Is It Rude to Not Invite Siblings to a B-day Party?

Updated on May 21, 2007
J.B. asks from Sacramento, CA
17 answers

My son's 4th b-day is coming up and we are gonna have it at his gymnastics center, I am only allowed 14 guests(kids not adults) so as you can imagine I've got to cut down the list of kids. Is it rude for me to put no siblings on some of the invitations of his classmates from preschool? I don't know the families of the handful of kids he is wanting to invite from preschool.

I know if he has been invited to a party, I either ask if my older child can come or I only come with him. I hope other families would do the same.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

No, it's not rude if you word it well. I would write something at the bottom of the invitation similar to: Due to safety regulations of Tiny Tot's Gym (or what even the name of location is), only children on official guest list may attend.
This gives the parents the opportunity to ask if there is indeed space for more children, at which point you could simply say "I'm sorry, but this location only allows for 14 visitors, and my son filled the list with those he chose to invite, but if someone cancels I can certainly let you know." This way you clearly place the blame on the location, which is the biggest part of why you can't allow just anyone to come.
Hope this helped, ~J. :O)

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have 2 girls. When my oldest gets invited to parties, I ask if I can bring her sister too BUT, I offer to pay for her if it is at an activity center since I know they charge per child. When I invite kids to my daughter's birthday, I allow for extra b/c I know that some of the kids have siblings. I have never run into an issue. Most of the times when we go to the parties, there are less kids than what were paid for anyhow. I know at Chuck E Cheese they make you pay for a minimum amount anyhow. One year I had to still pay for 6 kids that RSVP and didn't show.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

No, it's not rude if you word it well. I would write something at the bottom of the invitation similar to: Due to safety regulations of Tiny Tot's Gym (or what even the name of location is), only children on official guest list may attend.
This gives the parents the opportunity to ask if there is indeed space for more children, at which point you could simply say "I'm sorry, but this location only allows for 14 visitors, and my son filled the list with those he chose to invite, but if someone cancels I can certainly let you know." This way you clearly place the blame on the location, which is the biggest part of why you can't allow just anyone to come.
Hope this helped, ~J. :O)

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think it's rude. However, it's all in the wording and the approach. I suggest an invitation that says "Admit one" with a party schedule and/or brief description of the activities at the party so parents can bring their children prepared, dressed accordingly and also (hopefully) get the idea about limiting guests.

Although you don't know the families of your son's classmates, you can certainly make a phone call or give a brief explanation as you hand out the invitations. I recommend you not say "No siblings," and rather "I hope it's not too much of an inconvenience to only bring (insert invited child's name here) to the party. (Insert your sons' name here) and I would love to have him/her celebrate with us and we hope you can make it."

Lastly, if you are looking for wonderful birthday gifts for your child, check out my website of educational products at www.discoverytoyslink.com/fatimac

Above all, have fun and don't worry if guests decide not to show up. Enjoy the party with your child and the guests who do make it. Take Care!

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B.S.

answers from San Diego on

Not rude at all... after all you are paying for it. I would write that siblings are not invited. Or if you don't care, say that they have to pay for themselves if YOU don't care. It is totally up to you! Parent's should understand that the party if for your son's close friends and that there is a limited amount of space. And if you don't want parents to stick around (esp with other children), write drop your children off at ___ pm and pick them up at ____ pm. of some.

Good luck,
B.

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K.F.

answers from Stockton on

Hi J.,
I agree with Shannon I. First of all people actually do this? I have 3 kids and have never expected my other kids to go the parties they weren't formally invited to. Nor have I let the other siblings go if they weren't formally invited, unless I stayed at the party. I have always believed that the party was only for the kid who's name was on the invite. After all isn't that what makes it special for the B-day kid and the ones invited. That is very rude of parents to assume that the siblings are invited too. YOU ARE NOT THE RUDE ONE!
Have a nice evening,
K. F

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K.C.

answers from San Diego on

Hola J.,

For me I dont think it would be rude to put no siblings on the invitations as long as you explain the reason why. I'm sure the parents would understand and respect your wishes. Well, hope it works out for you and that your son have fun at his b-day party. Take care, K.

