents to do that on the invitation.

JellyBelly10 Sat 08-Jan-11 13:57:28

If you want a certain number of people to stay then just ask some of the parents who you know better if hey will stay and help. There's no requirement by law, no ratio of adults to children etc...but if you've got a handful of mums with you it wil all seem a bit easier and les worrying! No need to put it on the invitation though, just casually ask a few who you know better. Alternatively ahve the party at somewhere like a soft-play centre or sports centre where it's an activity party because they will dedicate a ciuple of staff to organising the activities etc and those palces are more secure if you have any absconders!
Having said that, I love parties in village halls and with the last two I have held for my DS I put on the invitation that there would be wine and beer available for the parents!! And funnily enough every child who attended had at least one parent who stayed! I will probably get flamed for saying that as I know some people think it's inappropriate to have adults drinking at a kids' party but if you want parents to stay then it seems a good lure!

Clary Sat 08-Jan-11 14:37:38

IMO 30 4-6yos plus entertainer and a handful of parents is totally fine.

I never expected parents to stay after age 4-5yrs.

If people are dropping and running, ask them for a contact number, that's fair enough.

If you are in a hall it's hardly a public place. If it's soft play, again these places are usually pretty well set up to avoid children getting out on their own.

orangepoo Sat 08-Jan-11 14:40:57

I think some parties are a bit of an unsupervised riot and others are more structured. My DS is 4 and I make a judgement of each party when he gets there and then decide whether to leave him or not.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Sat 08-Jan-11 14:46:46

I drop and run grin - no matter wether it's an "unsupervised riot" or a carefully stuctured one. Obviously if I was asked to stay and help then I would.....

Clary Sat 08-Jan-11 14:51:59

baroque are you Baroquin as well?

If so I have only just t'other day realised who you are (dooooh)

DilysPrice Sat 08-Jan-11 14:52:04

Absolutely get a phone number from all the parents - I dumped and ran at a soft play area party recently, and I'd got five minutes down the road when someone rang to tell me that DD (8) had found the only non-soft surface in the entire place and managed to crack her head open hmm.

gabid Sat 08-Jan-11 15:47:35

Thanks, that has given me some perspective - but I still feel a bit uneasy.

mrz Sat 08-Jan-11 16:07:39

Sorry but if I'm feeding and entertaining 30 children I don't really want to feel I have to feed and entertain 30 sets of parents too.

Effjay Sat 08-Jan-11 16:30:34

I did a party for my DS1 (5) recently in the house and hired an entertainer. I left it to the parent to decide whether they stayed or not - some did, some didn't. Depends on the child (and on the parent!). Then again, I only had twelve and it was in my house. I did have all the numbers of the parents who decided to drop and go. My DS1 has since been to three parties where I have dropped and left - he seems happy enough with that. I am too, as long as I know and trust the parents.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Sat 08-Jan-11 16:58:35

Clary I am indeed - Baroqin was my Chrsitmas name - this is my regular one grin

MumInBeds Sat 08-Jan-11 17:04:37

I try to get a contact number on the RSVP before the party so I know I have one - this is handy too in the unlikely event we have to cancel.

pointydog Sat 08-Jan-11 17:17:43

What do you mean unsupervised? SUpervising is what the handful of parents are doing.

Fine and normal.

Zipitydoda Sat 08-Jan-11 17:43:20

My DS is in Y1 and I often drop and run in a place like soft play, hall, private home - either secure or not open to the public. For a public place e.g. bowling I have stayed so far although most parents don't seem to, so those of us who have chosen to stay end up looking after everyone else's kids taking them to the loo, making sure they don't run off etc. I don't undertand why other parents don't stay esp when there are 30+ kids and parents who don't know them at all - our local bowling is so busy, open doors to carpark, amusement arcade area and the children just wander off. I wouldn't be happy for my DS to go to the loo in this place unaccompanied so I am not comfortable leaving him and relying on parents that I don't know.
I kind of resent looking after other peoples' children at someone elses birthday party when the parents have gone for a couple of hours break and I have my own toddler in tow as well. I was once left after a party with 3 children from my son's class who hadn't been collected - the party child and their parents had left and not even noticed that the children hadn't been collected - when the parents finally came they didn't even thank me for staying behind with their children. I am obviously a mug but couldn't abandon the poor children.

Booandpops Sat 08-Jan-11 18:05:21

Zip. That's awful that you were left with children and the party person left! At my dd 5th party it was soft play in the evening so we had exclusive use. I was amazed at the amount of parents that brought uninvited siblings that were only 3 or so and left the entire brood. One boy had a bowel accident and the mother had gone, leaving no Contact number or change of clothing for him. Ok it happens but he was only 3 fgs!!

ZhuZhuhell Sat 08-Jan-11 18:14:00

my dd is 4 soon and we are having a party for her at our house.there will only be 6 kids. i have asked the parents not to stay as we dont have a lot of room and i dont want to have to entertain parents as well as kids. i prefer not to stay at partys as if im there my dd wont go and play just stay with me.

crazygracieuk Sat 08-Jan-11 21:33:46

In my experience, only parents of nervous children stay at parties once they are in Reception. There's lots of reasons for this like a lot of parents have a sibling to look after so might not want to stay and also kids are at school without parents during the week so in theory a party is no different to that.

When I haven't known enough adults to help out, I've kept the numbers small so that the adults who could help would be able to supervise the children.

Karoleann Sat 08-Jan-11 21:44:43

If you want parents to stay, just put this is not a drop off party on the invite. You'll need to provide some refreshments for the parents. I tend to stay with ds1 (4.5), but he's off to a drop off party tomorrow in his school hall and seems quite keen for me to leave him.

pointythings Sat 08-Jan-11 22:13:44

Oooh I've been in this situation... I'd always make clear whether it was a drop and run party or a please sty party - I remember being a staying parent (DD very young and after discussing it with her decided to stay) and another mum just left her toddler (not quite 3) on his own, poor thing was completely terrified so I ended up taking care of him. He needed a lot more help settling i and enjoying himself than my own DCs, and to cap it all off I found him wriggling around in that 'I need the loo' way and had to take him - not that I mind, but if he was scared to go on his own in a strange village hall (don't blame him) then his mum should have stayed. Some people!

I've always offered the option of staying (until this year, it'll be small but select and the DCs are older) - and always provided refreshments to the parents including food if a teatime party. It ain't rocket science.

gabid Sun 09-Jan-11 19:48:02

The first party I have been to with DS (in preschool) was in a soft play area with pub next door and I was surprised that parents leave preschool children to just wander into the pub to go to the toilet or wherever they want. I ended up policing the door, but shouldn't the host have organised for someone to do that?

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