Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Birthday party manners?

I'm a mom of two (almost three!) and in my few quiet moments I blog about gift ideas and gift etiquette at

After my own kids' parties and several others we've gone to this month, I've been thinking about party manners, and am so curious to hear what other moms think. Especially on my mind:

1. Do you have a good way get the message to parents if you'd like them to stay for the party? (we once attended a swimming bday where some parents dropped off their preschoolers and left )

2. How late is too late to send out thank yous?

3. If a parent requests "no gifts," do you ever feel like you should bring one anyway?

4. If your party is at a big venue (think Chuck E. Cheese) is it ever okay not to open the gifts at the party?

5. Do you have any particular birthday party peeves?

I'm would love to post about this on my blog someday, but first I'm just trying to figure it out for myself! Thank

Answer Question

Asked by ImAmberLee at 2:01 PM on Mar. 25, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • 1. I've always seen this taken care of on the invitations, especially for younger children. Parents were dropping *preschoolers* off at a swimming party!? Yikes! Also if you are taking your child to a party where it hasn't been specified always stay unless the parents hosting tell you otherwise.

    2. Never, I suppose...Although a timely thank you is always best. For birthday parties I don't think you necessarily have to do thank you cards/notes so if you find yourself short on time, I would just make sure to call the parents and thank them.

    3. Perhaps not a gift. I personally would probably bring a card with some money, give it to the parents and say "I wanted to make sure he/she knew we thought of them. The money can go towards something you think he/she needs or wants."

    4. The only time I've not seen gift opening at a party is when it's for a small child who becomes overwhelmed or (CONTINUED)

    Answer by madamekatekate at 3:28 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • (CONTINUED) when the children are especially excited. So, yes, if you have 13 children in an already crowded chuck e cheese, I think it's ok to to open presents at home if they are unable to sit through it. (In this case, I think a thank you note/card/call would be even more important.)

    5. I understand children will be children but you have an unruly kid who ruins it for everyone is just UUUGH. You know the kid I mean---"I want the biggest piece of cake! My mom told me I could have as much as I want!" or "Open my present first!" and if the child complies it's always "Open you other presents later let's play with the one I got you." Also when you manage to get stuck with the kid who tries to impress everyone in attendance with various stunts, jokes, talents to make the party about them...It's even worse when those childrens parents are in attendance and don't reign in their kids.

    Answer by madamekatekate at 3:33 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • 1. I'd put it on the invitation. Simply say parents are encouraged to stay. 2. I agree with the first poster that it is never too late. I think the best time though is within the first week. I also think big thankyous at the party are important just in case. 3. I think in this case a card is your best option. 4. I think that you always should open gifts at the place. I think ppl like to know that the child liked what they gave. 5. My only peeve is when parents come late to drop off or pick up.

    Answer by danni33 at 4:01 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • For your blog I want to give you some birthday ideas that have worked great for us. I have my dd sit in a chair and we call the kids up one at a time and they give their gift to the birthday kid. We always have a giving and recieving chair decorated and the kids love to give their gift and it helps the birthday kid remember who gave them what.
    Second is I take a picture of the kids in a group..behind the cake table or at a slumber party all in their jammies. After the party I make a card online (at walmart they are only 15 cents or something and you can make an uneven number if you only need 11). This becomes my thank you so I'm sure to get them out in a timely manner and the kids get a picture from the party.

    Answer by ria7 at 9:31 AM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Thanks for the great ideas! Love the idea of bringing a little something and saying ""I wanted to make sure he/she knew we thought of them." So well said. Also love the idea of sending a pic with the thank you. The kids would love it too. And I totally agree about the late drop off + pick up.

    Answer by ImAmberLee at 1:43 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I never see presents opened at the party anymore. The parties are only 2 hours at the most and that would take the entire time.

    Answer by mompam at 4:33 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.