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OT:Do You Drop Your Kids Off At Birthday Parties If You Don't Know The Parents?

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM
  • 14 Replies

My Kid's Birthday Party Isn't an Open Invitation for Me to Babysit Your Child

birthday presentsWhew. Is it really Monday already? After celebrating my kid's seventh birthday over the weekend, I could really use one more day to relax and regroup after the festivities -- which were fun, but also pretty darn stressful.

Even though we didn't invite the entire first grade class this year, we did have a decent turnout for the birthday party we threw yesterday -- 13 kids, to be exact.

And no, I'm not brave enough to host a birthday party at my house in winter with all those kids present. (No. Freakin'. Way.)

We wound up celebrating at the local bowling alley, which was a total zoo because there were five other birthday parties going on during the same time as our kid's.

The place was absolutely packed and there were people everywhere. That's why I was pretty shocked and kind of puzzled when several of the kids' parents came up and asked me if they could drop their child off and go run errands instead of sticking around to enjoy the extra pizza I'd ordered (since I figured we'd have plenty of hungry adults in attendance too).

I was definitely put on the spot, so when I was asked by parent after parent whether or not they could leave and come back after the party to pick their child up, I said yes.

But then a few minutes after they all left, I started freaking out a little bit. Yes, these are 6- and 7-year-olds, so they're perfectly capable of being at a party without their mom or dad there.

But there I was, suddenly in charge of all these kids -- and I don't know them or their parents, nor did I even have a phone number to call them in the event of an emergency should something happen to their child.

And then I started to get worried that I'd accidentally lose one. It's pretty tough to keep tabs on 13 kids in a crowded bowling alley when they're running all over the place AND I'm trying to help serve pizza, cake, and make sure everything is going smoothly.

All in all, the party went fine and no one got hurt or lost and all the kids went home with their respective parents once the fun was over. But it definitely got me thinking. Would I ever drop my kid off at a birthday party and place all that pressure on the party hostess -- when she's someone I don't even know?

Absolutely not. Because a birthday party is not an invitation for free babysitting. It just isn't.

I guess it's one thing if you know the child's parents -- but other than a couple people, I had never met these moms or dads before. Ever. And it just seems awfully bold for them to ask me to take care of their child for two hours when I know absolutely nothing about their child.

Unless it's specified on the invitation that parents are welcome to drop off their kids -- moms and dads should assume they need to stay at birthday parties with their children. Period.

And I plan on writing those exact instructions with a Sharpie on next year's invites for sure.

Do you drop your kids off at birthday parties if you don't know the parents?

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Sonja on Mar. 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The only way I will drop my kids off at someone's birthday party is if one of the older kids knows the parents and the one whose birthday it is.  Especially in today's society. 

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I wouldn't but that is just me. I hang around plus it is fun to see the kids having fun and also you never know when an  extra adult hand or eye may be needed : )

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

 My kids wouldn't be attending a birthday party where I don't know the parents! So that scenery will never happen for us but if it did NO I would not drop them off.

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Nope. I will only drop my kids off with close friends. Anyone else she either doesn't go or I stay. Shes 7.

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Just to give a different view - I would just drop them off and unless you stated it on the invitaition, I would not think you expected me to stay . So as you said - put it on the invite. (now if you ever have a spend the night party ...) Although I once went to a kids swimming party and a mom dropped of a non swimmer - this is a BAD idea!  It is always a good idea to have some extra adult help.

Jody       Check Out The Writing Course

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM

DD is only 2 right now so no way. And at 6-7 I wouldn't either. I'll be okay with it probably at 10 or 11.

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Nope I would stay.
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by Group Admin on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:39 AM
No. If my kid is invited I stay. I do also ask if they need anything and if I bring my other kids, since my husband was in the military, do I need to bring them snacks or something extra to the party. I would do this whether I know the parent or not.
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by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Nope, I know all my girls friends parents. Even then I don't leave them unless it's at their house and even then if there aren't people there that I don't know. My oldest who is 10 was asked to go to a sleepover and they were going to go out to dinner and shopping. I said she couldn't go. I'm not having my daughter in a car with other kids messing around, with a parent that I'm not sure of her driving skills, even though I know her, her driving my child is another story.

When I have parties I always put on the bottom whether food will be served (other than cake and ice cream) and that parents are welcome to stay. I have only had parties at my house I am not willing to try to have it off location yet. If I do it will only be a few kids. My youngest wants to have her party at a bowling ally this year. I don't really like doing that, besides the fact that I'm a bit of a germaphobe, it feels rushed and having to bring everything and pack up. Not my thing.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Nope. Not until age eleven or so. I know firsthand and painfully what can happen when a mother leaves a child unsupervised with strangers. I've always been more attentive and careful as a mother than my own mother because of my own childhood experiences.
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