Birthday Party Etiquette

I have just come from a birthday party where my youngest and I had a lovely time.

On leaving the party (on time), I thanked the host and asked if she had help cleaning up because there were over 50 people there, adults and kids! She said she did and thank goodness because there was actual human excrement in her son’s carpeted bedroom and so far no one had claimed it!?! What!?

Seriously! I was horrified!

To me that is just another very good reason NOT to have a child’s birthday party at my house!

I’m not a big fan of kids birthday parties anyway, but with one child aged 3 and the other aged 5, there is currently no escaping it.

It got me thinking, if (or when) I next host a birthday party at my house, what would be the minimum I would expect in terms of manners and etiquette.

Here it is:

1. RSVP – It is just plain rude if you don’t; and if you have more than one child don’t be afraid to check if the invite is for all your kids or just the one! There can surely be nothing worse than uninvited siblings! If you are the organizer, please write down either the name of the one sibling the invite is for, or all the siblings; whatever, but make it clear, that way there is no confusion. Don’t be offended if parents clarify either. At least they are asking!

2. Take an age appropriate gift that you actually put a bit of thought into and as a rough guide it should be of more or equal value to the cost per head of a child attending a basic party. Don’t be a cheap skate! Gift cards are acceptable for older children but for little kids, it’s just plain lazy.

3. Arrive on time and leave on time. If the invite says 10.00 to 12.00 – BE ON TIME! More importantly LEAVE on time. There is no need to linger longer than the stipulated time unless you have been expressly invited to do so!

4. Keep an eye on your child! Whilst it is also lovely for parents to mingle, chat, compare notes and catch-up, it is important to keep an eye on your child. The last thing anyone wants is to find their house has been trashed, or find that your child defacated in someone else’s house!! Kids are dirty little creatures at the best of times so please, keep an eye on them!

5. When you leave on time, make a point of finding the host and thanking them, and at least try get your child to do so too, no matter how sugared up they might be. Slinking off from the rest of the guests is acceptable if you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself, but as a minimum you need to thank the host!

So there you have it … my top 5 etiquette rules for attending a child’s birthday party!

If you agree, please share this post. It seems there are many people out there who are not aware of the minimum requirements! Maybe my standards are too high, or maybe I’m a control freak. Either way, at least it’s not my child who sh@t on someone else’s bedroom carpet!

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  1. Author

    This will come in handy for me, since we started school we get at least one invitation a week! Thanks, great post x

  2. Author

    YES! There’s nothing worse than parents who let their children run riot because it’s a party.
    If anything the little blighters are whacked on sugar and will misbehave more than usual.
    I look like a helicopter parent at parties but in actual fact I’m just making sure my little angel isn’t pushing or biting (it’s frustration no because he’s been dragged up) Even he would draw the line at pooing on the carpet though…..I hope! #blogstravaganza

  3. Author

    If that had been my child, I’d have been mortified and demanding gloves and spray … Expecting someone to clean up another child’s poo is A Bit Much. While we got room trashing, your post shows it could have been so much worse!

    1. Author

      I was horrified. I can only assume the parent didn’t know. Better that than not cleaning it up on purpose.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Author

    I think that if we all followed these guidelines children’s parties would be far better. Especially the leave on time point, there’s nothing worse than knowing there is actual poo in the bedroom and not being able to disappear to clear it up! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza xx

  5. Author

    Completely agree with all of these, the rsvp one really winds me up. One year we had booked a local sports hall and out of a class of 32 kids we only got 10 replies. With two days to go before the party I needed to know how much food to make, how many party bags to make up etc so I wrote a reminder letter for every single one through the school, I still only got another 10 replies after that, I was fuming ?. I’m no saint, I’ve forgotten and replied late before, but I always apologise and ask if it’s still ok for them to attend in case they have already sorted party bags etc, I would never just turn up or not reply at all. Ok rant over x

    1. Author

      Well done you. Personally I wouldn’t invite a certain child the following year if they hadn’t bothered to rsvp to the last invite. It is beyond rude.

  6. Author

    Oh, this mama agrees!! Especially with the offer to help clean up. We always make our children find the host and birthday child and thank them before we leave. Having 5 kids, we have a rule, if they are not invited they don’t go. It can be so overwhelming and expensive to host the entire family. #globalblogging

  7. Author

    Oh no! That poor Mum! I often see kid’s parties in parks around here and can understand why that might be a more suitable option… 😉

  8. Author

    YES! To all of the above! There was mud flung on my walls, my couch was trashed, my tupperware cupboard unpacked and special family memory photo’s on my fridge torn. I was less than impressed.

    1. Author

      I’ve already decided that we will be having a joint party (they’re only 3 weeks apart) and I will be hiring a venue. The cost is certainly outweighed by the fact that it won’t be my house that’s trashed.

  9. Pingback: Birthday Party Politics – Mom Of Two Little Girls

  10. Author

    Good job compiling party etiquette! Some people just don’t get it!

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