Dropping Kids off at Birthday Parties

Updated on October 05, 2010
C.S. asks from Nashua, NH
16 answers

My daughter is in grade one and all of a sudden it's birthday parties non stop. I'm wondering at what age did you start dropping your child off for parties and picking them up afterwards? Thank you.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

For my children, a huge factor would be how well I knew the family. I would NEVER drop my young child off at a house where I didn't know the family very well. I think it would irresponsible to do so. But, that's just us.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

My son is also in 1st grade no parties yet thank goodness we didn't invite either to his.But I don't plan on dropping him off for many + yrs yet same with my girls who are younger.My parties will be parents invited too.

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answers from Boston on

I have 2 girls: one was ready to be dropped off at age 6 and wanted me gone, the other did not want to be left alone until about age 10. It depends on the child. I would suggest to ask your daughter about maybe leaving for a short while to go to a nearby store, or a walk around the neighborhood where the party is, etc. You may find she did not even notice you gone. I always left my cell number with the host so she could call incase of tears. If she is fine with a short separation, then next time make it a longer one. Great to foster some independance, it cannot be done all at once at 18, lol!

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answers from Redding on

I think the first grade is a good time to just drop off if the child is okay with it. I always talked with the parents when I RSVP'd if I didn't know them and walked in with my child to make sure they were inside, scope things out, introduce myself, etc. If it was a family I knew well, I either stayed because all parents were invited for the bbq or just dropped the kids off out front like any other play date or activity they were invited for.
Just be sure to leave a contact number in case you're needed for any reason and it should be fine.

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answers from Honolulu on

The party invitation, SHOULD SPECIFY, if it is a drop-off party, or not.

At parties, especially this young.. you have the option to stay. Tell the parent hosting it.
BUT, don't expect that they have 'you' or the adults, included in the food/lunch budget.... if it is held at a party place or kiddie amusement venue.
So, ASK first, if it is okay that you stay.... and be cognizant, that the hosts have budgets. That is 'why' sometimes, a party is drop-off. Versus inviting ALL the parents to stay....

My friend had a party for her son, and she was very forthright about her reasons for it being a drop-off party... due to her budget. She couldn't afford to buy lunch, for ALL the parents too. BUT... she had MORE than enough adult supervision at her son's party.... and planned it that way, since it was a drop-off party.

If you do not know the family well... they you might opt to stay. A child this young, will not necessarily feel comfortable with you not there... nor even know how to call you by telephone, if your child needs to. AND, if going to the bathroom... WILL a adult be accompanying the child??? They should NOT be going by themselves at this age... at a public kid party venue.

So, you need to think about these things.

AND it depends on your child too. Gauge your child. IF she wants you to stay then stay.

At that age, I stayed at the parties my daughter went to. Unless it was a close family friend whom we knew well.

good luck,

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answers from Sacramento on

I'd say kindergarten or 1st grade. As long as your child is comfortable with you leaving, give yourself a break from all of those parties. Just check with the host that it's fine if you don't attend. I've never had a problem.

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answers from Seattle on

1st grade.

My son is in 1st grade and he has already been to 4 parties so far...ugh! I have just dropped him off and been back to pick him up at the appropriate time...that being said all his friends this year he has known since for sure Kindergarten but most since preschool, so for some of his buddies, even though they are only turning 7 this year, he has been to 4 of their b-days already, so we are comfortable with the parents!

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answers from Boston on

It definitely depends on how comfortable you feel with the parents and how your child feels. It's funny, it seems with my oldest child's class - and I'm talking about when she was younger now, very few parents stayed - even though I kind of hoped they would to help out. And usually it was only me and maybe one other parent hanging out at some parties when clearly more adults should have stayed - I think sometimes people assume these situations are safer than they really are - or they quite frankly just don't want to stay, it's like free babysitting, and there are so many of these things. But if they'd been around to see the mayhem and how unsafe things can get - they would have never left another party again. But I met some really good friends by staying - so it was kind of an "investment" in the future - now I know a lot of parents really well, and I never would have if it hadn't been for living through those parties. It's really helped out now that my daughter is older and obviously can't have me tagging along - I know these parents well and wouldn't hesitate to leave my child in their care (and I know the ones I would never leave my child with!). For my younger child - it seems almost ALL the parents still stay - virtually nobody drops them and leaves - even at houses where the kids have previously had playdates. It's just a different group of parents, I guess. IF you do leave - be sure to write your phone number and emergency contact information on a BRIGHT piece of paper and make sure the parent in charge has your attention when you hand it over. I've been at a party where a kid fell and hit her head and needed stitches (it was a bowling party - you'd think that would be pretty safe). I can't tell you how many parties I've had where parents just dropped their kid and tried to run and I have to chase them out into the street to tell them I don't even have their phone number. Good luck!

