Should I Pay for the Expenses of the Parents of My Daughter's Friends?

Updated on December 04, 2017
L.L. asks from Los Angeles, CA
18 answers

My daughter wants to invite two girl friends (11 years old) to the movie theater and to eat pizza in the food court of a mall for her birthday, but she tell me that their moms and siblings would go with them for sure. The question is if I should have to pay for them too. To be honest. It would be too much for my pocket.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia!

No. You only pay for those you invite. If the parents and siblings choose to attend? They pay for their own way. You make that clear. Their daughter, Sally, is invited to the mall on Jan 2 2018 for a pizza and movie birthday celebration. If anyone chooses to stay and watch the movie? that cost is on them.

yeah there will be people who feel it's rude. Too bad. This is life. You're not Nancy Pelosi with billions or Oprah Winfrey with billions, right? SO you do what you can afford.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

An 11 year old doesn't need mommy or a sibling tagging along to a party. Sounds like these people are moochers. Make it clear the 11 year olds ONLY are the guests. If the parents say they and/or the sibling must be included, tell them sorry, then their daughter won't be included.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

This is the problem when 11 year olds make all the arrangements for social events. We don't know what the girls said to her or what she agreed to, or what she just assumed because someone said, "Oh, my little brother wants to see that movie too."

The thing to do is to get the addresses and send invitations. Indicate a drop off and pick up time at the theater or mall and a specific location, OR have the invited girls dropped off at your house for you to drive them to the event. Then you can either take them home or the parents can pick up at your house at a pre-arranged time. You can even say something emphatic but I would indicate what movie you've chosen and its rating, and add that YOU will be sitting with (or near) them and supervising at all times.

You could send an email but don't send an e-vite because usually that gives the recipient a chance to say "how many" are coming, and they could answer "5"! So if you send an email, it should be directly to the parent and say that "Susie is turning 11 and wants to invite Sally to come to ABC movie on (date and time and location). I will be sitting with or near them, and then will take them to XYZ mall for pizza afterwards. You are welcome to drop Sally off at my house at (address) at (time) for me to drive her, or you can drop her off at the theater entrance at (time). My cell number is xxx. Please RSVP by (date) and let me know if there are any food allergies I need to be aware of. I will drop her at your home at (time) or you may pick up at (location, time) if that's more convenient for you. Hope she can come!"

I don't know why people get the idea that they and their other kids are included - maybe it comes from all the big venue parties at bouncy houses when the kids are 3, and all the parents hang around with the other kids because the supervision is needed. Then it extends to older kids? I figure, if your kids are old enough to be left without you in school, they can be left without you for 3 hours at a party.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No, you shouldn't have to pay for anyone that you didn't invite. If the parents want to join in and come then they should pay the way for their own kiddo too. That's what I would do.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

You are not responsible to pay for the parents or siblings.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are obligated to pay for who you invite.

At age 11, there is no need for parents and siblings to tag along on a birthday party.

Make your intentions clear from the get go that you are treating your child and her 2 friends only so no one has any other expectations.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

No, only only pay for who you invite.

I would expect that you would sit near/with your daughter and guests in the movie theater and food court - at 11 yrs old I wouldn't just drop them off - and some malls have rules about 16 and younger must have an adult with them.

I don't get why the other girls parents would tag along with their other kids.
They can do what they want and pay their own way but this is a birthday party and it seems awkward and rude for them to invite themselves.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

No you do not pay for her friends family members. They aren't invited!!!

I would say "Betty's would like to invite Ann to a birthday movie and then pizza afterwards. I will pick up Betty at 1:00 and bring her home after the pizza." If they say anything then I would say "no, I'm not inviting Betty's brother and sister".

I think it is crazy nowadays for people to think because one kid got invited to a birthday party that means the whole family is invited.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Some of this might be miscommunication between 11 year olds.

Just a regular invite stating drop off and pick up time.

If they are there and sit nearby - don't offer to cover their expenses.

No one would expect you to. That's just odd.

If your daughter has already offered to include the rest of their families (sometimes kids feel pressured when asked or if it comes up) that's a different matter. She should then clarify that it's just her friends that will be invited to the movie (party).

