Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthday Party Etiquette


Etiquette 101: How-to Plan Your Child's Birthday Party  

Planning Your Child's Birthday Party That Will Appeal to Your Guests 

 

 


So, you want to host a special party that is in good taste.   What to do?  Considering that a child's birthday party is a gift-giving event, there is some etiquette to consider.  As your child's best teacher, it's best you know what this etiquette is.  Moreover, as teacher, you can use this event as a teaching tool.   Involve your child in the planning of the party with a focus on his/her guests' in mind -- refreshments, activities, thank you gifts and notes.   

Here's a bit of Q & A to help you and your child to plan politely.   

Question  

I am inviting all my daughter's friends to her 12th birthday party I'm hosting. However, she wants her three closest friends to stay afterwards for a sleepover.  When the party is over, how can I politely dismiss the eight girls who are not invited to the sleepover?   

Answer 

Ouch!  To help your daughter see how this might appear, ask her to help you plan the party.  Of course, begin with your limitations, such as budget.  During the planning process, ask her how she thinks the "sleepover rejects" might feel.  In essence, she would be labeling some of her friends as better than others.  More than likely, she didn't consider how this could cause hurt feelings. 

Question

Is it acceptable to discontinue sending invitations to a child’s birthday party to friends and family who seldom or ever attend? I feel like sending invitations knowing that they, most likely, will not attend is simply asking them to send a gift.  

Answer 

There are no mandatory guests for birthday parties—even grandparents. Invite only those your child wants in attendance.  

Question  

I am hosting a birthday party for my son at a family entertainment facility with 33 children and 36 adults invited.  I am covering the cost of the children which includes a buffet and unlimited drinks, rides, tokens for games, cake and gift bags. How do I word on the invitation that parents need to pay their own costs ($7)?   

Answer  

There is no polite way to state that invited guests pay for the party.  Your alternatives are to pay for parents (all guests), state that if parents wish to attend, there is a $7 fee (you are not inviting them), or not invite them.   

Question  

Is it all right to host a birthday party for a four year old more than one week before her birthday?   When should I send the invitations? 

Answer  

Hosting the party any time near her birthday is fine. You may send invitations two to six weeks before the date of the party. 

Please do not mention anything about gifts. 

Question  

Friends, with whom we have not kept in touch, invited my husband and me to their one-year-old son's birthday party.  We have a prior commitment and cannot attend.  Although we are typically generous with our gift giving, I am struggling with the thought of sending a gift.  I feel that we only hear from them when there is a gift-giving event held in their honor.  I am starting to feel like they are looking for a handout versus a friendship.  What should I do? 

Answer  

No worries; no gift is necessary.  A birthday party for such a young child is more for the parents benefit, rather than the children.   

Question  

My child is invited to a birthday party for which we are unable to attend.  Are we obligated to send a gift even though this is not a family member or close friend?  My aunt says when you are invited to a party you are expected to send a gift no matter what.  Your advice would be very helpful! 

Answer  

No. You are not obligated to give a gift.  A card might be nice though.  Some etiquette rules change in time.  The old rule your aunt mentioned changed for the better.