Not going to a b-day party = good punishment?

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Joined: 07/24/10
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Not going to a b-day party = good punishment?

My son's 8th birthday party was yesterday and a certain situation got me thinking. Nate's little "girlfriend" wasn't allowed to come to his party because she was grounded. While I understand the importance of consistency in parenting, I couldn't help but think that I would probably make an exception for a birthday party since it's actually punishing the birthday boy/girl too when a friend isn't allowed to participate.

What do you guys think? If your kiddo is grounded are they grounded and that's that or are there exceptions such as b-day parties, team sports, vacations etc. that affect others?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

We haven't got to that point yet, but yes, if he's grounded, he's grounded. There won't be any exceptions for family, friends, or once in a lifetime events. To me, it would be a bad idea to let your child know that there are exceptions to a punishment at that age. It's just my opinion and the way I was raised and I'm sure it will be harder than I want it to be, but to me it's an important lesson.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Growing up there were no exceptions. That's how it will be in my house too. At that age especially, a child should know what's on the agenda for at least that week and act accordingly to be granted the privilege to attend. When I get closer to that point though I may consider some sort of 'make up' like a chore or something, that takes the place of simply grounding. Not sure. There wont be anyone getting away scot free though!

I'm not a fan of deciding what punishments will be doled out ahead of time. For an older child, I think it does more to keep them guessing what might be in store if they act up. Make them think twice about doing the bad thing not knowing which punishment will be coming their way.

In the OP's case, since she was grounded I agree with the parents upholding that punishment.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

You don't think that knowing what punishment is coming helps with consistency? Or do you feel that as long as you are consistent with apply a punishment, any punishment, that it is enough?

I definitely would not make an exception for a birthday party. For my DD, there is no currency aside from time in her room and missing events she wants to go to. There is no toy to take away, TV time, computer time, or anything like that that would encourage her to behave better, as she becomes indifferent about those things when she does wrong. But, missing parties, a trip to the park, or other 'events' really speaks to her.

Perhaps it can be used as a learning experience for the birthday child?

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

I'll just ditto the above three posters Smile

If they're grounded... they're grounded. No exceptions. Yes, they may be upset about missing a birthday party they've been looking forward to, but that may also be the consequence needed for some child(ren) to learn/not do xyz again.

daniellevmt's picture
Joined: 07/25/06
Posts: 213

No, I wouldn't make an exception for a bday party. The times I remember being grounded growing up are the times I missed something "huge". And boy did it straighten me up (for a while, anyway).

It may be upsetting to the bday girl or boy, but my kid is my first responsibility and I need to do what is best for him. That said, I hope Nate wasn't too upset and still enjoyed his bday!!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

We haven't gotten to that stage yet either, but I would think that grounded is grounded. Maybe if it was at the end of the grounding period and the kid had been good all week, I'd consider easing up, but otherwise I would think grounding would have no effect if there are birthday party exceptions!

keky's picture
Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 163

I only have a 2 year old and 4 month old. But I am thinking that I would with warning say "You know so&so's birthday party is coming up next week, if you want to go, you better straighten up". But then there's a part of me too that feels the child should behave regardless of the "reward", because then that's teaching them to only behave when it will benefit them in some way. KWIM?

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"wlillie" wrote:

We haven't got to that point yet, but yes, if he's grounded, he's grounded. There won't be any exceptions for family, friends, or once in a lifetime events. To me, it would be a bad idea to let your child know that there are exceptions to a punishment at that age. It's just my opinion and the way I was raised and I'm sure it will be harder than I want it to be, but to me it's an important lesson.

Hmmm. I understand your POV, but what really nags at me is that others are punished as well as the child in question. For instance, if my child is acting up, is it really the best punishment to tell him he can't go to his baseball game on Saturday or go with Grandma and Grandpa to Disneyland when G&G live in a different country and only visit once or twice a year? I just don't feel right about letting those other people down and would rather find an alternate punishment that only affects my child, like taking away his video games or sending him to bed early.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

Hmmm. I understand your POV, but what really nags at me is that others are punished as well as the child in question. For instance, if my child is acting up, is it really the best punishment to tell him he can't go to his baseball game on Saturday or go with Grandma and Grandpa to Disneyland when G&G live in a different country and only visit once or twice a year? I just don't feel right about letting those other people down and would rather find an alternate punishment that only affects my child, like taking away his video games or sending him to bed early.

I completely understand where you are coming from and I think this is one of those things where you just don't know what you will do until your faced with it. Before my kids were old enough to be grounded as a punishment, I am sure I had said that I woudl be consistant and thesame exact things as the ladies above had said. But when you get to the stage, things do change.

If the offense was not huge, I probably would let them go. I agree that taking away a currency so great as a b-day party would probably teach the lesson, but there is also something to be said about committment. If I could take away somethign else other then the party and still have it be a good punishment, thenI probably would choose to do that.

