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Pool party - what do you think?

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#1 December baby

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:14 AM

My 7 year old daughter has been invited to a pool birthday party at a school friends house next Monday (last day of school holidays). As email invite is less than a week from party I feel like I have to rsvp asap.

The host indicated that she would have a helper to supervise kids at pool party (group email show at least 15 kids invited) but she did state that parents are welcome to stay if they wanted to rather than drop off..

My hubby is back to work on Monday but my mum said she could look after my older daughter if I want to take my 7 year old daughter to the party and stay.

The norm these days however with parties is to drop off (but my only hesitation is that while my daughter can swim, as it is a pool party that I should stay and help supervise), but I wouldn't feel comfortable if most parents just drop off and I am the only one staying at the party for the whole time there...

What are your thoughts?

#2 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:16 AM

We have hosted pool parties for 6 and up and none of the parents stayed..

#3 December baby

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:26 AM

Thanks J_WTF for your reply. I am the same and usually just drop off for parties and don't stay... But my only hesitation is that it is a pool party....Kids can be silly and jump on each others backs in the pool, run around the pool....

I'd equally feel uncomfortable if I am the only parent hanging around at the party, so wanted to get others thoughts if I am overthinking the need to stay...

#4 BornToLove

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:29 AM

DD was invited to a pool party at a friend’s house this summer. This kid’s ranged from 8-10years old. Of the parents I talked to before the party, the majority planned to stay as they just weren’t confident about the level of supervision for so many kids.

However, the hosting parents were on the ball and had hired a lifeguard to watch the kids so most ended up leaving once they found out a dedicated and trained professional would be watching the kids.

#5 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:44 AM

Other sorts of parties Id drop and run, pool party Id stay up til about age 10 even though my kids are strong swimmers. That's just me. I take water safety really seriously (obsessively) as a friend drowned as a child.

The exception would be if I knew one of the other adults well or something like above where there is a lifeguard.

#6 Future-self

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:53 AM

DS is 6 and there is no where I would leave him at a pool party with 15 other 6 year olds, only two parents one of whom has about 20 million other things to organise food, games, etc. We went to a pool party recently for a child turning 6 and all the parents stayed and the host parents expected it. At 7 not much would have changed with what the kids need! Other parties at houses we’ve dropped and left as have others. A pool is different.
I would stay, I don’t really care if I’m the only one (i doubt you would be) I’d just keep busy doing everyone’s sunscreen and supervising and generally helping .

Edited by Future-self, 25 April 2019 - 09:54 AM.

#7 MarciaB

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:54 AM

I have hosted pool parties at that age.

Sometimes parents stayed - but to be honest they didn't supervise - they were purely chatting amongst themselves.

I had my Mum and my 2 teenage neighbours (lifeguards at the local pool) supervising.  It wasn't possible for me and DH to supervise a lot as we were preparing food, greeting guests etc.

So - I would perhaps plan to stay - but leave if everything seemed under control and there really was adequate supervision (ie not just hosts who would be busy doing other things and parents who are most likely talking amongst themselves).

#8 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:55 AM

I'd be a bit nervous too. Have you spoken with the host to get a feel for the level of supervision? That's what I would do first. 15 is a large number of kids. At the local pool you're expected to keep kids under 10 under visual supervision at all times.

#9 Manicmum

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:18 AM

I would stay. I’ve had to rescue a 6yo from a pool whose mum was just yelling at her to swim.

#10 Octopodes

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:19 AM

I would just RSVP no. I have no issue turning down birthday party invites which make me feel uncomfortable due to safety.

#11 SeaPrincess

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

At 7, we always stayed for pool parties, even though we had a pool and the children were good swimmers. I’ve told my own children that they can only have as many children as I feel comfortable supervising, which was not many when they were that age and I didn’t know swimming abilities, etc.

#12 Mae55

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

I’d stay at that age. My kids are older now, but not strong swimmers and I think we’d be busy on the day of a big pool party. I’d let them go if it was a few friends and I knew the parents would supervise closely.

I’ve been a pool party and witnessed a close call. The child’s parent was there but panicking a bit and another parent jumped in. I think if the child’s parent hadn’t been there they would have gone under unnoticed though.

#13 EsmeLennox

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:23 AM

At 7, I’d stay for a pool party.

