Whether a child is a guest or the host of a party, parents should know how to handle certain dilemmas and be prepared with proper kids birthday party etiquette.
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The cake and decorations have been chosen and the date set for the hopeful best kids birthday party ever. If a parent thinks those are the keys to planning a successful kids’ party, they have likely never thrown one. Follow these tips to help set yourself up for an enjoyable party by all.
Whether Not to Leave the Kids
It’s usually alright to leave a child at a party if she is at least 7 years of age. If the child is younger, a parent should only stay if the child insists. If possible, stay just long enough to let him adjust. This helps him become independent and develop social skills. If this will be a problem, it is a good idea to call the host ahead of time and explain the situation and the need to stay with the child. The courteous thing to do in this situation is offer to do anything possible to help while there.
Who to Invite to the Party
People tend to ask this question when they are inviting their child’s whole class to the party. If fewer than 10 people are in the class, it is good etiquette to invite them all. If it’s not possible to invite everyone, do not send the invitations to be passed out at school. It would also be a good idea to inform the child to avoid hurting the feelings of the uninvited children by not talking about the event at school where they will hear about it.
A host need not feel obligated to invite siblings, nor should a parent expect to bring uninvited siblings. Clearly writing the invited child’s first name on the invitation will clue the parent that only the named child is expected. Still a host shows good manners by being ready to accommodate an unexpected guest.
RSVP Party Invitation
A parent should definitely respond if her child receives an invitation to a party. This gives the host the information he needs to do good party planning. Sending regret when not able to attend may allow the host to extend an invitation to another child who had not been invited. If invitees have not responded, it is not impolite to call to ask if they will be coming. The parent may have honestly forgotten about the party and may appreciate the call. When placing the call, the host can find out what he needs to know instead of using the call as an opportunity to make a snide comment about the other parent’s manners.
How to Prepare the Child for a Party
Emphasize to the child how important it is that her guests enjoy themselves so that the child will avoid isolating herself with just a few. Give her an assignment, such as handing out goodie bags, which will allow her to interact with each guest. It may be a good idea to avoid opening gifts during the party so that jealousy or embarrassment can be avoided. If gift opening will be a part of the party, the child receiving them should be taught ahead of time how to express thanks and graciousness even if the gift is not something she likes.
Thank You Notes
“Thank you” notes should not be overlooked. A child should express her gratefulness for the attendance of the guest as well as any gifts that were given. This teaches the child consideration for others. A child who is not yet able to read and write can draw a picture to express her thanks.
When planning a children’s party, parents should consider who to invite, how many guests to invite and ask invited guests to confirm their attendance. Parents hosting a party should also prepare their child for the event. Proper manners on the part of the child and parents can help guarantee that the party is enjoyable for all.
Need to teach your child about party etiquette? Check out this great book: