What Would You Do?
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Birthday Party and Uninvited Guests: What Would You Do?


Can a mom and her kids have their cake and eat it too? My daughter gets invited to a lot of school birthday parties and many require that parents accompany the children. Most celebrations are on Saturdays when my husband works so I've got all three of my kids in tow. Usually thrown at venues, the festivities have per child rates attached to them. Toting my newborn is no big deal since he can't participate, but it'd be rude to bring my 3-year-old. It also seems ridiculous to hire a $20 an hour babysitter to watch my sons while I take my kindergartner to a two or three-hour party. What would you do in this situation?

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me345 me345 3 years 9 weeks
I would JUST NOT GO!!!!! not let your daughter go. she will survive. i know it sucks hauling 3 kids to something and i also know it sucks to be asked if some other UNINVITED kids can come to your party - especailly under or wild ones who need more supervision than I have available. do not ask. do not go. News alert - your kids actually don't need to go to EVERY dumb activity these days... kid bday parties suck horrible anyway till their about 12. give yourself a rest... why would you wanna haul around a newborn at a germy hectic place anyway? someone mentioned entitlement above - let's try to stop that in the next generation. our kids don't need every last thing nor do they have to have a huge party at age 5. i've been to those things - the kid looks like she barely knows what goes on. and a requirement for the parents to stay? yeah... NOT!
3 years 31 weeks
Well, as a single parent who is usually on a budget, letting other uninvited children come to my child's party is kind of a downer because some parents expect me to pay for the cost of their children. I wouldn't recommend bringing your other children if they weren't invited. If you do, please don't be alarmed or upset if I ask you to pay for them or warn you ahead of time that I have limited supplies that are to only go out to the children who were initially invited.
greykatt greykatt 4 years 22 weeks
Yw!
4 years 23 weeks
Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!
greykatt greykatt 4 years 23 weeks
"Agreed Sarana! I can't remember going to a single party when I was a kid that required everyone's parents to be there." My son is relative to the poster's child's popuplarity at being invited. So I understand. The fact that it was stated that the parents are required to be there is indeed a new one for me. The following pertains to young and small children: To me, it is just good saftey and common sence for a parent or trusted guardian to go to an event with the child. I can understand if the child knows the hostess/host, but I seriously doubt the child is safe with so many other random adults around. If one is new to the group, a child can get easily firghtened, taken in the hubub, or lost. Not to mention the other adults that are at the venue (ex: Amazing Jake, Chuckie Cheese's, the local park, Funtastics, etc...) not there for the party! It's not just the adults to cause concern either. Ever heard of the blind leading th blind?! Children have a heard mentality. If one child leaves the group, then it stands to reason one more will follow. Bottom line... "Adult Required" should not be a needed statement in the invitation. It should be an easy assumption.
greykatt greykatt 4 years 23 weeks
While those of you who stated it would be rude to spring the uninvited child on the hosting parent are correct in this fact... there is one thing to consider here-- planning. If, as was stated, the hosting parent was made aware of the situation asap then she/he would be able to make the nessasary arrangements needed for the venue. I am a parent that likes as much of a heads up as possible. Being social myself, I wouldn't dream of denying a younger sibling the chance to socialize. However, I would ask all the parents (on the invitations... it is rude to just assume they only have ONE child in the family) to let me know just how many children (besides the invited one) they are planning to bring. This way, when the parent(s) RSVP, I can have a ball park figure to work with in terms of finances for the function. I would also add on ten more heads as a "just-incase" method. If less than that show up (for a single household) atleast I am prepared for the other parents who either did not or could not let me know ahead of time. If that exact number show up plus a few heads I will also be prepared. Win - win situation.
Jessie-M Jessie-M 4 years 33 weeks
Agreed Sarana! I can't remember going to a single party when I was a kid that required everyone's parents to be there.
