25 answers

Birthday Party Etiquette Question

My son is having his 6th year old birthday party soon. I've been letting everyone bring everyone in the past three birthday parties. I ended up with almost 100 people at our house. I'd like to change that this year. Almost all of his friends have sibling(s), some of them are very disruptive. My party is more structured this year, how do I convey this change to our old guests and new ones without offending them? Is there a "catch" phrase that hints toward this new wish of mine?

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I want to thank all the wonderful moms who have responded to my request. You are all fabulous ladies. I wish all the moms I deal with are like you ladies. I've decided to use the "no siblings please" phrase on the invite that most of you have suggested. And, you're all right, why should I care what they think since it's my house, my son's party. And, I also like the numerous suggestion of listing a schedule and call it a drop-off party. That's what I will send out on the invites. My son's birthday party is at the end of February, so updates are okay here, I will let everyone know how it turned out. Thank you again for all the super advice. It solved my problem. Thank you.

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At 6 they may be ready to have the party WITHOUT the parents and that will also cut out the siblings in SOME cases. I have had parents actually TELL ME "He can only come if his little brother comes too!" SO RUDE! Try saying SOMETHING about "ZAC has only invited a few special friends so that he can have quality time with each. We really hope DANNY can attend." or "We have a lot of games prepared for the group of 6 year olds we have invited... i hope DANNY can join us for the fun" (then you can always say it would noy be an appropriate party for younger OR older siblings) You could also say "Feel free to drop DANNY off so you can have some alone time and or do something special with his sibleings.

Its sucha a hard one! It happens to me EVERY year too!

H.
29 Palms, CA

1 mom found this helpful

In the past we have let people know it is a "drop-off" party. You should have start and end times listed on the invite, also. I'm assuming you are doing a craft or going to do an outing of some sort and you need a head count so you can plan well for HIS special day. It is hard I know but worth it in the end.

1 mom found this helpful

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I had this to deal with for my daughter's 6th bday in oct. I sent out the invitation addressed JUST to the child invited. And made sure they knew to rsvp. When/if I spoke to the parent, I just said "Will "sara" be at Aria's party? Because it's just the older kids this year, I am getting together the head count for a fun suprise!" That worked like magic! Or write in th RSVP line. Please rsvp by (date). Since it is just the older kids this year, I need a head count for the craft. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

At 6 they may be ready to have the party WITHOUT the parents and that will also cut out the siblings in SOME cases. I have had parents actually TELL ME "He can only come if his little brother comes too!" SO RUDE! Try saying SOMETHING about "ZAC has only invited a few special friends so that he can have quality time with each. We really hope DANNY can attend." or "We have a lot of games prepared for the group of 6 year olds we have invited... i hope DANNY can join us for the fun" (then you can always say it would noy be an appropriate party for younger OR older siblings) You could also say "Feel free to drop DANNY off so you can have some alone time and or do something special with his sibleings.

Its sucha a hard one! It happens to me EVERY year too!

H.
29 Palms, CA

1 mom found this helpful

When I've thrown 'structured' parties for my 10 year old son and 9 year old daughter, I've stated on the invitation that the invite extends to "xxxxx, and one guest". Letting x equal the child invitees name. The guest is usually an attendant parent. When the party is for drop off (like laser tag, Build a Bear, etc) I specify the times the child can be dropped off and picked up. I've only run into snafus twice, when parents called and asked if a younger sibling could attend. Once I said yes, once I said no, but neither time was trying.
Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

In the past we have let people know it is a "drop-off" party. You should have start and end times listed on the invite, also. I'm assuming you are doing a craft or going to do an outing of some sort and you need a head count so you can plan well for HIS special day. It is hard I know but worth it in the end.

1 mom found this helpful

For my daughter's sixth, I indicated that it was fine to drop-off, thinking a few parents would stick around. It's was like I'd said fire! Everyone bailed and left me with more kids than I could handle myself (luckily my husband and a girlfriend were here). Consider hiring a local teen to help with games while you get stuff (like cake and games) ready as the party moves along.

I would just write on the invites that an RSVP asap is appreciated because you need to get an accurate head count for this party.And I would specifically write "will XYZ attend ? box for yes, box for no.This will send a message without offending guests with "no siblings please", which will offend some.
Good luck

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do. Because you have already opened the door for extra guests and the rampage at your home and it's been more then 1 times, people just expect it now. Phrase? NO! But, if these are your family and close friends, then they would understand, if you came right out and said it. What do you have to lose? I know exactly what you mean, except the disruptive kids are from the inlaws, and there's nothing harder then telling them, right? Just throw caution to the wind and say what you feel, that is never a bad idea, if they don't understand, then they don't respect you or your home.

2 ways: #1 limit the number of invitations. if you usually send out 30 (the whole class and then some), let child invite only 6 and then if they bring siblings, you're still ok. #2 - hey you're mailing the invitation not calling so go ahead and be bold and put by the rsvp line "no siblings please". and you may allow drop off so that the parents can stay at home with the siblings. good luck. been through it too

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