A friend of mine whose son is in my scout Den often uses not goign to scouting as a punishment. I tell her I totally stand by her decisions, because it is HER decisions, but it does irk me because usually it is something that was RSVP'ed and all the kids were counting on that boy to show up. But then the next day he is out riding his bike an playing and I think, well why the heck didn;t you take that away instead?

That said a birthday party is not as huge a committment as a little league game or a visit with grandparents who are only in town once a year. I think it just needs to be logical and int he end as aprents we do a lot more negotiating then we intend to when the time comes.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"culturedmom" wrote:

I completely understand where you are coming from and I think this is one of those things where you just don't know what you will do until your faced with it. Before my kids were old enough to be grounded as a punishment, I am sure I had said that I woudl be consistant and thesame exact things as the ladies above had said. But when you get to the stage, things do change.

If the offense was not huge, I probably would let them go. I agree that taking away a currency so great as a b-day party would probably teach the lesson, but there is also something to be said about committment. If I could take away somethign else other then the party and still have it be a good punishment, thenI probably would choose to do that.

A friend of mine whose son is in my scout Den often uses not goign to scouting as a punishment. I tell her I totally stand by her decisions, because it is HER decisions, but it does irk me because usually it is something that was RSVP'ed and all the kids were counting on that boy to show up. But then the next day he is out riding his bike an playing and I think, well why the heck didn;t you take that away instead?

Yes Lana, I think you totally understand what I'm thinking/feeling. I understand and support this mom's decision, but it does irk me because it affects my child's birthday. I just couldn't help wondering, "Really? There wasn't anything else you could have done to punish her for getting lost in Target?"

That said a birthday party is not as huge a committment as a little league game or a visit with grandparents who are only in town once a year. I think it just needs to be logical and int he end as aprents we do a lot more negotiating then we intend to when the time comes.

I do agree that a party isn't quite the commitment as the other things mentioned, but I also think celebrating milestones in other people's lives is important. Whenever we get invited to things we make our best effort to go.

I'm probably a little over sensitive about this issue too given that it takes Nate a bit longer to make friends because of his mild disability. Mommy neurosis LOL! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

Hmmm. I understand your POV, but what really nags at me is that others are punished as well as the child in question. For instance, if my child is acting up, is it really the best punishment to tell him he can't go to his baseball game on Saturday or go with Grandma and Grandpa to Disneyland when G&G live in a different country and only visit once or twice a year? I just don't feel right about letting those other people down and would rather find an alternate punishment that only affects my child, like taking away his video games or sending him to bed early.

It all depends on the currency for that particular child though. For my oldest son, the thought of not getting to play Mario Bros on the weekend is enough to keep him straight as an arrow. My daughter is not so easy to discipline...she is feisty to say the least. The only currency she really has at the moment is missing fun events. Missing breakfast at Grandma's, missing a birthday party, ect.

I do think that I look at some things as obligations and others as simply fun. A Little League commitment is an obligation...albeit a fun one, but an obligation nonetheless. A party is just fun and can run missing a child...but a Little League team might be short players and have to forfeit should my child not play, kwim?

I do agree that it's totally situational. I would probably make an exception if grandparents lived in another country and planned a Disney trip. I wouldn't for a pool party, or bowling night, or the School Fair.

daniellevmt's picture
Joined: 07/25/06
Posts: 213

I agree w/ Emily. To me, there is a big difference b/t a Little League game and a birthday party. You are part of a team in once instance, and it's the childs repsonsibility and obligation to be there for the team. A birthday party...well, it will still go on without my kid there. Don't get me wrong, I'd hate to know the bday child's feelings were hurt! As for grandparents being in town from afar, I'm sure I could find something else to take away in lieu of WDW.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"daniellevmt" wrote:

I agree w/ Emily. To me, there is a big difference b/t a Little League game and a birthday party. You are part of a team in once instance, and it's the childs repsonsibility and obligation to be there for the team. A birthday party...well, it will still go on without my kid there. Don't get me wrong, I'd hate to know the bday child's feelings were hurt! As for grandparents being in town from afar, I'm sure I could find something else to take away in lieu of WDW.

Exactly, exactly. Exactly!

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I think it's logical to some extent. If my kids can't behave at home, how can I trust them to behave at a friend's house? A rude or unruly child would cause more of a disruption than an absent child. I do think long and hard though before taking away a party or something like that.

That said, if the issue was getting lost in Target, I wouldn't ground my children. It's as much (if not more) my fault as it is theirs.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Emilys4Guppies" wrote:

It all depends on the currency for that particular child though. For my oldest son, the thought of not getting to play Mario Bros on the weekend is enough to keep him straight as an arrow. My daughter is not so easy to discipline...she is feisty to say the least. The only currency she really has at the moment is missing fun events. Missing breakfast at Grandma's, missing a birthday party, ect.

I do think that I look at some things as obligations and others as simply fun. A Little League commitment is an obligation...albeit a fun one, but an obligation nonetheless. A party is just fun and can run missing a child...but a Little League team might be short players and have to forfeit should my child not play, kwim?

