I’m struggling with current kid party etiquette. Why do most parents treat kids parties as a parents social? Controversial opinion I know, but hear me out ..
My eldest is 22, when she was little everyone dropped and left, most people valuing a bit of time to themselves. I do remember a mum hanging about once to police what her little darling ate. The poor kid wasn’t allowed anything sweet and was only allowed to drink water. The mum didn’t talk to me, offer to help or anything remotely useful, she just sat stony faced at the edge of the room.
The term ‘helicopter parent’ is new to me, along with ‘attachment parenting’. If I am to be defined by an extreme style then I would prefer to fall into the ‘free-range’ parent category, e.g., allow my kids a degree of freedom, to have solo experiences and learn from them. Some would consider this approach neglectful. I ask myself what it is that parents are so scared of today that makes them reluctant to leave their kids side? But I don’t think this is a fear based phenomenon. The parents at my kids school are a sociable lot, they enjoy an opportunity to get together and grab those moments when they can. This I understand, however it can make life tricky for the host.
I have hosted at home a few times now, other parents think I’m mad or brave (and they openly tell me so). Only one was a bit odd about it, asking me for my adult child ratio. Primarily my motivation for a homemade party at home is to save on cost, let us not underestimate how much a whole class party can set you back, I’ve done it before and it can easily approach 500 quid. Myself and husband have spent a lot of time and effort in the past on our homemade parties but have saved ourselves a bundle in doing so, you can read about my daughter’s recent one on >>here<<.
I have been to so many parties now where I feel unable to leave because nobody else is and they will think I’m neglecting my child if I do? Obviously there are the exceptions where I would never drop and go – the venues that I have to stay at include ‘soft play hell’ mostly because my little one wouldn’t be able to find the loo on their own..(but please don’t exclude my kid from these parties just because of my silly phobia, they actually love these places!)
Noise and chatter is an issue. I recall once witnessing one entertainer, at the end of their tether asking parents to be quiet! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a chin wag as much as the next person, it’s just that I kind of feel that it’s the kids day; after all it is their birthday..My advice is to pop a simple ‘please feel free to drop and go’ request on the invites, or wave parents cheerily off on the doorstep, most actually appreciate a bit of time to themselves!
I love meeting with my mummy friends for a drink in the evening, or a coffee / shopping trip when I can relax and have fun; we also help each other out with loans of costume bits for various things going on at school, sharing info and child minding other kids, lifts to parties etc, etc .. they are pretty understanding, but I know that I am lucky.
What are your views on children’s parties? Would you never dream of leaving your offspring unattended at a party? And if so, why? Do you enjoy a chance to catch up with other mums and think any opportunity will do?
Have you hosted a party and been irritated because you felt you had to entertain adults rather then focusing on the kids? Would you prefer a bit of time to yourself and find staying at kids parties a bit of a bore, if your child is school age do you feel that it is ok to drop and go?
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