The disgruntled mum is further threatening to sue via the small claims court. Apart form the fact there there is no ‘contractual agreement’ either between the invited child or the invited child’s parents with the birthday boy or the birthday boy’s parents to attend so surely can’t proceed in court (small claims or not – excuse the pun!) there is something both sinister and absurd going on here. I wonder if a harassment claim might be a due recourse of action? Sorry yes, it has all gone too far already.
Makes you think though doesn’t it. Contractual agreements for kid’s birthday parties aside, is there is a code of conduct? An established party etiquette? If so I wonder what this unwritten bill of Kid’s Parties Rights & Responsibilities would look like?
Here’s some initial suggestions:
When selecting invitees either invite everyone on mass or have a purposeful and obvious selection criteria Girls only, BFFs only, etc. Possible consequence: Obvious surely, you do not want to upset anyone by ‘missing them out’ – If you think someone might be upset explain to them the selection criteria “I could only mange 8 so it’s just the boys in the football team for the football party”. Otherwise you will have a lifetime of disgruntled parental playground politics to deal with.
Hand out invites personally into parent’s hands and clearly state it’s a”party invite on such and such a date can your child come?” Possible consequence: The anguish of the ‘lost invite.’ Also you will never know why the ‘lost invite’s’ child’s parents give you dirty looks and never invite you child to birthday parties, and you’re thinking ‘it was them that didn’t even bather to show up.’ It’s a world of miss-communicated pain.
Clearly state that attendee’s parents should RSVP, a text by mobile phone is best, – slips of torn off RSVPs get lost in book bags, coat pockets kid’s hands. You then have their number, they have your number, unbelievably useful on so many levels. Make sure they write their and their child’s name on the RSVP text. Obvious but “yes we’ll be there. Thank you’ Opens up a whole new set of (‘who in god’s name are you?) problems.
If it’s a ‘drop-off-and-go’ party clearly state the drop-off and pick-up times. Attendee parents should neither be too early (no more than 5 minutes) nor too late (no more than 5 minutes), nor hang around!
If it is a ‘stay-and-hover-party’ attendee parents should try not to hover too much, try to help out, give at least 10 minutes of party food time before lurching for the mini sausage rolls.
Well it just shows how complicated the whole kids party thing is and I haven’t even covered venues, dress codes, dad-dancing, party bags, party food, allergies, gifts… Arggh! Now I understand the true meaning of the sentiment in the song “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” It really is a world if pain!
Worried about playground politics? – Yeah I bet you are now!
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Leading Light Or Happy Helper?
Which Are You?
It’s the first day of the school term, and as you open the school gates you:
A. Scan the playground for an ‘appropriate’ adult – preferably the headteacher
B. Head for the first familiar face and say “hi how are you”
C. Go straight for the girls and gasp at how glad you are that you’re not too late on the first day back.
D. Avoid any eye contact and stand out of the way as much as possible.