I do agree that it's totally situational. I would probably make an exception if grandparents lived in another country and planned a Disney trip. I wouldn't for a pool party, or bowling night, or the School Fair.

I totally see you POV in the 1st paragraph. I guess if that is the only thing that will get a child to behave, then you gotta do what you gotta do as a parent.

I think, though, that I see birthday parties differently than most of you do. I don't view them as purely a treat. I feel that we are obligated to celebrate the events in others' lives. It's a fun obligation, but an obligation none the less. I feel like it's a lesson in caring about others and that the world doesn't revolve around us IYKWIM.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Yeah, I don't think I'd ground for a Target wandering off either, the punishment doesn't really fit the crime IMO.

But kids have to learn that their actions affect other people. We did all kinds of teamwork activities and we were all really athletic, so we knew if we screwed up and didn't go to the games (or practices) we were going to hurt our team members chances. So we were more likely to be well-behaved if their was a baseball game or a dance competition or a play coming up. If there was something big coming up (like a birthday party or a trip) we also knew that missing those would affect other people and I do think it helped us to be good.

It sucks for the birthday child and would for the grandparents, but if a grounding is in order to punish for an action, then by making an exception for something that affects other people, the punished child will think that the offense wasn't as important as the parents originally made it out to be.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

I totally see you POV in the 1st paragraph. I guess if that is the only thing that will get a child to behave, then you gotta do what you gotta do as a parent.

I think, though, that I see birthday parties differently than most of you do. I don't view them as purely a treat. I feel that we are obligated to celebrate the events in others' lives. It's a fun obligation, but an obligation none the less. I feel like it's a lesson in caring about others and that the world doesn't revolve around us IYKWIM.

Hmmmm.......I hadn't thought of a birthday party in that way before but what you've said makes total sense. You may have just changed my punishment guidelines! lol

Alana is 6 and was just recently grounded for the first time (for an overall bad attitude). We grounded her for 3 days which meant no TV, no going in the playroom, and no DS. We couldn't take dance away because we signed a contract at the beginning of the season stating that we would not take dance away as a punishment. It really isn't fair to let the other girls down. I'm starting to see how a birthday party could be viewed in the same way.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

I think, though, that I see birthday parties differently than most of you do. I don't view them as purely a treat. I feel that we are obligated to celebrate the events in others' lives. It's a fun obligation, but an obligation none the less. I feel like it's a lesson in caring about others and that the world doesn't revolve around us IYKWIM.

I view them purely as a treat for the child, and as an obligation for the parent (who has to rsvp, buy the gift, drive and pick up the child etc). Since I absolutely view them as a treat they would be included in a punishment were it appropriate. My kids aren't grounding age yet. Honestly I don't see a day at a swim pool or moon bounce and cake and friends and party bags and all the like as teaching much about caring about others in a young child. Thats why parents intentionally make birthday parties fun.....so that kids WANT to go to them.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

The birthday party thing....well I suppose if it was a large party, then I wouldn't think it was a big deal to stay grounded. If it's a small one -- like the one we'll have when my daughter turns 4, when we will invite 5-6 of her friends -- then that is different because it really does affect the birthday kid. A whole class party? Not a big deal.

The Target thing seems odd though. Wouldn't being lost be punishment enough? That would be scary.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

My kids are too young for grounding yet as well, but my littlest has had to stay home from a fun trip (which to him is the grocery story/library, etc) because he's had tantrums. I never threaten with punishment, but I do make sure to explain to both my kids that xyz is the consequence they are choosing with their behavior. "Getting lost in Target" sounds like an accident, rather than the more purposeful "running off in Target." If one of my kids were to run off at that age (purposefully), I might definitely make grounding their consequence...even if a birthday party had to be missed.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Potter75" wrote:

I view them purely as a treat for the child, and as an obligation for the parent (who has to rsvp, buy the gift, drive and pick up the child etc). Since I absolutely view them as a treat they would be included in a punishment were it appropriate. My kids aren't grounding age yet. Honestly I don't see a day at a swim pool or moon bounce and cake and friends and party bags and all the like as teaching much about caring about others in a young child. Thats why parents intentionally make birthday parties fun.....so that kids WANT to go to them.

For my children, I see birthday parties, weddings, holiday parties etc. to not only be obligations, but good learning experiences too. I make a point of teaching proper greetings (look so and so in the eye and say, "Hi X! Happy Birthday!"), patience (waiting for your turn at the pinata), restraint (we don't expect the first or best piece of cake), being unselfish (gifts are for the birthday child, not for us), and other good manners. I feel like many children/people have poor social skills because parents don't know that these things quite often need to be explicitly taught. Of course, some people come by it naturally, like my #2. He's a social butterfly, but a lot of kids don't just pick up this stuff through osmosis, especially kids like my #1.

