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Invitees and siblings

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#1 machine

Posted 18 July 2015 - 05:35 PM


I will be having a 5th birthday party for my daughter in a couple of months.  We will invite a few of her friends as we always do but this time she has asked to invite a few friends from kindy.  I am going to arrange entertainment so numbers will have to be limited therefore I don't want to invite siblings of the kindy friends.  How do I do this without sounding mean and do I need to make it clear in the invitations?  Is it generally accepted that if your child is invited to a birthday party that you don't bring siblings along?  My daughter has only been in childcare (kindy) this year and has so far only been invited to one party.  I took her along and left her sister at home with dad.

#2 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 18 July 2015 - 05:57 PM

You will find a lot of people don't have the option of leaving siblings with someone else.

If you don't want siblings you need to make it very clear that is what you want. At 5 there will be a few kids who have never been left alone at a party and the parents may feel uncomfortable doing this. There will be others where the parents are more than happy to drop and run.

Don't presume anyone is thinking by the same logic as you.

Edited by Milly Molly Mandy, 18 July 2015 - 05:58 PM.

#3 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:05 PM

Often having a husband away or working it was either take siblings, not go or dump and run (which with my first/second I was not comfortable with but happy to do by the third).

So really how well it works depends on family dynamics/circumstances.

#4 MrsLexiK

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:06 PM

I as a parent and remembering as a child if one name is on the invite that child is invited. I understand not every parent adhears to that rule. Maybe put something on the invite we will be doing x if you need to bring a sibling and want them to participate it is $x amount per sibling.

#5 Coffeegirl

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:11 PM

It's a hard one. Especially if you are paying per head for the entertainment.  Is it the space or the cost that will deter you allowing siblings?

If space is the issue, you could just write 'Due to space limitations, we ask that you drop off your child at 3pm and pick up again at 5pm'. If a parent has an issue with this, then I am sure they will call directly to discuss

If it's the cost,  I've seen a few invites written along these lines, but in a nicer way, especially when they get older and start having laser tag/trampoline etc parties

'Please RSVP by X date as I need to confirm numbers for the entertainer.    Siblings are welcome to stay, however the entertainment will charge them separately,"

#6 BornToLove

Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:26 PM

I'm not keen on including the siblings of guests at parties. Even without entertainment, the costs of food, drinks and lolly bags adds up. At DDs last birthday she had 4 siblings of her guests. That's a lot in extra costs on food and lolly bags.

DDs party was at a venue, so there was a cost per kid. All the parents mentioned having to bring the siblings before hand. I explained the siblings were fine to tag along, but they had to cover the extra admission and directly supervise the sibling as we were expecting 12 party guests and would be busy with the party.

#7 ~kacee~

Posted 18 July 2015 - 08:01 PM

"Due to the venue / entertainment having a cap on numbers, unfortunately siblings won't be able to be catered for."

#8 machine

Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:05 PM

Thank you all for your replies.  It's a difficult one because I'll be inviting the siblings of friends who my daughter knows and socialises with.

#9 ekbaby

Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:25 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't have that kind of party for a 5 year old still in kindy/Childcare. I think it's an awkward kind of age where half the friends are family friends/mother group etc where it would be weird to not invite the siblings, and half are from Childcare/preschool and you don't really know the rest of the family. Plus many people won't be doing "drop off" at the party yet, and those that would drop off are more likely to be the friends who know you well who you wanted there anyway. For this reason id either choose a more inclusive venue (eg park, home), keep it a smaller party just for family friends. Or make it a venue where there's an option for siblings/parents to pay own entry and stay nearby. But then it might be awkward if you are paying for some siblings and not others. But personally id just wait one more year as in FYOS the drop off party becomes much more common

#10 Fright bat

Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:45 PM

Make it clear. "No siblings please" is generally adequate. And then wear the consequences - there will be some kids who can't come because of your no siblings rule.

Personally, by 5, I think it's worth encouraging kindy friendships (especially if these will turn into school mates). I'd be doing everything to get the kindy kids there, even if that meant dealing with some siblings. Who knows, you might make some new friends too. And not all families can drop what they are doing on a weekend for your kids birthday, and have the family split up to bring one kid and not any others. In our kindy, it was always completely acceptable to take siblings to all parties, and if it was an 'event' party (eg gymnastics, trampolines, arts and crafts etc) the younger kids would just toddle around and not participate while older siblings would read a book or play some sort of electronic game. No one expected parents to pay extra for a younger sibling at an activity and whoever said that the lolly bags and extra food add up is just being a bit mean. Lolly bags don't have to be fancy, and how much extra food does an extra 2 year old eat anyway.

