Kids party etiquette

Dear Kathi,

All of my friends are confused about attending parties with our children. When the party is held at a home, we have a hard time deciding whether we are required or expected to stay for the entire party.
What is the proper way to let parents know if they must, should offer, or don’t need to stay for a 5 year olds’ birthday party?

Vicki, Oceanside


Invitations should state clearly whether parents should plan on attending the event. An easy way to let parents know they are off the hook is to include wording on the invitation that says, ‘ childcare provided’. Or if it is optional, you can state ‘parents stay is optional, there will be ample child care’.

If the invitation does not indicate that there will enough adults to oversee the event, this usually means that the parents are expected to stay to help watch their child during the party.
It is appropriate to call after receiving the invitation to clarify if you are expected to stay or if you can drop off your child and return at the end of the party.
Thanks for asking this question.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

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