As to the bolded, I disagree. If you care about someone, you make a point of showing up to their party. I mean, who is the person who gets hurt when no one shows up to celebrate their special event? We're really lucky to have such wonderful friends and neighbors that the party ended up being a huge success (approx. 30 kids + moms and dads), but it was still a bummer to my kiddo that his girl wasn't there IYKWIM.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Hmmmm.......I hadn't thought of a birthday party in that way before but what you've said makes total sense. You may have just changed my punishment guidelines! lol

Alana is 6 and was just recently grounded for the first time (for an overall bad attitude). We grounded her for 3 days which meant no TV, no going in the playroom, and no DS. We couldn't take dance away because we signed a contract at the beginning of the season stating that we would not take dance away as a punishment. It really isn't fair to let the other girls down. I'm starting to see how a birthday party could be viewed in the same way.

I've had my mind changed quite a few times as well. I like that about the debate board!

As for the dance thing, I actually agree with the studio. I don't punish by taking away karate class. I think that's a bad idea on many levels, the first being exercise. I don't punish by taking away things that keep my kids healthy! LOL! The first to go are video games. Bye bye Mario!!! Biggrin

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Yeah, we just treat bday parties differently in my family. They are not as huge of a deal and we don't throw giant bashes every year for our kids. If we are talking about 6,7, 8 year olds, I disagree that showing up at someone's party says anything about the child, I think that it only speaks to the parent as it takes zero effort on part of the child.

I agree that birthday parties are yet another way to learn good manners. I would not think of grounding/missing a birthday party as depriving my child of a manner learning opportunity, however. They get those every day as they interact with others in all sorts of social situations. I don't see birthday parties as obligations, we make them when we can but just as often we can't. That's life. We are missing three this month, I would never worry that it speaks to our friendship with the child or their parents....just that it speaks to the fact that it is June and we are at the beach most of the month. Obligations are things like dance recitals (which we are driving home to go to) or the like....I would never expect friends to feel obligated to come to my kids birthday parties as I view them as a nice treat for all involved, not some indicator of the level of love that people or children have for me or my child, if that makes sense. We are just pretty low key all around on birthdays.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Potter75" wrote:

Yeah, we just treat bday parties differently in my family. They are not as huge of a deal and we don't throw giant bashes every year for our kids.

Hmmm, okay, yeah, I guess we do see things differently. Whenever we get an invitation to an event, I mark it on our calendar and we go unless we are out of town, sick, or have something else that is scheduled that can't be rescheduled. That said, we probably have, on average, 2-4 commitments per month on the weekends, so that's not an overwhelming amount. If we had a birthday party every Saturday and Sunday of every weekend, yeah, that might exhaust me and I'd nix a few here and there.

If we are talking about 6,7, 8 year olds, I disagree that showing up at someone's party says anything about the child, I think that it only speaks to the parent as it takes zero effort on part of the child.

You don't think a parent is more likely to take her child to a party that her child is begging to go to? Also, I do think it takes effort on the part of the child. He/She has to tell mom and dad that they want to go and they have to exhibit good behavior and manners while at the party so they are allowed to stay.

I would never expect friends to feel obligated to come to my kids birthday parties as I view them as a nice treat for all involved, not some indicator of the level of love that people or children have for me or my child, if that makes sense. We are just pretty low key all around on birthdays.

I understand your perspective, but I think we have different expectations of our family/friends/neighbors/community. We specifically moved into this neighborhood because of the level of community involvement. Our neighbors know each other and go to each other's events. Our elementary school has gobs of parents that are super involved and know each other and each other's kids. When there's a birthday party, parents don't just drop off, they stay and catch up with each other and enjoy the hot dogs, cake, and chance to socialize...and make sure that their children are behaving. I love it. We used to live in a neighborhood where nobody knew anybody else, nobody made an effort to get their kid to a classmates b-day party, I was the only parent that volunteered in the kindergarten class, and only every 5th house handed out candy for Halloween. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Just not my style IYKWIM.

And I'm totally not exaggerating. Only two kids showed up for Nate's b-day party in kindy and we went to two other parties where Nate was the only kid from school who showed up. I felt so bad for those kids!

Anyways, next year I'm sending you an invitation and you'd better come! LOL! You know you wanted to go down that water slide! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
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"The Great Vagina" wrote:

You don't think a parent is more likely to take her child to a party that her child is begging to go to? Also, I do think it takes effort on the part of the child. He/She has to tell mom and dad that they want to go and they have to exhibit good behavior and manners while at the party so they are allowed to stay.

So you DO believe that behaviour plays a role in whether a child can attend/stay at birthday parties. The only difference between our views is that I believe good behaviour before a party, as well as during, is imperative for attendance.

Our family views parties the same way Melis' family does.