Either have an event party where siblings aren't charged because they are just hanging out in a separate area, or have a party where parents can independently pay for the sibling to participate if they want to, or have a party where you can accommodate as many people as can come. 5 year old is too young for rigid rules on siblings - you'll just end up having people not come because they can't manage the logistics.

And if that doesn't bother you - fine. But remember that by five, it might bother your daughter that you have created a party where the people SHE has especially chosen might find it hard to come. And it's kind of a party for her, isn't it?

#11 YoBagaBaga

Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:25 AM

Your party your choice really. Sadly you probably do need to spell it out to stop unexpected siblings turning up. But don't be surprised if some can't come to the party.

We had DD's 5th birthday party last month and siblings were welcome to make life easier for the other parents.

I took DD to a birthday party this weekend where siblings weren't invited. She cried because she wanted her brother to come too, he cried because he also wanted to come to the party. Yes, they will have to learn to deal with it eventually but really, given we both work full time and weekends are precious, I think I will skip the parties where 1 child has to stay home until DD starts school next year. I'd much rather deal with tears and tantrums over other things than a party for a child who DD will probably no longer see in a year.

#12 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:42 AM

personally Id spell it out that space is limited, please feel free to drop and run.
but i would assume that the name on the invite is the person invited,  not the  whole family.

#13 Natttmumm

Posted 20 July 2015 - 08:03 AM

I think I would only write the name of the child on the invite and I always allow a few extra in case a sibling turns up (a few always do and 1 or 2 always cancel). I could never write "no siblings" as I am not like that - id rather have a few more than to say that, but that's just me.

The other option which I have seen is a comment on the invite that said "siblings of course welcome, but the party activities are catered only for the 5 year olds". I found this a nice way of saying don't bring them.

I generally never bring siblings along but I have had a few parties where friends have asked if they could bring all their kids to mine - I have always said yes as I figured they had a reason to ask. e.g no babysitting but I know its hard when you are paying per head

#14 hills mum bec

Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:48 AM

If I wasn't prepared to include siblings in the party then I would not be having one until they are old enough to drop & run which I think at 5 is too young.  My DH has always worked on Saturdays so I never had any choice but to take all the kids with me if one was invited to a party.  I would let the host know at the time of RSVP that I would have to bring siblings, let them know that I was happy to pay for the extra guests & if there was a problem then the invitation would have to be declined.  I have no idea how you would word this on a invitation, I would hope that most people would be upfront about any possible siblings attending & the logistics can be discussed at the point of RSVP.

#15 machine

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:01 PM

Gosh it's a real minefield isn't it?  There doesn't appear to be a universal party etiquette that everyone follows.

#16 machine

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:14 PM

One thing I absolutely won't do is ask parents to pay for anything.  They are already coming to the party and will probably bring a present which is more than enough.  The entertainment is paid for up to a certain number but any siblings of the kindy friends will run above that number so I will have to pay more but it's not really about that.  I think the entertainment will work best with the smaller number and I also don't like the idea that a portion of attendees are not familiar to the birthday child.  It's her party so her friends should be attending if you know what I mean.  It's a hard one.

Thanks so much for all your well thought out replies and keep them coming by all means, the more opinions the better.  I'm finding it really fascinating.

#17 au*lit

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:23 PM

I don't have anything useful to add, but I was at a party on the weekend where not only did one of the kindy friends bring a sibling, but the parents (both of them) left the party for about 3/4 of the allotted time!

The birthday girl and her parents didn't even know this extra kid's name AND he was quite naughty.

Good luck!

#18 Soontobegran

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:23 PM

I have no idea why this seems to be an issue these days.

A party invitation when my children were little meant an invitation to them and them alone.
I would never have contemplated showing up with siblings and expecting them to stay.
Space, safety and cost are all reasons we should respect the hosts and it is nice for one child to have an experience just for them too.

