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Reception- party etiquette

(23 Posts)
Turefu Sat 17-Sep-16 19:07:00

My son just started reception and received his first party invitation. It's a totally new situation to me and I don't know , what to do?
Do parents stay with children at the party or go and collect them later? If parents stay, what they do, just sit there and perhaps chat? Will I be able to have a drink at the party? Or should I bring with me? Maybe I sound weird, but I just don't know. Any advice, please?

Giratina Sat 17-Sep-16 19:10:16

Where is the party? If it's in a soft play type place you can usually buy coffee etc at the café, if it's in a hall I'd take my own bottle of water or whatever as they will probably only cater for the kids. I've always stayed with DD so far, she's just started her second year of school and nobody's had a drop and run party yet.

cheapandcheerful Sat 17-Sep-16 19:15:54

Just ask the parents of the party-child. I'm sure they'd rather people asked than just make assumptions and potentially land them in it on the day.

irvineoneohone Sat 17-Sep-16 19:17:01

As Giratina says, you can buy coffee/tea at some places.
All the places I went, they provided tea/coffee/ biscuits for parents since it's quite normal for them to stay. ( church hall/ YMCA/ sports clubs/town halls)

dylexicdementor11 Sat 17-Sep-16 19:30:26

We offer parents mimosas and nibbles. I'd never leave reception aged DS alone at a party. And I'd not want to be responsible for other people's children. Just stay.

Humidseptember Sat 17-Sep-16 20:18:20

Def stay yes. Too young to be left, as pp say sometimes you get offered tea and drinks as adult if cafe there get your own.

Turefu Sat 17-Sep-16 20:41:21

Thanks for replies. I'll stay and I'll bring bottle of water for myself, just in case.

Rattusn Sat 17-Sep-16 21:45:21

Around here, it's usual for parents to stay, and food and drink is provided for parents as well.

I only went to one party in 6 years where food wasn't provided. It was rather odd as it was held in their house and their was no longer food for the children either. They were very well off too. It is very much the exception too.

Caroian Sun 18-Sep-16 08:48:31

At this age parents tend to stay. See it as an opportunity to get to know other parents - the vast number of preschool parties I attended is how I got to know all the parents that I never saw at drop off or pick up due to different timings/days.

Most parties I've been to have provided tea/coffee and often some nibbles for parents. We did a party for my son at age 4 and provided crisps and biscuits (just "family pack" type) with tea, coffee and Diet Coke for parents. Most are in village halls where there is easy access for making drinks.

GU24Mum Sun 18-Sep-16 12:40:50

I'd expect to stay - it's a good way of meeting the other parents. Mine is in Y1 and I'm hoping the parents won't all leave the children with me this year either!

Sootica Sun 18-Sep-16 13:00:50

I'd text the party mum and ask if it's ok for you to stay as you're not sure how your DS will get on without you
In reception parties in my experience about half the parents stay
If it's in a hall it really varies if there's anything for parents eg food/drink.

Sootica Sun 18-Sep-16 13:01:52

GU24 mum I did a whole class party in May of year 1 and no parents stayed ! My DD is one of the youngest in the year tho so everyone might have been parties out

KeyserSophie Sun 18-Sep-16 13:05:51

TBh I think a lot depends on where it is and how many children there are. A party at home with 6 kids? I'd assume drop and pick up unless told otherwise. A whole class party at the soft play? I'd assume I was expected to stay because the parents probably don't even know what most of the kids look like, and can't keep tabs on them in a public space.

But yes, just ask the host.

cheapandcheerful Tue 20-Sep-16 10:30:39

Urgh this thread fills me with dread! How many more years do I have to endure children's birthday parties then? I find them so tedious and am totally planning on asking parents to leave their dc at my dd's 6th birthday party in a couple of months. Will they want to stay???? Nooooooo!!!!

elfonshelf Tue 20-Sep-16 18:55:33

All bit one of the ones we went to in YR and Y1 (and DD's own parties), the parents all stayed. Adult nibbles and wine/soft drinks provided at all of them.

Y2, the kids were dropped off and picked up later. YR/Y1 tended to be soft-play, church hall type affairs and pretty much the whole class invited. Y2 it was cinema trips/craft activities and a smaller number of children.

jamdonut Tue 20-Sep-16 20:40:13

I find the idea of staying at a party totally alien!
When I was little, your parents dropped you at a party and came back an hour and a half - two hours later. Imagine! No mobile phone contact either! I
With my own kids, it was the same.Even at soft play.
I only held a couple of parties myself,(at home) but no one stayed with their children!
Why has this changed? confused

I stopped having ' parties' for my kids and had one or two special friends come for a birthday treat eg cinema, and tea then I would take them home. Much better than entertaining a whole bunch of kids who might not actually be a friend of my child.

zad716 Wed 21-Sep-16 07:29:54

I find the idea of staying at a party totally alien!

Early in YR DS (who was one of the younger ones) was invited to soft play parties in large centres by kids he had only known a couple of months hosted by parents we barely knew. To me I find the idea of leaving a 4 year old in this situation totally alien.

Why has this changed?

I think though because parents should stay at some of the parties they may end up staying at ones where they probably don't need to.

Personally in Y1 we for example dropped and ran at house parties, but at the party we hosted (go-karting) due to the activity and the location (it wasn't that close) all parents stayed.

Notapodling Wed 21-Sep-16 07:42:17

Hi, this has come up for me when DS (now Yr 2) has had his parties. Some parents stay, some go and a lot are not sure what they're expected to do grin
I think it depends on your DC. Some children are more confident at that age than others and are happy to be left (and then the parents can have a few hours quiet time) but other children aren't ready yet for a party on their own and it's certainly okay to stay. As other posters have said, it can be a nice way to get to know the other parents.
If you think your DC will be happy to be left, I think that's fine too, just make sure you leave your number and are able to pop back quickly if there are unexpected tears!

waterrat Wed 21-Sep-16 18:00:20

I think at this age parents who feel okay with it start to leave their kids. If its a whole class party that is 30 adults! most people don't want to be host to that many grown ups.

RitchyBestingFace Thu 22-Sep-16 21:51:47

If you use the party as a chance to get to know a couple of parents, soon you'll be in a position to share party duties ie for one party you agree to stay and keep an eye on their DC as well and then swap at the next party.

(I'm sure there's a better of putting this)

Stokey Fri 23-Sep-16 11:58:51

Staying is fine, espiecally in reception. What I find odd is when both parents come & stay and sometimes bring a sibling. Don't they have better things to do? For dd2's 4th birthday, we invited 20 but ended up catering for more like 60 once you totted up all the parents & siblings.

Honeybee79 Fri 23-Sep-16 12:57:41

I always stayed with DS at parties during the reception year, esp early on in the year as I didn't know the other parents that well yet. Parents stayed and chatted - had a glass of wine/coffee, depending on the venue etc.

DS is now in year 1 and, depending on the party, I would consider leaving him for an hour or so if I knew the other parents there well.

MyNameWasAlreadyTaken Fri 23-Sep-16 13:04:03

I tend to stay unless I know the parents well enough

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