With 4 kids, and as a family very involved in our community, we get lots of invitations. At least two birthday parties a month (I don't have money to spend $40/month on gifts for kids that aren't my own....heck, my own kids rarely get $40 worth of my money in toys/stuff a month). Personally, I would prefer to spend the day together as a family at a community event than just one child getting to attend a party. Also, unless I'm related to the child, I loathe parties that aren't 'drop off'. I have no interest in attending a child's party or standing around someone's kitchen chatting, when the only thing we have in common is a child in the same class. If I want to see my girlfriends, I prefer it to be childfree and with booze. Hahaha.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I have no interest in attending a child's party or standing around someone's kitchen chatting, when the only thing we have in common is a child in the same class.

This, which is why I have no hesitation in saying no to DD attending a birthday party if she's been deserving of punishment for bad behaviour. While I would never deny her attending a birthday party if she's been good, I sometimes secretly wish she would do something naughty that would warrant her not being able to go. Wink I despise the extended family's birthday parties for the kids. DD doesn't even like all her first and second cousins (neither do I much, I'll admit) but there's always that obligation to go because it's family. Blah.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

You don't think a parent is more likely to take her child to a party that her child is begging to go to? Also, I do think it takes effort on the part of the child. He/She has to tell mom and dad that they want to go and they have to exhibit good behavior and manners while at the party so they are allowed to stay.

Maybe. Since my kids are so young, they don't even know about a party unless I tell them Smile So, they never really beg to go to anything. I'm sure that that is in our future, though, and of course we will make more of an effort to attend things that they really want to attend. By that time, though, most parties will be drop off ~ I would hope for good behavior because I always hope for it, not so that they don't get banished from the party.

I understand your perspective, but I think we have different expectations of our family/friends/neighbors/community. We specifically moved into this neighborhood because of the level of community involvement. Our neighbors know each other and go to each other's events. Our elementary school has gobs of parents that are super involved and know each other and each other's kids. When there's a birthday party, parents don't just drop off, they stay and catch up with each other and enjoy the hot dogs, cake, and chance to socialize...and make sure that their children are behaving. I love it. We used to live in a neighborhood where nobody knew anybody else, nobody made an effort to get their kid to a classmates b-day party, I was the only parent that volunteered in the kindergarten class, and only every 5th house handed out candy for Halloween. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Just not my style IYKWIM.

I'm not sure where you are drawing the conclusions that you seem to about my expectations of family/friends/community/neighbors, but you could not be more off base Smile Just because I'm not willing to drive 2 hours home from the beach to attend our 5th 4th birthday party that month does not mean that we don't make efforts to celebrate and appreciate our friends, it means that we have healthy boundaries and respect our family time and our sanity too much to attend every single event that comes our way. My area and friends sound a lot like yours, we just do that stuff all the time, so maybe that makes birthdays not seem like this once in a lifetime opportunity to honor every child every year, if that makes sense.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Emilys4Guppies" wrote:

So you DO believe that behaviour plays a role in whether a child can attend/stay at birthday parties. The only difference between our views is that I believe good behaviour before a party, as well as during, is imperative for attendance.

Of course! But for us, attendance is mandatory (within reason) because, IMHO, it's part of having manners and making someone else's day special. The only difference is that if you act up before or during the party, you sure as heck won't have any video games, TV, or weekend bedtime to look forward to. Like I said, I feel don't feel comfortable punishing another child for my child's actions, so I don't withhold attendance.

Our family views parties the same way Melis' family does.

With 4 kids, and as a family very involved in our community, we get lots of invitations. At least two birthday parties a month (I don't have money to spend $40/month on gifts for kids that aren't my own....heck, my own kids rarely get $40 worth of my money in toys/stuff a month). Personally, I would prefer to spend the day together as a family at a community event than just one child getting to attend a party. Also, unless I'm related to the child, I loathe parties that aren't 'drop off'. I have no interest in attending a child's party or standing around someone's kitchen chatting, when the only thing we have in common is a child in the same class. If I want to see my girlfriends, I prefer it to be childfree and with booze. Hahaha.

See, here, we put "Gifts not necessary. Your presence is our present." on the invitation, so if people don't know us well or don't buy a gift for whatever reason, they are still very welcome at the party. Also, here, you don't just drop off your 7 year old with people you don't know well. Drop off birthday parties usually start around 10 years old. Usually what happens is both mom and dad come with the child who is in the birthday child's class and they are free to bring all the siblings along. Everybody gets to go in the bounce house, pool, waterslide whatever, eat the food, whack the pinata, get a goodie bag, sing happy birthday, and eat cake and ice cream. Wham bam, two hours is done and everyone leaves happy. And OMG! Yes, there is a whole ice chest full of "adult" drinks at our party! Is that not a standard thing? :eek:

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Potter75" wrote:

I'm not sure where you are drawing the conclusions that you seem to about my expectations of family/friends/community/neighbors, but you could not be more off base Smile Just because I'm not willing to drive 2 hours home from the beach to attend our 5th 4th birthday party that month does not mean that we don't make efforts to celebrate and appreciate our friends, it means that we have healthy boundaries and respect our family time and our sanity too much to attend every single event that comes our way. My area and friends sound a lot like yours, we just do that stuff all the time, so maybe that makes birthdays not seem like this once in a lifetime opportunity to honor every child every year, if that makes sense.

No, I'm just trying to explain my point of view. I wouldn't drive two hours from the beach for a b-day party either, but I do think it's important to celebrate the life events of others, so we do. That doesn't mean you have to think that way, just that that's how my family operates.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

This, which is why I have no hesitation in saying no to DD attending a birthday party if she's been deserving of punishment for bad behaviour. While I would never deny her attending a birthday party if she's been good, I sometimes secretly wish she would do something naughty that would warrant her not being able to go. Wink I despise the extended family's birthday parties for the kids. DD doesn't even like all her first and second cousins (neither do I much, I'll admit) but there's always that obligation to go because it's family. Blah.

Ah man, see I'd love to have your "problem." Biggrin We have no family in the area except for my mother and my single, gay cousin with no kids.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

No, I'm just trying to explain my point of view. I wouldn't drive two hours from the beach for a b-day party either, but I do think it's important to celebrate the life events of others, so we do. That doesn't mean you have to think that way, just that that's how my family operates.

But if you have expectations of other families attending your events, you do want other people to think like you, right? Or else you would not disagree with this parent keeping her child home due to the grounding?

Joined: 05/31/06
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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

DD doesn't even like all her first and second cousins (neither do I much, I'll admit) but there's always that obligation to go because it's family. Blah.

You don't like your own nieces and nephews? That is pretty depressing. They are kids?

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

At what age do these drop-off parties start? Personally, I don't want people dropping off their crazy excited kids at my child's party so I get to babysit them all while their parents get a few hours to party kid-free.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

At what age do these drop-off parties start? Personally, I don't want people dropping off their crazy excited kids at my child's party so I get to babysit them all while their parents get a few hours to party kid-free.

Around here, it usually starts around 10-11 years old. There was one child that was dropped of at Nate's party (7-8 years old) and everyone was asking him where his mom and dad were.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

"Potter75" wrote:

But if you have expectations of other families attending your events, you do want other people to think like you, right? Or else you would not disagree with this parent keeping her child home due to the grounding?

Of course I prefer like minded adults when it comes to issues such as this. That is why we stalked this neighborhood for a house for 2 full years. BUT, that doesn't mean that I think everyone is required to or will share my values. That's why I put this on the debate board. I wanted to see the perspective of others.

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Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Potter75" wrote:

You don't like your own nieces and nephews? That is pretty depressing. They are kids?

This is all DH's family. I have no relatives within several thousand miles. Our childrens' cousins on his side are, for the most part, horrible little children. Downright mean and nasty to our kids. They are also greedy, selfish, manipulative and have no manners. No, I do not like them much, or at least I do not like their behaviour, but I am always pleasant, helpful and welcoming when then are in our house. I keep my feelings about them to myself, other than the discussions DH and I have had. Even he does not like his own nephews' behaviour.

My blood nephews, however, are a delight. The difference in the two sets of cousins is in their upbringing, pure and simple.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Drop off parties started here in kindy. I am not comfortable dropping my child at a perfect strangers house either, so my rule is that if my child does not know the child well enough that I've met their parents, then they don't know them well enough to warrant me donating a coveted Saturday afternoon to them.

I *ONLY* do drop off parties for my own kids. I find that children behave better without their parent around. I find too often that, in my own home, parents let me parent their kids...and if that's going to happen (even if it's only one of the families who come) then I'd rather the parents not be there so that I can not feel awkward setting those boundaries. That's just my experience though, and I know lots of parents do set boundaries for their children...one bad seed ruins the bunch.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

At what age do these drop-off parties start? Personally, I don't want people dropping off their crazy excited kids at my child's party so I get to babysit them all while their parents get a few hours to party kid-free.

I don't really see it as "babysitting" if you invite children to a party to celebrate the birth of your own child. Most birthday parties (at that age....at my kids age and in my circle most are held during the week, which is great and easy as most of us are SAHM's who have busy weekends) are also held on weekend afternoons, so most parents probably aren't out partying, most parents are probably doing things with their other children and whatnot. I mean, sleepovers are the same way. They start around 7 or so, if you invited a child over for a sleepover you would not expect the parent to come, right? I also would not really consider that "babysitting", just entertaining your children and your children's friends as per your invitation, you know?

My kids are too young, but around here I'd say 8 or 9 seems to be the norm ~ then again, around here most birthday parties are held at a place or centered around a sport/event/blah blah sort of thing so there is little "babysitting" required of the parent, who is paying to have help entertaining the children attending the birthday party.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

And, if you get the right child for a sleepover then it's like LESS work because they occupy each other so well. I love that. Of course, get the wrong child and it's hell at 3am. HAHA.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

This is all DH's family. I have no relatives within several thousand miles. Our childrens' cousins on his side are, for the most part, horrible little children. Downright mean and nasty to our kids. They are also greedy, selfish, manipulative and have no manners. No, I do not like them much, or at least I do not like their behaviour, but I am always pleasant, helpful and welcoming when then are in our house. I keep my feelings about them to myself, other than the discussions DH and I have had. Even he does not like his own nephews' behaviour.

