Jump to content

Another Party Etiquette Question


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 boysx4

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:09 AM

DS2 is turning 4 next week and really wants to go to the play-centre with his friends on his birthday. He wants to do this because DS1 did it earlier in the year for his 5th birthday.
With 4 boys we can't afford parties for all of them every year, so we were going to make them set ages for parties (turning 5, turning 8 etc).

So I want to invite DS2's friends to come along without it being a party invitation (no presents etc) as I  will want them to pay for themselves, rather than a party where I would pay for everything.
What's the best way to word this? Do I still bring a cake?

I don't want it to seem like a present grab, and I don't want to come across as a tight-ass.
I think I spend waaay too much time reading eb threads complaining about this stuff so I want to get it right!

#2 1miss2littlemen

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:15 AM

I would just invite a coupele of his friends for a play date for his bithday, Just tell the other mums that its not a party just a catch up? That way there is no pressure of that kind of thing?

#3 eachschoolholidays

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:17 AM

QUOTE (boysx4 @ 22/10/2012, 08:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I want to invite DS2's friends to come along without it being a party invitation (no presents etc) as I  will want them to pay for themselves, rather than a party where I would pay for everything. Do I still bring a cake?


To be honest, I would find this rather strange.  It sounds like a play date rather than a party.

#4 bunnee

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:28 AM

DO you have to mention that it's his Birthday to the invitees? Could you not just say it's a playdate? If his Birthday is mentioned - even if you ask them not too - people will bring gifts.

#5 whale-woman

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:38 AM

Can you tell him the play centre is for special birthdays and he can have a party there next year when he's 5? I'd do the party somewhere free like home or the park and just tell the invitees that it's no bought presents. (I'm going to do this for DD as she has too much stuff and doesn't need more presents). If the other kids want to make some thing for a present - eg some craft or a card etc then fine.

I find the idea of an invite to a play centre for a birthday where you pay for your own kid a bit odd. Otherwise it's a play date and then people won't feel the motivation to attend like they would for a birthday.

Edited by whale-woman, 22 October 2012 - 07:39 AM.


#6 Eirinn

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:39 AM

If you want to just have a playdate, call it a playdate and don't bring a cake. You will look like a tightarse if it turns into a party after everyone has paid their own entrance fees.

#7 JustBeige

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:42 AM

I would do the same as PP and tell him that play centres are for birthdays and take them to a park.

Otherwise, just make it a playdate and take a little cake with you.

#8 Moffetta

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Is he set on the play centre?

I would just do something at home or a park like pp said.

At that age they think anything with balloons is a party, I did this for dd 4th birthday this year. We had it at home with 2 friends, some balloons, sandwiches, lollies, biscuits and cake nothing too flash but she still felt special and had a great play with her friends.

I think you could do that cheaper then the entry to the play centre for your 4.

#9 ekbaby

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

QUOTE
I would just invite a coupele of his friends for a play date for his bithday, Just tell the other mums that its not a party just a catch up? That way there is no pressure of that kind of thing?


I think you could say something like the above.

TBH though I would probably still be prepared to pay for the other children's entry. From an "invitee" perspective, if you are invited to a playcentre for a playdate for no special reason, it's easy to say no if you couldn't afford it, or suggest another place, if you are invited for a child's birthday I'd feel like I couldn't really say no therefore I think it could create resentment having to pay.

Are you very close with the parents of the other kids? If the parents are very close friends I think it could totally work as you can talk openly about these things, if they are the friends from preschool or something like that where you don't really know the parents, it might be more awkward. Are these people that you would normally catch up at a playcentre with anyway?

I'm not sure how much playcentre entry is (I'm guessing around $15?) so if money was tight I would rather invite just 2-3 friends, bring my own cake and make it a very casual playcentre party... $45 is not that much to spend.

Other options would be just having the same kind of thing in a park- then you could invite as many of his friends as you want- just call it something like "having a play in the park, and we might bring a cake along".

