18 answers

Kids' Birthday Parties

*Do you drop your child/children off at birthday parties (not slumber parties) or do you stay with them?
*When you host birthday parties do you allow kids to be dropped off?
*Does your husband attend kids' birthday parties with you?

I'm asking because I know some people drop off their kids and think it's a free day/break for them and sometimes didn't come back until well after the party ended. Lol. I know people that were overwhelmed or felt taken advantage of because they allowed drop-offs. I also know couples in which the husband sees kids' birthday parties as part of the wife's "duty" and doesn't make any effort to go.
We've never dropped off our kids and burned rubber. Lol. We've always stayed and participated and taken photos and had a good time. The few times I hosted birthday parties I did not allow drop-offs. If an adult couldn't be there then unfortunately your child couldn't attend.
For me, if it were just one niece or nephew and their parent had to work then that would be different.
Also, my husband always goes too. Now that we have 4 kids he would really need to be there because two of our kids are toddlers so we need to have both parents present. He's never once even hinted at not going with us though.

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It would all depend on whose party it was. If I knew the parents and had no obligation to the party I dropped and then I shopped. If it were people I didnt know I would stay, sometimes for the entire party and sometimes just part of it and would come retrieve my kids later.
I think you need at least 2 moms to run things, and a dad would be a great asset as well.

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I have never dropped off and my hubby doesn't usually come unless its a really close friend's birthday party.

M

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At about 6 years old people stop staying at birthday parties around here. And I really like it that way actually. It is just kind of awkward when parents hang around the periphery of the party just staring-and looking bored to death.
At my sons 7 yo party at a big laser tag play place a husband and wife stayed the whole time and just sat at a table next to the party. This couple has done this at all parties on my son's classroom 'circuit' this year. I found it to be totally creepy to tell you the truth.
When my kids were very young I always stayed of course. It could actually be kind of fun because it was a chance to get to know the other moms. I never asked my husband to come along-really, what would be the reason for having TWO parents there??? He would stay home with my other son or take him somewhere for alone time.

5 moms found this helpful

I'm in the minority here. I dropped my children off at parties, after going in to talk to the parents and make sure all was well, double-checking pick up time, etc. If I'm not comfortable with the parents my kid wouldn't go to the party. I've been ambushed a couple of times when the parents insist I stay even though it wasn't stated on the invitation. I say don't have a party with more kids than you and your hubby or other adult friends can handle.

4 moms found this helpful

I've been dropping my children off at parties since they were 6 years old. (They are now 9 years old.) Little by little, as a parent, I "let go of the strings." My kids have always been well behaved at parties. (I am not just saying that because I hear it from teachers and parents.) The only thing I would still somewhat worry about is a pool/ waterpark party due to drowning issues. (I would still go because places like that are so busy and I wouldn't be relaxed if I wasn't there to supervise along with the lifeguards.) My kids are average swimmers and I've heard about drownings even with people who could swim well.

Usually the closet mom friends hang around to help the child's parents. (So about 2 or 3 friends, but they leave their other children at home with their husband so that they can really focus on helping the parents.

My husband came with me to a few parties when they were little, but he often worked on Saturdays. (seems to be a popular day for parties) I didn't expect him to go and I didn't think he was neglecting our kids in anyway if he simply wanted to stay home and get some stuff done. (when he didn't have to go to work)

Life is busy and I don't think most people are "burning rubber" just to get away from their child.

3 moms found this helpful

We always held small parties and the parents never stayed. We never felt the need to ask them to. We used the "age rule" - when our son turned 4, he invited 4 friends. When he turned 6, he invited 6 friends. We had fun activities (old party games, scavenger hunts, etc.) in the back yard or the basement. We didn't have 30 kids, so we didn't go to 30 parties throughout the year. We didn't need to provide food & activities for the adults, just the kids. And it's not overwhelming when you have 5 kids, a couple of planned activities, just 5 gifts to open, and 5 goody bags to prepare. People get overwhelmed when they have 30 kids, a clown, a bouncy house, chaos, and 30 plates of chocolate frosting hitting the living room rug!! Keeping it manageable for all concerned is the key.

A pool or lake party is a different thing (safety) especially with a ridiculous number of kids. But I think the whole party is more fun when a birthday child doesn't have 20 kids and 40 parents in the house! No kid really wants that or benefits from it.

It's nice for kids to develop a sense of independence and not have their parents there all the time. They learn to behave and to participate in things. I am not sure why people feel taken advantage of - the invitations must start a starting and ending time, and you should have the parents' phone numbers. If the party is from 1 to 3 PM, at 3:15 the hosts should be on the phone locating the missing parents. This is not day care, it's a party.

3 moms found this helpful

As a child entertainer I see it all. Here is the "norm", though.

1. Up to about age 7 or 8, most parents WILL stay with their children. After that age, most parents will ask if they need to stay. I highly suggest ALWAYS asking for a contact phone number if the parents are not staying.

2. Most host moms will let children be dropped off at the 7-8 year range. I highly suggest reiterating the pick up time.

3. It IS mainly the moms that do attend with their children. To the dad's defense, though, I know a lot of times the dad is staying home with the other children and this is actual the moms time to get out of the house and mingle with other moms. :)

Just my observation,
R. :)

3 moms found this helpful

My kids are still little so I don't drop and run but if other parents did i wouldn't mind.

My husband rarely joins us at kid birthday parties (except our own obviously) just because they aren't that fun - most of the time I don't really want to go either - but if it's close family/friends we all attend.

3 moms found this helpful

When I have hosted Birthday Parties I ususally don't plan enough food for parents but do plan enough for anyone I have invited, including my friends who I have enlisted to help me run games, serve food and keep an eye out. I never had parties for "friends" before my kids were in school full day. I never invited more than I feel comfortable with watching and I usually run a party length based on age so a 6-8 year old party is usually 1 1/2 hours, my older kids get a little longer like 2 to 2 1/2. I let parents know that it is okay to go, unless I have a party where we are at a location that they could get lost or injured and I really need them there. I feel I can do almost anything for 2 hours and feel they are taking time out of their day to drive, bring a present so them leaving is what I see as part of me wanting my child to have a party. If you list it as your requirement on the invite then when they RSVP make sure you say okay I will put both of you down. As hostess I would offer them snacks and drinks as well, but I am not up for that big of a party. I also when parents RSVP collect a cell phone number and second number for emergencies and when they drop off say we should wrap things up at 4pm even if it will be more like 415pm. No one has ever been late most early. I also would never bring other children of my own with either as they didn't invite them and were not planned on food, goody bag and game prep. Good luck with your parties.

3 moms found this helpful

My son has sensory processing issues so I never dropped him off at a party until he was 7. I still won't drop him off if it is a swim party or anything near water. I had parents stay at parties I hosted until DS turned 6 but some parents still stayed and I welcomed them. Our parties are typically in our backyard with fun themes like pirates, army boot camp or other and I keep the number of kid guests between 5-10. My husband loves helping to host the parties at our house, he dresses in costume and gets really into the theme. But he would never want to go to a party at someone elses house where he doesn't know any of the parents and everyone is generally standing around wondering what to talk about. Besides our weekends are too valuable for getting projects done to waste his time at a party for kids.

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