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answers from Erie on

for me it still feels not quite right to leave in first grade. but i have found that alot depends on the venue. a place like chucky cheese that is more or less secure I feel more comfortable leaving for a half hour. A place that i haven't been to be for, or were they could run right out and exit and not be noticed, i would insist on staying. House parties, can be weird, I want to stay and supervise especially if there is play equipment like a trampoline or something, but it is super akward for me to stand around talking to some kids grandma because all the other moms dropped and ran.
case by case, kid by kid

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answers from Seattle on

On our invitations from the beginning, I always state that parents are welcome to stay, or to drop off. As my son's gotten older, the number who stay has declined somewhat, but there is still a high percentage who stay. Part of this, however, is that I don't like having parties at home. My house was the "afterparty" for several years (adult stuff, obviously) before kids, and I'm just not that person. I LIKE coming home to "sanctuary" after a party, not having my house full of people, because I'm still "working" as long as people were there. Even though it's been YEARS, since the afterparty was my house... the disinclination has still stuck. I really don't like having more than 4 or 6 people over at one time. So most of the time we're out and about. This year was at the movies with pick up and drop off in the theatre's party room. Other time's it's been at bouncey places, etc. Since these are all activities that parents can enjoy, and even bring sibs... we tend to have more people stay.

For most of the parties my son attends I drop off. The 5 minute "Hi! Thanks so much, just checking pickup is ______?" etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it really depends on the kid and the venue, and what's comfortable for you and your daughter. My daughter wanted to be dropped off last year at age 4, and if it was a place where I felt OK with and we knew the parents, I let her. It's funny, I feel less comfortable at Chuck E. Cheese because it's so chaotic! My son, who is 8, is always dropped at parties; at this age they tend to be smaller and just his friends, not 'invite the whole class' affairs, so I usually know the parents very well; I've never encountered one that wasn't drop-off optional since kindergarten, but I always ask the host if it's OK to leave. Sometimes little kids want to show their independence, but then get a little unsure, so I might leave for a little while and go back to make sure everything's OK. And if it's given by good friends to chat with, all the better! :)

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answers from Hartford on

For me, it depends on who is at the party and where it is. My son is almost 9 and I probably started dropping him off in first or second grade, but only if I knew the party goers well, especially the people hosting. Most times I like to stay and chat and make sure my son is getting along well w/everyone, but if I had errands to run I'd just make sure it was OK with the parents in charge and come back about 15 minutes before the party ended.

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answers from Austin on

First grade is a good time to drop them off and then come back and pick them up. I agree walking them up to the door and making sure they get inside, then just saying have lots of fun! I will be back at " whatever time" or "when the party is over" and then leave. Usually you can tell if your child is going to be ok or if they need you for a moment to find another child they recognize..

If I had not met the parent before.. I used to ask if they felt like they needed help.
Usually they had it under control. Follow your child's lead..

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answers from Madison on

I would say kindergarten or 1st grade. As long as your child is comfortable with it. At a school-age party I would feel odd staying at a party that is hosted at someone's house unless I was friends with the parents. If it's at a public place then I don't think it would be awkward to hang around if your child wants you to. Otherwise I would just walk them in to the party, say hello to the parents and come back near the end of the party.

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answers from Philadelphia on

It depends on where it is how far it is from my house. Is it at the person house or another location. Do you know the parents fairly well or just met them?
Now with my oldest child he is now 10 1/2 yrs. I know all his friends families and feel comfortable with him staying there.
I have all my kids b day parties at my house. With my older son I would not except the parents to hang out but with my two younger ones the parents still hang out sometimes.



answers from Minneapolis on

First grade. Unless we are friends with the parents, hanging around just feels awkward.

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