I have a group of friends who meet regularly in the park for playdates anyway, and when it's been a child's birthday if we want to have a casual birthday we just say "Hey it's X's bday that week, we'll bring a cake"

I think if you only want to have parties certain years then you have to explain that to your child, rather than trying to give him the same sort of party that his brother had, but making other people pay for it IYKWIM

#10 MrsShine

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

If the other mums are women you're close to, could you just tell them the truth?
Say via text or phone call (not email as its too close to a genuine invitation) we're not having a party for DS2's birthday this year, but on x/x/x day we'll be going for a little play at said play centre.
If you're free to come along for a play & a catch up we'd love to see you.
Maybe do it on a weekday (assuming you don't work) as this is less full on, and DS2 is less likely to see other kids parties in full swing.
If you can stretch to it, have baby cinos, or a little snack together afterwards.
But I'd say save the cake for family time at home with his brothers.
Even just invite cousins and a few close family friends?
But I'd make sure this is well explained to DS2 and the other boys as you don't want them feeling like one gets more attention than another iykwim.

#11 boysx4

Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:39 AM

Thanks everyone. I didn't really think there was a way to do it without it being strange/cheap.

We all normally go to the play centre every month for a play date, so I might try to organise one for this week so he gets to go, but it isn't for his birthday.

Then we will just do our ususal special family dinner & stuff next week on his birthday.

#12 Lyn86

Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:50 AM

Why not just give him a party this year and not one next year? He obviously really wants what his older brother had and will probably feel a bit miffed when he isn't made a fuss over. Next year he won't really feel like he's missing out as his brother won't be having one either.

#13 mumto3princesses

Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

I think I would make it a party or not. So, a playdate and then a small party with family and even a couple of friends or a playcentre party.

A friend of my girls did a playcentre party once without it being the big package. They did their own invitations and took a cake and arranged to have a couple of tables at the playcentre and ordered some food platters. So, no minimum numbers, no host or party room which made it cheaper. All they had to pay for was the entry for the kids and the food they ordered.

There is also no reason why you couldn't just invite a few friends to your family party to make it feel more special. One of my girls friends did that this year and they were the only non family members at their friends party but they didn't care and they all had fun.

We are doing similar for their birthday and just inviting a few of their friends. We wont even going all out and doing games etc, they will just have music, some decorations and food and can just play. Same as what we had planned if it was just family.

#14 mintpatty

Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

My son is going to a play centre for a friend's birthday this weekend.  It's just the birthday boy, his dad and 3 friends.  I didn't find it weird at all.  

The birthday boy's dad just sent a text saying "For X's birthday I'm hoping to take A, B & C to the playland on Sunday, is (my kid) available?  I'm not doing a party, the boys can have a play together and I'll buy them lunch".  

I'm fully aware people can't do parties every year, I certainly don't.

#15 Julie3Girls

Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

If you are going to limit parties to certain birthdays, you need to explain this to the kids and follow through with it. And define what you are actually going to consider a "party".

I don't think you can do the same thing for your DS2 as you did for DS1 if this is a non-party year.  Because even if you get the other parents to pay, it is still going to look the same to the kids. Might not matter now, but later on, it could be something the kids notice.

It really depends on how you are going to go forward.
I tend to do "parties" every year, but they are very low key. DD1's party this year was 2 friends for a sleepover.  So rather than limiting parties to certain years, I simply explain to the girls that they had a big party last year, so this year is small.

Having a couple of kids over in the afternoon and providing cake for afternoon tea and just letting them play - still a party but costs hardly anything. Or arrange a meet up at the park, without any mention of the birthday, and bring cupcakes.

Or start a tradition of just one or two friends on the "non party" years - I can understand not wanting to pay for a whole party at a playcentre, but it doesn't cost a lot to bring along one or two of your DS's friends.

#16 bandbub

Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

dont know where your located but the playcentres around us dont let you bring in any outside food and only if you have one of their parties can you bring a cake  something to think about



#17 melaine

Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

First of all - I'd have no problem if my friend SMS me and said "I'm taking X to the playcentre for his b'day on Friday, he'd love it if Y could come along and have a play" - I'd assume I was paying just like every time I went to the playcentre.

However, I wouldn't do it. I'd prefer to say "We're not having a party - but we'd love to catch up at the playground for a play and some cake". We went to a couple of similar 'parties' last year for kids who were having family only parties. It was loads of fun and very casual and cheap - a cake and some nibbles and you are done!

#18 cward

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

QUOTE
If you are going to limit parties to certain birthdays, you need to explain this to the kids and follow through with it. And define what you are actually going to consider a "party".

I don't think you can do the same thing for your DS2 as you did for DS1 if this is a non-party year. Because even if you get the other parents to pay, it is still going to look the same to the kids. Might not matter now, but later on, it could be something the kids notice.

It really depends on how you are going to go forward.
I tend to do "parties" every year, but they are very low key. DD1's party this year was 2 friends for a sleepover. So rather than limiting parties to certain years, I simply explain to the girls that they had a big party last year, so this year is small.