Sarana Sarana 4 years 33 weeks
I think it's strange to have a kids party with all the parents there. I would ask the parent if my child can be dropped off. It is what I remember as most fun about my parties when I was a kid, being with friends, not being with my parent that I already see every day.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 4 years 33 weeks
Jessie, I was going to suggest the same thing as you. Is there another parent you're close to who may be able to supervise your child? If it's not possible to ask another parent (or if you don't know any of the other parents that well), I agree with lile. It's not really that rude to ask. Not, it doesn't display a sense of entitlement, either. If you felt entitled, you would just bring your 3-year and not bother asking!
GMarie GMarie 4 years 33 weeks
Lordy. If I had to pay my sitter $20 an hour, I'd be turning down invitations left and right. She's right to feel awkward about taking an uninvited child, but paying a sitter $40-$60 so one child can go to a 2-3 hour party seems...nuts and would put anyone in a crunch. You don't want to disappoint the invited child, but who can afford that?
Jessie-M Jessie-M 4 years 33 weeks
And my estimate of 15+ parties per year is based on class sizes btw....and that is per child! (not including the newborn, of course) :) Not to mention the cost of all those presents....
Jessie-M Jessie-M 4 years 33 weeks
It is a very tough situation. I might call the parent throwing the party and see if she would be comfortable with your child attending on their own, or if they knew another parent attending that may be comfortable supervising your child along with their own. If you know another parent whose child is attending you could also ask them directly after getting the ok from the host. I dont feel the poster is being selfish for trying to find a way for their children to attend their friends parties! With possibly 15+ parties a year, a sitter for 2-3 hours per party is a LOT of money for the average family, especially one with a newborn. Im sure the poster does not want to save their sitter budget strictly for childrens birthday parties and never have any adult nights out with her hubby!
4 years 33 weeks
This recently happened to me. I threw a 5th birthday party for my son at a venue that charges per child. Not only did this parent not RSVP but they also brought a sibling. The grandmother dropped the girls off without a hello and was 20 minutes late to pick them up. All of this without a thank you or any acknowledgement.
lilegwene lilegwene 4 years 33 weeks
Well, I guess we are just going to disagree on this entirely. I would let it go... I just don't understand your reasoning. I don't feel like I, or most people, would expect the hostess to accommodate my uninvited child. At the same time, it doesn't seem like a big deal to bring another child; I would welcome another child if I were the hosting party, so that shapes my answer. I, as hostess, would say "bring everyone!" and that is why I would ask to bring my additional child if the tables were turned. When you said "And seriously, telling a parent to give you money to bring a child? Talk about rude." That was in response to my saying "The child would be very welcome, but the parents would need to pay the cost and handle the situation if the child felt left-out."
4 years 33 weeks
"#7, this is definitely a gray area and that is why the question was asked in the first place." That's my point. There shouldn't be a gray area, but people think everything has to accomodate them these days that unfortunately people do ask questions that common sense should have already answered. I'm never going to agree that it's not rude to ask if your other child can go. The reason the invitation is addressed the way it is speaks for itself - the host wants that child, not your family. If they wanted "and guest" or "and family" the invitation would've stated it. I never said it was rude to say no when requested. I said it can be very uncomfortable when you're on the spot and the person is being rude enough to ask. I can't fault someone at all for saying no, I fault the person asking.
lilegwene lilegwene 4 years 33 weeks
#7, this is definitely a gray area and that is why the question was asked in the first place. It's like you didn't even read the question, and just got outraged that someone would ask to make things more convenient for themselves. It's not AT ALL rude to ask to bring your other child in this situation and it's not AT ALL rude to tell that person that you can't afford their uninvited child if you cannot. Said like "Hell NO, your brat can't come!" Would of course garner a bad reaction, but saying "I'm sorry, I really can't afford to add more children to the party" is completely understandable. Can you really fault someone for not being able to afford more than what they budgeted for? Lastly, it's not entitlement. It is a simple question, with a simple answer.
4 years 33 weeks
Have you thought about talking with friends who have similar issues or who would be willing to do a "playdate trade"? They can have yoru middle child over for a playdate while you're busy with the older one at the birthday party and in return, you have their child over for a playdate while that parent needs to be out for something? It saves the costs of babysitting, your older one gets to attend the party and your middle gets to have a special time with a friend as well.