#14 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:39 AM

View PostOctopodes, on 25 April 2019 - 10:19 AM, said:

I would just RSVP no. I have no issue turning down birthday party invites which make me feel uncomfortable due to safety.

I don’t send dd to any parties where I have to sign a waiver form.

#15 EsmeLennox

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:44 AM

View Postineedmorecoffee, on 25 April 2019 - 10:39 AM, said:

I don’t send dd to any parties where I have to sign a waiver form.

That gets harder as they get older. So many things require a waiver now. I always think ‘would I let my kid do this on a family outing?’ If the answer’s yes, I let them go.

#16 kidwrangler

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:49 AM

I'd stay and plan to supervise my child while swimming rather than socialise. My kid's risk trumps social awkwardness and a pool party is a high risk activity.

Both my children are confident swimmers, but that number of children and a party can be an accident waiting to happen.

My children have both had multiple pool parties and until they started high school the rule was / is parents are invited and expected to stay and supervise or their child wouldn't be swimming.

Sounds OTT, but I have made it clear with the kids and parents. Some parents still did the drop and run with swimmers, I had to let those kids know they weren't swimming. I've also handed swim bags back to parents as they went to go.

No way I could live with a child drowning in my house under my supervision. I don't know the skills of random kids. No way I could live with my child drowning under another parent's supervision (or potential lack thereof). You know your kids skills, but what it they get dunked, play a breath holding game, get knocked by rowdy play while the supervising parent is socialising or getting the cake out?

#17 NeedSleepNow

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:59 AM

I would stay and supervise. My step-sister drowned as a child, so I am extremely vigilant and cautious when it comes to any water activity. DD recently went to a 6th birthday party at a water park, and there was only one parent who didn’t stay due to having a new baby. That was fine though, because the adult to child ratio was high!

#18 Heather11

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:00 AM


I don't know the skills of random kids.

I think this is really important.

The parent may think all the children are really capable swimmers.  Children muck around and be silly in the water.  I have had to stop another children try and drag my DS under the water.  He is not a good swimmer and I could see him struggling.  The other child's parent was doing nothing.

I wouldn't care if others stayed or not.  It would be about providing supervision for 'my' child.

#19 Soontobegran

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:05 AM

We had pool parties for children that age...kids came and few parents stayed, I guess parents trusted us.
We also had a vested interest in not allowing anyone to drown.
We took our responsibility seriously. Both of us have Life Saving qualifications.

If you have a child who can not swim who you do not trust to be able to manage then stay if it will make you feel better.
They have given you that option...they sound pretty onto it really.

#20 José

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:06 AM

either id not send my child or id stay.

#21 qak

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:13 AM

View PostDecember baby, on 25 April 2019 - 09:14 AM, said:

... I wouldn't feel comfortable if most parents just drop off and I am the only one staying at the party for the whole time there...

What are your thoughts?

Honestly, I wouldn't be comfortable with that many kids of that age, and unknown ranges of swimming abilities, without pretty close supervision.

I wouldn't leave my kid there and go. Be prepared to be a supervisor!

#22 ekbaby

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:44 AM

If you feel more comfortable staying, stay. The host wouldn’t have put on the invitation that it was fine to stay if they weren’t cool with it.

#23 Baily

Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:31 PM

I’d stay, I’ve been to pool parties and been shocked next to no supervision.

#24 halcyondays

Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:24 PM

One of my kids has epilepsy and doesn’t really want to feel different by broadcasting it to all his friends’ parents. I hang around at every pool party- sometimes I am the only parent there. It’s never awkward, even if the hosts tell me that they’ve got it sorted and I can go if I like, I just say I’d rather watch. Most times they are happy with that, and I just chat with whoever else is supervising or sit on a chair watching the pool. Other times I can tell that the hosts feel awkward with me there, like they are a bit miffed that I don’t trust them or they think I’m a helicopter parent or whatever, but that’s their problem, not mine.

Twice now, I’ve jumped in fully clothed and pulled out drowning 5-7 year olds. The other parents and hosts didn’t notice as it can occur so silently. Especially with kids playing those breath holding games under water.

#25 lizzzard

Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:48 PM

At 7yrs, I don't think its that 'embarrassing' to have your parent stay (if that's what you're worried about?). I also think there's a fair chance you wouldn't be the only parent there. Personally I quite like birthday parties as an opportunity to meet other parents - I rarely drop or pick up my kids from school so parties are one of the rare times I socialise with other parents.

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