I agree with this.  If it is a no party year then it is no party.  This will come back to bite you if you give DS2 a party on a year its not his party.  If the off party year only involves a family party then you need to explain this to your DS2 and explain that next year he will have a friend party and DS1 won't.  I think even a playdate could be thought of as a party to your children.

We don't do big parties every year and in fact up until 4 my kids only ever had small family parties.

Both my DD's had big parties FYOS (my DD2 just had hers last week) and next year my DD1 will be having a big one as she is turning 10.  In between she has always just had 1 or 2 friends over and we usually either go to the movies, play in he pool, have cake.



#19 Ice Queen

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

I agree that if you are only having parties for certain years you need to follow through.  

How about 'Sorry, sonny-jim, we are not going to a play centre until you are 5. Yes, I know you are mad but I want to win a million dollars and that isnt happening either so the eariler you learn life isnt about getting everything you want, the easier things will be for all of us'!



#20 niggles

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:19 AM

I think Mrs Shine has the answer if you really want to do the play centre thing. And skip the cake, singing, games and assorted party stuff. And make it a time that's not an expected eating time.

#21 mummame

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

I also would find it a bit strange to come along to a 'playdate' and then have cake and its a party. I would also feel obligated to get a gift for the child and then a bit miffed that we are paying for ourselves. I would just invite a few friends and pay for them.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Kelly Clarkson shares first photos of son

Kelly Clarkson has shown off the first photos of her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock.

5 childbirth myths that need to be busted

Birth is an unpredictable, mysterious process that intrigues us all, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Mum of three fatally shot by toddler while driving

A US mother has been shot by her toddler while driving on a highway in Wisconsin.

All you need is one minute to work out

The seven-minute-work out is old news. Research shows the effectiveness of going hell-for-leather for just one minute.

Pregnant women needed to join diabetes study

Pregnant woman in country Australia will help Adelaide researchers figure out why cases of type 1 diabetes have doubled over the past two decades.

Just announced: the Mountain Buggy Unirider

It's the perfect solution to combat those toddler meltdowns when they no longer want to be in a pram but can't walk long distances.

Authorities euthanise dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

A pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week has been euthanised, authorities said.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Why it's perfectly natural to dislike other people's children

Members of a popular forum are fiercely debating whether it is acceptable to dislike a friend's child.

Woman gives birth on plane, names baby after airline

A pregnant woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a flight has named her new baby after the airline, Jetstar.

Heartwarming photos show the joy of adoption after foster care

Children living in foster care can feel like their future is less than clear. But that uncertainty disappears the day they are adopted by their "forever family" 

'Oh my god, it's a baby!' Mum shocked to give birth

When the cramps started to kick in, Klara Dollan just assumed a painful period was starting.

Mum's Facebook plea: 'Help me find my daughter's father'

Kerryn has a unusual present planned for daughter Imi's 13th birthday celebrations - she hopes to be able to be able to give the soon-to-be the teenager her first ever photo of her dad.

Is it possible for your house to be too clean?

Our houses are cleaner than ever before. But how clean is too clean? Could a sterile home be putting your family's health at risk?

Millions of Monkeys: puzzles that grow with your toddler

Here's a puzzle that grows with them; the Puzzle Grow Pack by Millions of Monkeys.

Baby names from Britpop

If you grew up in the 90s you might want to look to the genre of Britpop music for baby name inspiration.

What to eat and drink when you have gastro

When you catch a bug that causes acute infectious gastroenteritis (gastro), your stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, causing diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and pain. The last thing you probably feel like doing is eating.

'To this day, I owe her my life'

Would I have survived if I hadn't crossed that street?

Why baby Sonny needs you to vaccinate your children

Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of immunisation to protect children from harmful and deadly diseases.

Five-year-old's photo captures beauty of motherhood

There is no make-up or special outfits and hairdos, but the five-year-old boy who took this picture captured the essence of motherhood as well as any professional photographer.

Babies know whether you are naughty or nice

Studies have shown that infants in the first months of life try to avoid dealing with social wrongdoers - for example, sharing less with them and helping them less - and they expect others to, too.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

ENTER NOW

Do your kids love bananas?

This is the comp for you! We have $800 worth of Myer gift cards and boxes of Australian Bananas to be won. Entry is simple: just post a pic of your little one enjoying a banana in the comments of the FB post to enter.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.