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M.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

To be completely honest the siblings should be a part of the party. I have recently went to a Birthday Party for a Pre-Schooler, due to me being the child's pre-school teacher. The parent invited most of the kids in our class room and none showed. And because of that I felt sad for the child. She had her family around and it made it better. But even if they RSVP you. Sometimes they don't show up.
So to say should the sibilings go to the party I say YES!

Because family comes first then guest.

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A.H.

answers from Modesto on

you're inviting 14 kids to a 4 year old's birthday party? you must be crazy! I'd say the sibling thing is the least of your issues! how will you control 14 kids??

All I can say is, good luck!

I have always heard the advice - 1 guest per year. I have a 5 year old and we invited only her 2 closest friends to her 5th birthday party. It allowed us to have a longer party with a lot more fun for all three girls including lunch out and a new bear from build a bear.

It was also very very controllable and fun!

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

It's not rude. I know this bit of etiquette has gone by the wayside, but traditionally, only the names that appear on the invitation are invited. We never ask to bring our other children to any birthday party only one of them is invited to. The birthday child may not know our other children. I wouldn't want strangers coming to a party for me. We bring our other children ONLY if the host says, "Hey, bring all the kids." I'm sure it's anal of me, but that's how we do it.

Best wishes.

D.C.

answers from Fresno on

I would send the invitation to the ONE child you want to invite. That should be clue enough that they are the only ones invited - maybe add something cute on their that they can bring their mommy/daddy, too.

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B.S.

answers from Reno on

I can't believe people would do that! I think it's rude, but to avoid that akward moment when someone does show up with another child I agree with wording the invitation to say for safety reasons only the one child is invited. Good Luck!

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

It's not rude, but a good idea to put on the invitation. In our family we sometimes have more than siblings and bring them all!!! So a fare warning is a good idea.

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J.S.

answers from Stockton on

You could put RSVP and your number on invitation and then when they call explain that there's only room for the ones invited.

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S.I.

answers from San Francisco on

If you only put the one child's name on the invitation, its rude for someone to bring their other children! Most folks know you pay per child so if someone invited my daughter to a party, and I wanted my son to come too, I would ask them if I could bring them and pay for him myself! You arent the rude one!!

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have 2 girls. When my oldest gets invited to parties, I ask if I can bring her sister too BUT, I offer to pay for her if it is at an activity center since I know they charge per child. When I invite kids to my daughter's birthday, I allow for extra b/c I know that some of the kids have siblings. I have never run into an issue. Most of the times when we go to the parties, there are less kids than what were paid for anyhow. I know at Chuck E Cheese they make you pay for a minimum amount anyhow. One year I had to still pay for 6 kids that RSVP and didn't show.

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

Are you Ok with having it a "drop off" party?? You can writeon the invitation "Drop off at 2:00, pick up at 4:00, please be on time, as the gymnastics center has other scheduled events on this day" or something. That way you will get the right number of kids.

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C.N.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear J.,

I think that you were wise to say no siblings, because of the safety factor. You are a good planner and I know that it will be a charming day with all of those cutest people in the world right there together to have fun. C. N.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I agree with Jan A, she worded it very well. :) I wondered this in the past with my daughter 2nd birthday party (in our home) last October, but it wasn't a problem - I simply stated the child's name and their mom as the invited guests and no one questioned it. It doesn't make sense to have older kids come especially if they aren't really friends with your child. As far as the concern of "no one showing up" that was expressed by another person...that is a completely separate issue, and shouldn't BE an issue if you have contact with everyone and get an RSVP one way or the other. What has actually worked well for us so far is to keep parties for such young kids to a very small number of guests (age 2, 2 or 3 child guests at most, for example) and then add 1 or at the most 2 kids with each year of age. Of course if you have a large extended family that you include, this might not be feasible.

Best of luck with it! Relax and focus on what would be fun for your son! :)

S.

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