Birthday party...stay or Drop Off? What Age?

Updated on December 12, 2010
A.N. asks from Soldotna, AK
11 answers

Hi. My son got an invitation to a b-day party from a kid who lives down the road from us. I have met the childs mother and she seemed reallly nice. I was wondering at what age do you drop your child off or do you stay with them? My son is 5 and is in kindergarten. The party will be at a public place just up the road from us. I want to go but I have a 2 year old and probably won't have a babysitter at that time. The place where the party is at is more for older kids and not so much for little ones. Any advice would be wonderful:) TIA

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answers from Jacksonville on

At that age (5) I usually asked the hosting mom what her preferences were.
"Do you want me to just drop him off, or would you prefer that I stay?" Be direct. There is nothing to take personal offense at either way, so there is no reason NOT to ask.

The answer will be one of 3 things:
1) You can drop him off if you want, just be back to pick him up by____.
2) I'd prefer that you stay; it's a public place and I'd be more comfortable with more eyes on the kids.
3) Whichever is fine with me.

Often, the hosting mom will appreciate having a few of the moms stick around, but doesn't really want ALL of the moms to stick around. If you are in the close group with the mom, then she might expect you to hang. If you are not, she might prefer that you didn't.

So just be up front and ask.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Tucson on

as a parent who just had a birthday party for my daughter..PLEASE is hard to not only deal with my own children, but when i am made responsible for 8-10 other kids it is hard to focus on watching my child enjoy her birthday!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it's really different by region. Around here, everyone started doing "drop off" birthday parties around age 4. Some parents stay, but very few.

You can, of course, call her in advance, explain the situation, and see if she'd prefer you to stay with the 2 year old or just leave your oldest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Talk to the mother. Sometimes they have all the help they need, other times not. I have left my kids at the party in Kindergarten, but I have four kids. So many times I needed to go drop someone else off or pick up somewhere else. I always asked the mother hosting the party if she has a preference.

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answers from Seattle on

I would think that depends on the hostess. I would ask if it's all right to bring your younger son or if she would rather you just drop off your older one as you can't get a babysitter. See what she says. It might be all right, but some people might not appreciate you just leaving your child in their care when they have so much else going on!



answers from Anchorage on

Talk with the Mom about it. I had a couple of moms drop off last year when my son was in K.


answers from Columbus on

As others have said, call and find out what the hostess is thinking. Here's a story for you....
My son was in a rather new school, where we didn't know the kids and their families real well, yet. All the parents were super nice, it's just that we had only known them for about 3 months, since moving to the area. My son was in ice skating lessons, and decided to have his birthday party at the rink where the lessons took place. We set it up and invited about 10 boys. We had a friend in town who would be bringing her son and said she would stay at the rink with us. It didn't even dawn on me that at this age (5), parents would do the drop off. Each parent came, said hell/goodbye/see-ya-soon and left. I kept thinking at least ONE of them would stay. Nope. We had a party room and I was there, greeting guests as my husband was down on the ice. I kept thinking my friend was going to show up any time to help watch the kids and be an extra set of eyes/hands. She ended up being very late and her hubby decided not to stay home with her baby, so was there with a 10 month old . I was getting nervous as to how we were supposed to keep track of all these kids! The rink was open to the public and there were quite a few people there, besides us. I had a 2 year old and 4 year old, too! My husband and I were worked up into a literal sweat, running around, doing head counts, etc. Some of these boys couldn't skate at all, and I was so nervous someone was going to get hurt!! I was right. One boy caught a skate blade to the cheek, which resulted in just a "flesh wound", superficial scratch, but I was a wreck. His mom was entirely cool about it, but I felt awful. Now, we recall that party and laugh, but at the time, I was completely taken by surprise by the fact that none of the parents stayed. Since then, even when though my kids are older, if it's a public place, I have parents mostly staying. We didn't do public area parties for quite awhile after that..LOL! Just recently, my daughter had a party at a roller rink and I made sure I had back-up! Most of the parents stayed, even though I didn't "ask" them to.
If you know of another parent who might be staying, you could ask him/her to help keep an extra eye on your son, if you feel comfortable. Most of the ChuckECheese-type places have safety systems in place to keep just anyone from leaving with a kid, but at a more adult establishment, there may not be one in place.



answers from Los Angeles on

No - you have to stay, unless it is touted as a sleepover or something - in which case 5 would be too young anyway - I also have a 2 year old, so I feel your pain, in trying to keep them occupied - my son (8) just went to a bonfire party - it was a true nightmare trying to watch my busy 2 year old outside, in the dark, next to a bonfire - but I did it, didn't stay too long though LOL
I would say 10 or so would be the youngest I would leave my kid unsupervised with people I don't know.



answers from Las Vegas on

I would still attend. Just bring something to keep the little one busy.



answers from New York on

If you feel comfortable dropping you son off then he's old enough to go to the party himself. My recommendation would be to stay with him for about 15 minutes or so to make sure both you and your son were comfortable. Make sure the mom has a phone number where you can reached in case of an emergency.l



answers from San Francisco on


Unless she says to drop off your child, I think you should go--bring your other child and bring some activities that they can do while waiting for big brother.


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