4 years 33 weeks
My first thought is where are you hiring your sitters that cost $20/hour? It's definately not worth sending a child toa birthday party if it's going to cost that much to care for the other child! For me, if there's no other way around it, my older child simply can't go. I certianly don't think there's anything wrong with asking the hosting parent if there's a way to accomodate your situation, however you have to be polite and accept that yoru child can't go if there is no way around it. Some parents, when hosting an in home party have their spouse or some extra adults around and can have enough supervision to make an acception, if they're comfortable with it, and there's certainly nothing wrong with offering to pay for your younger child's cost at a venue event. Some people when planning their child's party don't think about other parent's schedules as they themselves may have never had this issue. As long as you're polite and respectful and make it very clear that you understand the situation that you're also putting the hosting parent in, I think there's nothing wrong with asking if you can come to a compromise.
4 years 33 weeks
If the party is at a per head venue, then offer to pay for the extra kid. I.E. Buy your own slice of pizza and tokens at chucky cheese. Explain to your other child that he will not be getting a goody bag as this is not his friends party, at his friends part, he will get a goody bag. Or have a little something at home for him after the event. If it is an at home venue, talk to the parent and feel out the situation, if it is a party of 28, one more kid will likely not be an issue, a party of 6 +1 is a larger deal and you need to evaluate if the birthday boy is worth the $60 babysitting fee plus gift. You can always plan a play date just for the birthday kid and your kid later on.
4 years 33 weeks
So it's stingy to have only a certain amount of guests you can accomodate but not stingy to not pay a sitter? Got it. It's not stingy to know you can accomodate 16 guests rather than 17, which is why you only invite a certain amount of guests. However, it is incredibly stingy to say "I don't want to pay a sitter, so can you feed and entertain my younger kid too?" Yes, it is rude to say yes when you mean no. But if you're put on the spot and the person has been awful enough to ask, who wants to say no? The person was rude enough to ask, so who knows what they'll do if they're told no. And seriously, telling a parent to give you money to bring a child? Talk about rude. The child wasn't invited. There should be no gray area. The sense of entitlement these days is overwhelming.
lilegwene lilegwene 4 years 33 weeks
My post didn't go up... sorry if this is a double. Are you really so stingy that an extra child would be such a burden? I would extend the invitation to the parents' other child. If it was at a venue where I could not afford another head, or I didn't have enough favors, I would let the parents know. The child would be very welcome, but the parents would need to pay the cost and handle the situation if the child felt left-out. It isn't rude for this person to ask to bring her family. It is rude for the host/hostess to say "yes" when they mean "no."
lilegwene lilegwene 4 years 33 weeks
Are you really that stingy? If I was throwing the party, I would definitely say bring the other children. If it costs more money then I want to spend or there are not enough party favors for more children I would let the parents know that I couldn't pay extra or didn't have enough favors for the extra child, so they would have to cover that, but the child was welcome to come. It is not rude to ask. It is rude to say "yes" when you mean" no."
4 years 33 weeks
Actually, the hosting mom probably will say yes simply because she doesn't want to be as rude as the person asking and she'll feel bad being put on the spot and having to say no. So if you want to be the person to put her on the spot and leave that impression rather than spend a few bucks on a sitter, hey, you do that.
4 years 33 weeks
I disagree. If it's requiring parent supervision, it's likely at a venue, which means the hosting parent is paying per head. Asking them to add your 3-year-old because you're too cheap to get a sitter is incredibly rude as well. Even if it's at home, you're now planning another plate. And don't think for a moment you're the only rude one requiring just one more guest to accomodate. If they planned for 16 guests and bought two packs of 8 party favors, you've now required them to buy a third pack just for your child. There's LOTS of reasons why asking to bring another child is rude. Suck it up and get a sitter.
lilegwene lilegwene 4 years 33 weeks
Call the parents throwing the party, explain your situation, and I am sure 99% will say bring the crew.