If she felt peel pressured to do so (trust me, I've head this happen) then you might want to clarify ahead of time to avoid awkwardness at your daughter's party. You could just say "Sorry if this is awkward, but just to avoid any confusion - we're just inviting your daughter, my daughter's friend, to the movie". You could do that when they RSVP for example if you feel there's any confusion.

Any normal parent/adult would not expect to be invited with their other kids. So this likely is just kids talking.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Margie is right. You do not pay for moms and siblings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

You might go to the theater and purchase a movie voucher, or a movie gift certificate that permits one guest to one movie, in advance of the party. Then have your daughter make a little invitation, and include the one movie ticket in it. Write something like "Jolene, I hope you can come to celebrate my birthday with me at [name of movie and theater] on [date] at [time]. We'll have pizza afterwards in the food court. Here's your ticket to the movie!" And then make it quite clear with Jolene's parents whether you plan to pick Jolene up, or what time and where you'd like to meet if they plan to drive. Then they'll know they can come along if they want, but only Jolene's ticket is paid for.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

oh my word!! NO!!! you ONLY pay for those invited.

You need to talk with your child to find out what she said to her friends. DO NOT get in her face and accuse! While you are in the car going shopping? Ask her about her party and what she told the two friends.

If she invited the families of these girls? You need to correct her and tell her that you cannot afford the whole family. The way to correct that would be to be honest with her friends and tell them that she misspoke and the invite is only for the friends, not family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

No way. You only need to pay for the girls, the friends that were actually invited. Something that might make this clear to everyone - print up some simple invites (just use a word doc etc) that specifically invite the girls by name to be a guest at your daughters birthday get together. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your 11 year old daughter's friends told her that their moms and siblings would go with them? That's very odd. I would understand this response to a preschooler's movie party, but this is very unusual for parents of 11 year old's to assume they and their other children will tag along. No, you do NOT have to treat these moms and siblings. She only wants to invite 2 friends, that's easy. Just call the other moms and have a conversation. Explain that you would like to treat the 3 girls to the movie and pizza, as a special treat for just the 3 of them to spend the time together to celebrate your daughter's birthday. Offer to pick up and bring the girls home after the outing. If they still insist on the tag-along, I would say that I would have to talk to my daughter to see how she feels about that because that changes the dynamic she had in mind. Also mention gently that 4+ extra people is not in your budget. If your daughter is OK with the larger group, I'd go with the flow (because it's only 2 families) but make clear to the other moms that they will have to pay their own (and siblings) way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Hmmm...why in the world do you think this automatically makes you responsible for the whole crew? If anything, the fact that a parent is coming should actually make you feel relieved that SHE will be paying for herself and her kids. In no universe would a parent expect you to pay for their entire family just because they want to be around to supervise. Every time a parent has invited me to the movies, they tell me they will text me with the amount they spent on my kid, and that is the right thing to do, you should not expect other parents to pay for your kids. When I have asked a kid to a movie, the parents send him with money for tickets and snacks. It's the considerate thing to do.

Also, just because they tag along to the mall doesn't mean they will be with their daughter. They could just want to park there, go shopping and catch a movie while the friend spends time with your daughter, and then leave all together in the evening. Lots of people use that as an excuse to get to the mall and do some shopping or running errands. My mom would go to the mall with me to see/meet my friends, and while she shopped, I'd watch a movie with my friends then go home with her afterwards. Saves gas and a lot of back and forth driving. Reach out to the parent if you want/need clarification though.


answers from New York on

You should pay for yours and the other child should have her own funds and if the mother is coming that's insane for her to expect you to pay



answers from Norfolk on

When you are all together I would announce "I'll pay for friend (name) and friend (name)!" - super loud & happy. Then there should be no questions or explaining you have to do on your part.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would walk up first to the cashier and announce to everyone "I'll pay for my daughter and her friends" then quickly have the cashier ring you up. You should only pay for yourself, your daughter and the two friends she invited. They shouldn't expect you to pay for them.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions