Kids' Birthday Parties

Updated on May 28, 2011
C.S. asks from Carmi, IL
18 answers

*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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answers from Modesto on

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.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

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


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answers from Pittsburgh on

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


answers from Chicago on

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


answers from Denver on

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


answers from Boston on

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


answers from Dallas on

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


answers from Chicago on

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


answers from Chicago on

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


answers from Minneapolis on

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.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Around here, once they start school, parents drop off their kids. I sometimes, used to ask if the parents wanted any help, but most times, they all said, no thanks.

I NEVER had parents pick up their child late.
I always had the parents cell phone numbers and made sure they also had mine.

To be able to keep control of the party, I also made sure the party was not too large that my husband and I could not handle it alone.

We did have some parties that we wanted the parents there, so of course we made it clear the "Smith" family was invited to "Mary's Birthday party" at the lake. Those were great party's!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My kids are two and four so I always stay. Unless it's a close family friend ( we will all attend) otherwise I take the invited child and my hubby stays home with the other two. If his schedule allows he has taken our oldest while I stay home. I would not allow drop offs until maybe around 6, and not at all if it were in a public place. I only plan food for the kids but enough cake and drinks for anyone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

My son is only 4, has been to about 10 parties, but no way would I leave him. I go, hand him the gift so he can walk up the drive with it (so he can learn/practice greeting the family, introducing himself if needed, and giving the gift graciously), and then I introduce myself, offer to assist if needed, and visit with the other moms while the kids play or whatever, take a couple photos for the day. My husband comes if he can (if not working)---he likes them, too. He can hang out and talk to some dads or help me if our youngest gets tired. He did miss the last party because the youngest had a double ear infection. I don't know what the age is when kids can be dropped off (I don't remember any parties where any parents were present unless it was a family thing when I was growing up.....but then I didn't start going to parties until 3rd grade and it was always a slumber party back then). I would not let someone drop off their child unless it was a good friend and I'd be cool with them leaving the child even if there wasn't a party. But then, my children are young. I wouldn't want to be responsible as the caregiver of a 4 year old I don't know well AND hostess of a party.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

When my kids were in preschool we just had family over for birthdays so it wasn't an issue. Hardly anyone that age had parties with friends/classmates, but we did go to a few and I stayed mostly because all the other parents were staying and I didn't want to seem rude (and no my husband never went, he would have hated it.)
By the time they were in school we had mostly traditional backyard parties, games, crafts, pinata, sometimes a bounce house. I never expected the parents to stay, as a matter of fact I was VERY annoyed when some did. I was not prepared to host adults, so it was very uncomfortable for me, I felt like they would just sit and watch for two hours while my husband and I ran the party, very awkward. What happened to the days when a birthday invitation was to a child's friend? Now we're expected to entertain the ENTIRE FAMILY???
I think the whole birthday party thing has gotten way out of control. I still believe in the "invite as many friends as your child's age rule." That really makes for the best time for your child. Big parties are overwhelming for kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It depends on the age of the child. My oldest is 9 I don't expect parents to stay but I don't mind if they do most of the parents did (moms and dads) but we see each other all the time so it was nice to socialize while the kids had a good time. My youngest is 4 so parents must stay and bc it's at our home I don't mind if that means siblings needs to come.

I have no problem dropping my 9 yr old off at a friends bday if I know the parents I usually go in and say hi, chat for a little bit, and leave. If I don't know the parents then I stay just so I can get to know them. My 4 yr old I wouldn't drop off for a bday party.



answers from Minneapolis on

For toddler/preschool age, I always stayed. Most all the parents in our circle of friends did. At this age, when kids can have a melt down, tantrum, issue, or whatever, I would not want to burden the birthday party host parent with tending to my child. Once my kids hit kindergarten, everyone dropped off for friends parties. Of course we always stayed for family/cousins parties. Actually, I think it is the host's choice to allow/invite parents to stay or drop off. Knowing how busy and crazy birthday parties can be on the host parents, I wouldn't dream of being late for the designated pick up time. As far as the Mom vs Dad thing, it was almost always me that went, simply because I knew the families from school, where they lived, etc. so it was more comfortable and easier for me. Plus I enjoy it. But DH would certainly go if I weren't available.



answers from Miami on

I think its an age thing personally. When my daughter was younger we stayed the whole party. Now that she is nine we go in spend some time. Then it depends if no parents stay and she has adjusted well we will leave her but find out what time to pick her up at. My daughter's parties are very parent and kid friendly so usually half the parents stay and half leave. After the party I usually take a few kids back to our house for them to play on the Wii or something else.


answers from Biloxi on

When my son was a toddler I had small family parties, so drops offs were not an issue. Or I had small parties with the neighbor children as "guests". Since I knew all the parents, and the kids often played together, I didn't worry about parents coming or staying. Occasionally a child from his pre-school would come, then the parent would stay - but it was a small pre-school class and we all knew each other so it required no extra effort.

Most parties that he attended were at places like Chucky Cheese so the parents stayed.

As he got older - 3rd/4th grade, if the party was at a venue, I would stay some of the time, but if it was at another child's house, and I knew the parent's I would drop off. I expected the same when we had parties.

I don't get the having to entertain the parent's also if the invitation is for the child only. I would not expect to have parents and siblings attend a party for my child...I simply could not afford to entertain 2 to 4 extra guests per invitee.

Anyhoo, now mine is almost 15 and parties consist of a few teen boys hanging out eating pizza and playing Nerf wars in the yard. Sooooo much easier. LOL

God Bless

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