Kids’ birthday parties are simple, right? Some cake, some balloons, some sugar-hyped kids running around like crazy… What could go wrong? Well, as most parents know, a “simple” kid’s birthday party is anything but! If you’re wondering what the etiquette is for drop-off birthday parties, check out this birthday party etiquette guide for parents.
Should you drop your kid off at a birthday party? 4 factors to consider:
Parents are expected to stay with small children throughout a party, as they require more individual care and supervision, and are more likely to experience separation anxiety. The general wisdom is that kids 5 years old and younger should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Is your child mature enough and comfortable enough to be dropped off?
Of course, we all know that kids are unique individuals, and they don’t all mature at the exact same pace. Some 5 year olds may be perfectly happy to be dropped off for a party, while a more reserved 8 year old might have a hard time. In addition to your kid’s comfort level and social skills, it’s also important to evaluate how “street smart” your kid is. Can you trust them to be safe, avoid foods they’re allergic to, follow the rules during the party, etc.?
How well do you know the host?
Dropping your kid off at a birthday party isn’t just about trusting your kid… It’s also about trusting the family hosting the party. How well do you know them? How familiar is your child with the host’s home and the other kids who will be there? If you don’t feel comfortable just dropping your child off and leaving, you can always hang around a bit to make sure both you and they feel good about it before you leave. Helping your child find the bathroom and pointing out an adult they can go to if they need to call you can help settle their nerves.
Do you have other kids to take care of?
Another factor to consider when deciding whether or not to drop your child off at a birthday party is whether you have other kids to take care of. You definitely don’t want to surprise the host with extra guests, especially if the younger kids are going to want to participate in cake-eating, or be disappointed if they don’t get a goodie bag! And of course, never, ever, drop additional kids off without a clear invitation to do so.
How should you handle drop-offs at your child’s birthday party?
Planning your child’s birthday party can be easy… IF you know how many guests you’re expecting! The best way to ensure that your child’s birthday party goes off without a hitch is to communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE. In addition to the usual date, time, and location info, state clearly whether or not you want parents to drop their kids off on the invitation. If you’re hosting a laid-back affair where parents are free to hang out and bring their other kids too, include that information and any additional details, like purchasing skating or bounce zone admission.