Birthday Party Etiquette

Updated on March 12, 2008
D.W. asks from McKinney, TX
116 answers

I want to have a birthday party for my daughter who will be turning two. I have to invite all the kids in her daycare, since I want to ask the teachers to hand out the invitations. That seems fair to me, but my husband thinks we have to plan for all those kid's siblings as well. Is that appropriate when my daughter doesn't even know them? If she knew them, it would be different. But we are having the party at a kid's play center, and I'm not sure I can afford to pay for all the siblings too. Mamas, if you received an invitation for one of your kids, would you automatically assume the rest of your children were also invited?

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So What Happened?

Wow! 103 responses! I feel like I opened a huge can of worms or something. :) Thanks for all your replies. Being a parent of only one child, it never even occured to me that someone might have to hire a babysitter for other siblings, just to take one to a party. That would certainly not have been my intent. It's not that I do not want siblings there. I was worried about incurring a significant cost that I was not planning. But the children in her daycare are the only ones that I don't know if they have siblings or not. (And how do you invite the siblings and plan for them if you don't know they exist?) Anyway, from what I've been told, only about half will show up. So I don't think additional siblings will be that big of a deal. I only hope they all RSVP, because I have to give them a list of names at the door. If a parent shows up with siblings without RSVPing, they may have to pay. But from what I've read, it sounds like most will either work it out ahead of time or won't mind covering addiitonal siblings. So I think everything should be okay. We'll soon see.

And thanks to one mom for the great advice: next year, my husband can plan any party. By then, we'll know what it's like to have siblings too. :)

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D.L.

answers from Dallas on

A person with good manners would not automatically assume that the siblings are invited-unless stated in the invitation, but speaking from experience, people will show up with other children. I would suggest telling those that show up with the siblings in tow, "They are welcome to stay but you will have to pay$___ for entry since they are not on the party invitation list"or simply state on the invite "due to the large number of children invited you are sorry that siblings cannot attend."
It may seem rude or harsh, but it is rude of those to assume that you will also be paying for their other children also.

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M.W.

answers from Austin on

If you invite a child to a party, you should address the envelope directly to that child. If you are inviting the child and siblings, then the envelope should be addressed to the child "and family". If you are inviting the child and one parent, then address the envelope to the child "and parent".

I would be completely appropriate to request an RSVP by a specific date and to indicate that an accurate headcount is required for the party to be a success. It is also ok to state that you wish to limit the attendees to your daughter's classmates and one parent each. If additional family members must attend due to extenuating circumstances, then indicate how much money per person they should also bring along.

I am shocked at how many people would assume it's ok to bring the whole brood. I mean, bringing an infant along is one thing - but older siblings? I just don't think that's cool, unless of course, you are close family friends and get together with the whole family on a regular basis. If you're not close personal friends, I do hope people would ask first, when they call to RSVP for the event (assuming they feel it appropriate to RSVP when asked to do so!). It's not your responsibility to know everyone's situation. It is the invitee's parent's responsiblity to let you know their situation and to be courteous to you, the hostess..

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M.T.

answers from Austin on

There is a rule of thumb for birthday parties, which would be in the best interest of your child. Invite as many guests as the age of your child.
Age two? Invite two. Simple party for a short period of time.

Try it! You'll like it!
It worked for all three of our children.

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T.Y.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I would not expect for my other children to be invited. You could always ask for a RSVP and indicate on the invitation that siblings were welcome at a cost of ________ which will cover the activity time at the facility. Then you would only be paying for the extra cake and drink. I would not even do a goody bag for them. If a parent responded that they would be bringing a sibling I would be sure and ask them to plan on staying so they could watch the extra child. If there is a issue as far as the number of children the center can handle just simply say due to the facilities capacity the party has to be limited to the children in ______ daycare.
People should understand and if they do not then it is time for them to learn. The other thing is you should remember this is your childs special day and to many children could take away from her. Hope this helps!

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

She's 2!

She's never going to remember this! This is really for you and your husband and pictures!

A party of this scale at this age too much. Take a cake to the day care center and be done. Save the money for a family vacation, when the time and money will be better spent with all of you together. And the pictures will be better too.

She probably won't remember the vacation either, but it will reinforce her place in the family in a better way.

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

Opinion....Assuming you are inviting other two year olds that would need to have a parent there with them: It would be rude not to invite the siblings, because that would put the parents in the sittuation of not being able to attend easily. It also might effect your level of attendence -- which could be a good thing. You might check the ettiquite websites for real ettiquite rules. I would not automatically assume that both of my children were invited. You could put somthing on your invitiaton that says siblings welcome. If not, ask for an RSVP, then other mothers can feel free to talk to you about it when they call -- or you can bring it up.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

As a single mom, one child could not go to a party if the other could not but I always asked........however, you can put on the invitations 'siblings welcome at the expense of their parents' or something similiar to take care of the situation......we went to a skate party like that and had one where the party place had a list of invited kids and any extras were paid for by the parents (they did offer a discount though).........hope you can work this out and have a great party!