My blood nephews, however, are a delight. The difference in the two sets of cousins is in their upbringing, pure and simple.

Yeah, like I said, that is depressing. Though it would make a great spin off ~ disliking children based on their family/parenting disadvantages and whatnot. I tend to have the most empathy for those kids who have the worst luck of the draw in the parent department.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't really see it as "babysitting" if you invite children to a party to celebrate the birth of your own child. Most birthday parties (at that age....at my kids age and in my circle most are held during the week, which is great and easy as most of us are SAHM's who have busy weekends) are also held on weekend afternoons, so most parents probably aren't out partying, most parents are probably doing things with their other children and whatnot. I mean, sleepovers are the same way. They start around 7 or so, if you invited a child over for a sleepover you would not expect the parent to come, right? I also would not really consider that "babysitting", just entertaining your children and your children's friends as per your invitation, you know?

My kids are too young, but around here I'd say 8 or 9 seems to be the norm ~ then again, around here most birthday parties are held at a place or centered around a sport/event/blah blah sort of thing so there is little "babysitting" required of the parent, who is paying to have help entertaining the children attending the birthday party.

That's just it. I don't want to be responsible for 10+ kids in a public place (we don't have large parties for kids in our home). If I'm watching the kids and their parents aren't I consider that babysitting. I don't think it is too much to ask for the parents to hang out for a couple of hours and keep an eye on their child so I can focus on keeping the party running smoothly and capturing the special moments through pictures. I suppose that's an entirely different debate though.

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Posts: 4780

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

That's just it. I don't want to be responsible for 10+ kids in a public place (we don't have large parties for kids in our home). If I'm watching the kids and their parents aren't I consider that babysitting. I don't think it is too much to ask for the parents to hang out for a couple of hours and keep an eye on their child so I can focus on keeping the party running smoothly and capturing the special moments through pictures. I suppose that's an entirely different debate though.

Well, that makes sense, and if you feel that way I suppose you would not hold those sorts of parties. HOnestly, most of my friends have or are in the process of having 3 or 4 kids ~ if they were required to personally attend every birthday party at that age they would probably rsvp no as the other kids have events that they have to take them to (dance, soccer, etc). It seems like a lot of juggling at that age, I suppose some parents hold "drop off" parties to make sure that some children are able to attend in this day and age of busy weekends and whatnot.

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

At what age do these drop-off parties start? Personally, I don't want people dropping off their crazy excited kids at my child's party so I get to babysit them all while their parents get a few hours to party kid-free.


I'd say around kindergarten-age... which here is 4-5 years old... earlier if it's close friends. Really, the only time dh or I have stuck around for any birthday stuff is if it's been an neice or nephew and it was just a family get-together. Once my kids started school and were invited to birthdays we didn't stay... when we call to RSVP we always asked at that age (or even to grade 1 or 2) if they wanted one of us to stay but they've always said it wasn't necessary and that they had help already arranged. I definitely don't see it as babysitting though because if I'm having a party for my child, *I* am the one who invited them, if I didn't want them there/didn't plan to entertain them, why would I invite them? I'd also much rather NOT have parents stay (or have to stay at a party my kid was invited to) because I'm no good at small-talk with people I barely know. If I need extra people I will ask specific ones I know. Just make sure you're here on time to pick up your child please because by that point I'm going to be glad to send them home Lol

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

This is all DH's family. I have no relatives within several thousand miles. Our childrens' cousins on his side are, for the most part, horrible little children. Downright mean and nasty to our kids. They are also greedy, selfish, manipulative and have no manners. No, I do not like them much, or at least I do not like their behaviour, but I am always pleasant, helpful and welcoming when then are in our house. I keep my feelings about them to myself, other than the discussions DH and I have had. Even he does not like his own nephews' behaviour.

My blood nephews, however, are a delight. The difference in the two sets of cousins is in their upbringing, pure and simple.

"Potter75" wrote:

Yeah, like I said, that is depressing. Though it would make a great spin off ~ disliking children based on their family/parenting disadvantages and whatnot. I tend to have the most empathy for those kids who have the worst luck of the draw in the parent department.

Do you like every single child you meet? I think if we were all honest, most of us would admit that there are some children we just don't like... just as there are some grown up people we don't like.

I think I understand what Claire'sMommy is getting at. There are some children in our extended family who, while I love them because they are family, I really do not like very much at all. In some cases, no, I do not agree with the parenting styles... but that is not what causes me to like or dislike a child... they do that on their own with their own behaviour/etc. I do not automatically think "I am going to dislike child X because of how they are raised", that would be ridiculous. Just like there are some kids I think are absolute little darlings but I can't stand the parents... there are some parents I really like, but would rather not spend a lot of time around their children.

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"Princess&ThePea" wrote:

Do you like every single child you meet? I think if we were all honest, most of us would admit that there are some children we just don't like... just as there are some grown up people we don't like. .

i've never really thought about liking or not liking small children. The small children I interact with are generally the kids of my friends and family. I love my relatives. I love my friends, I love their kids by proxy. Maybe I'm weird. Are kids annoying? Yes. Are kids with horrible parenting supposed to be hated or called names? I hope not. I think that those kids need the most (sincere) empathy and attention. ESPECIALLY when they are related to me, when I can actually impact their poor home life, rather than bashing little kids in other places.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Perhaps kiddie parties have different norms and expectations based on the region. My daughter is 6 and has had 2 parties with friends so far. At the last party one parent did ask if he could drop his daughter off and I admit I thought that was a tad rude. She's in 5th grade (so she can care for herself) and she's very quiet and well-mannered so I told him it'd be fine (and it was). Most of the parents at the party I knew (from dance) but many I didn't (her school friends). On the flip side.....no way in heck am I dropping my 6 year old off at a party, especially if I don't know the parents REALLY well.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Yeah, like I said, that is depressing. Though it would make a great spin off ~ disliking children based on their family/parenting disadvantages and whatnot. I tend to have the most empathy for those kids who have the worst luck of the draw in the parent department.

Yes, I think it is unfortunate that my children's cousins' behaviour does, admittedly, influence my desire for them to be together (or not be together, as the case is). DD in particular has friends who are not related to her and they are kind, sharing, fun and well-mannered. It just seems to be our situation that the worst behaved children we know happen to all be relatives. Again, the 'good' friends are all products of great parenting.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

So much to comment on!

1. Drop-off parties start here at around kindergarten as well. It's actually easier for everyone...I don't have to supply all the adults with food & whatnot, and they don't have to stay and make uncomfortable smalltalk. I love drop-off parties. Also I have totally dropped my kid off at parties when I didn't know the parents REALLY well...I don't have time to get to know all the parents really well. I work full time, I'm not at school during the day. Most of the parties now that he's 7 are at some public place, sometimes they're at the kids' homes, either way I know he'll be just fine. And he always is. Parents bring their kids to my son's parties without knowing me really well either. We are acquaintances, which is good enough for all of us.

2. I don't see parties as an obligation that way. . .lord no. If you don't want to go or you're busy, don't go. It's a party, it's supposed to be fun. If it's not going to be fun, don't go. I see RSVPing within a reasonable time as an obligation, but that's it.

3. Um... there are some kids I just don't like. I don't see what's wrong with that. Kids are people, sometimes they're not people I like. I might think it's because of bad parenting or not, but I still don't have to like all kids I know just because they're kids.

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"Potter75" wrote:

i've never really thought about liking or not liking small children. The small children I interact with are generally the kids of my friends and family. I love my relatives. I love my friends, I love their kids by proxy. Maybe I'm weird. Are kids annoying? Yes. Are kids with horrible parenting supposed to be hated or called names? I hope not. I think that those kids need the most (sincere) empathy and attention. ESPECIALLY when they are related to me, when I can actually impact their poor home life, rather than bashing little kids in other places.

Amen.

Joined: 07/24/10
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"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Perhaps kiddie parties have different norms and expectations based on the region. My daughter is 6 and has had 2 parties with friends so far. At the last party one parent did ask if he could drop his daughter off and I admit I thought that was a tad rude. She's in 5th grade (so she can care for herself) and she's very quiet and well-mannered so I told him it'd be fine (and it was). Most of the parents at the party I knew (from dance) but many I didn't (her school friends). On the flip side.....no way in heck am I dropping my 6 year old off at a party, especially if I don't know the parents REALLY well.

I absolutely think so. I would never dream of dropping my K or 1st grader off at a party. 5 and 6 year olds are still babies to me. Even with 7-8 year olds at our party, all of the parents were there. Like I said, only one boy was dropped off and everyone was wondering where his mom was. There is no way I could look after 30 children on my own. Some parents were delighted to watch their children slide down the water slide, others helped make sure their own children didn't get whacked with the pinata stick, and others helped me pass out the cake and ice cream. It was such a lovely party, but I don't know how I would have done that if all of the parents just dropped their kids off and drove away. That's terrible etiquette in this neighborhood. OTOH, I now understand why my DH keeps asking me why we can't just drop Nate off. He's Canadian and it seems like that is the normal thing to do for the Canadians on this thread. Thank you for that perspective gals! I'll stop calling my DH crazy every time he mentions that and now I'll just say, "Cuz that's how it's done here my dear." Biggrin

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I am in America (NY) & we have drop-off parties! (But I'm Canadian...but I wasn't a parent when I lived in Canada.)

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