Sometimes it won't work because there is nobody to look after the others but that is life.
At age 5 I would have dropped my children and picked them up afterwards unless there was a specific request that I stayed.

#19 tothebeach

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:27 PM

We have hosted a myriad of parties for my two boys and never specified 'no siblings' and never had unexpected siblings turn up.

A couple of times, individual parents asked about bringing a sibling as they had no other choice and I was fine by that.  By 5, we were doing drop and run, though.

#20 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:38 PM

Perhaps instead of asking for no siblings, you could instead say something like "If you feel comfortable doing so, you are very welcome to drop your child off and collect them after the party".  Often it can be confusing as to whether the parents are expected to stay or not, so this will make it clear for them.

#21 ernoldo

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:48 PM

I wouldn't put anything on the invitations I think people bringing siblings is an exception rather than the majority. I would ask for parents to RSVP by a certain date so you can confirm they are only sending the child on the invitation for the entertainment purposes. Most would ask if there was no other choice for siblings and you can make a decision in a case by case basis.

#22 just roses

Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:51 PM

How many kindy kids is she inviting? If it's quite a few, then you'll need to be clear.

If it's just a couple, then it shouldn't be too hard to work out if siblings are going to be an issue.

DD's 5th birthday party was last month. We didn't invite siblings but I didn't ban them either. When parents turned up, I told them that there were plenty of adults present and that they were welcome to drop and run (all the parents with older kids did this) or they were welcome to stay (I had tea/coffee/food and seating for adults). Those with babies did stay and fair enough. There may have been one or two extra siblings, but I wasn't worried about that. I figured that if I invited 25 kids, there would probably be about five kids who couldn't come. And there weren't likely to be more than five extras (siblings).

#23 PeninsulaGirl

Posted 21 July 2015 - 07:31 PM

You've just got to make it clear, in a nice friendly way that unfortunately this time the party is only for the invited guests.

I know someone who is a chronic serial offender in this area. If one of her children is invited to a party she presumes the other is too.  She then proceeds to call the host and instruct them on the very strict dietary requirements of the uninvited child, and what can and can't be eaten when this child is at the house, about 10% of which is valid due to his allergies, and the remainder is just her preferences (she will admit this when it suits her). And this is the kid who's not even been invited! She does it in a way that is just so presumptuous and determined that intelligent grown women just fold and do what she says! People are slowly waking up to it and a few have finally started telling her the invitation only extends to the invited child. I had to say it to her recently, she wasn't happy and wanted to know why, and then argued the point! She said it was going to be such a good party her other child deserved to go too! I had to insist that due to the entertainment numbers were limited and we just couldn't fit in siblings, and had to really stick to my guns and she was not a happy camper! She then proceeded to stuff around and tell me she'd let me know on the day whether the invited child could come or not. I explained that due to the entertainment that had been booked exact numbers had to be given a couple of days in advance so could she please let me know by then or I'd understand her child wasn't able to make it. All said/done in a friendly way:) she wasn't happy at all at first but after she understood I wasn't going to fall for her manipulation of the situation, wouldn't you know it, she gave an immediate rsvp that her child would be there on its own, sans sibling. Other parents were amazed and asking me how I'd managed to pull it off! Polite, friendly but firm - with a big smile thrown in wins every time! The funny thing is she is now far more friendly to me and seems to want to be my new best friend - weird!

#24 knottygirl

Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:36 PM

People just assume they can bring them. I invited kindy kids first time ds turned 4. Invites were just to the friend from kindy. So many turned up, with siblings, did not RSVP for the siblings, and then let the siblings play all the games. Annoyed me as things like pinata older kids going in having a turn and broke it before the 4 year olds could all have a go. Then all diving for the lolly bags that were in pinata so some little ones missed out. Not enough gifts in the pass parcel as I only catered for the kids who had rsvped. I felt it was so so rude. I have taken extra kids along but only as a last resort and I always ask first if it's ok. Plus certainly don't let the uninvited child have lolly bags or anything.

#25 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:30 PM

I don't think I've ever had siblings show up, but if parents needed to bring other children, I'd hope they'd talk to me about it when they rsvp. Like a PP I am also inviting some siblings to a party soon, but thankfully I'm not doing organised games so unexpected show ups wouldn't make a difference- 3 year olds at an adventure playground, no need for games!

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