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V.G.

answers from Dallas on

Wow! I cannot believe what I am reading! I have NEVER heard of only ONE child being invited to a party!!! Every party I have for my children, I automatically assume the siblings will come along. You have to sit and think of how the other siblings will feel knowing that only one child gets to go to the party. I guess it all depends on what kind of person you are. You should always be prepared to have extra children and they should be treated all equal!

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M.Y.

answers from Austin on

A good guideline that I've always used is to invite one child per year of the birthday boy or girl's age. Since your daughter is turning two, you could have her invite two of her favorite people (each with a parent, of course) to a short birthday playdate. Any more children, and it'll be overload for her.

Most children aren't even ready for a "real" birthday party, complete with decorations until they're four or five years old. Prior to that, playdates are a great way to go: invite a few friends over to play and you could have cake as a special treat.

Have fun, and Happy Birthday!

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S.H.

answers from Houston on

Every parent in the daycare has children. I'm sure they've put parties on for their children and had a cap on it. Because I am a daycare owner, I know that most parents invite only some of the classroom children. The parties consist of mostly family. If your child speaks of "brian" or "julianna" alot, I would invite the few names he/she calls out or parents of children I really know. Most people keep these parties to a minimum. ANYONE who brings their entire family out or even asks to do so is a crasher. Regardless of who you are or where you live, its rude to be taken advantage of.

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J.D.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I have two kids, 10 and 8, boy and girl. I never assumed that they were both invited unless I was told they were. I enjoy throwing very extravagant parties for my kids, and I spend a lot of money on them. I plan the parties very carefully and budget for my childs friends, not their siblings. This is not to say that I haven't had parties that I have included all of the siblings. I threw a huge Halloween birthday party for my son and had over 40 kids there, with siblings. That was what we planned though, and it was on the invitation. Other parties, I have only invited their friends, no siblings. I think with the costs of parties, it is perfectly ok to only invite a certain number of kids.
I had a friend who had three kids, who would just assume that they were all invited, it really would upset me. I would never just assume that both of my kids were invited to one of their friends parties. And never assume that the parent hosting the party will cover the cost of the extra kids, I think that is very rude!

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Here is my two cents...We have had 3 BIG birthday parties for my now 3 year old and I will tell you from experience a couple of things. Will people expect to be able to bring the siblings - ABSOLUTELY. However, I will tell you that MOST of the parents will ask or tell you in advance that they are doing so AND ALL have always offered to pay the extra fee for the sibling. We had a party at Pump It Up last year and that was totally the case. In that instance however we todl the parents not to worry about it, we would pay the additional if necessary. I think that etiquette was much more strickly followed generations ago, but let's face it, we don't live in that world anymore. There are lots of single parents who have no other alternative when invited to a party. Most people are more than willing to pay the additional fee. I wouldn't stress out about it. Just make sure that you ask when they are RSVP'ing so that you know what to expect.

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,

No way! No one should bring siblings to a party if they were not invited. I have a daughter and step daughter the same age and grade. They have most of the same friends but if one gets invited to a B-day party and one does not, then the one does not go. It is way to expensive to have a party for everyones family member. The parents should not even think of bringing the other children. I also do not think you should have to invite the whole class unless you really want to. It is better to mail invitations so know one gets their feelings hurt and the teachers are not bothered passing out them. That is just my opinion.

M.

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G.F.

answers from Dallas on

If the invitation is addressed only to the classmate by name I do not think the moms/dads would assume that siblings could come without permission from you. I had this situation crop up for me on the reverse side a couple months ago. My daugther was invited to the bday party of one of her classmates. I have a twin son in a different preschool program, and my husband was going to be out of town on the day of the party. When I called to RSVP, I talked to the mom and let her know that I wanted my daughter to come but that I had a predicament for childcare for my son and she said it was OK to bring my son. I would not have been offended if she told me that she only had room/budget for x-number of kids.

I think you should be able to get a feel for that when the moms RSVP for the party so you don't have too many additional "surprises".

Best luck for a fun bday party!

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L.F.

answers from Austin on

Absolutely NOT. If the other parents want to bring their other children, they are supposed to pay the extra. I think it will be a little hairy just with all of the classmates. Tell your hubby that he can organize the next one!

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L.Z.

answers from Austin on

A birthday party for a two year old should really be about her close friends. On some level, you are confortable with limiting siblings, but not so comfortable limiting the guests to...say.. three families. Something to think about.

When I receive an invitation for a party for one of my three children, when I RSVP, I will ask about siblings.

Good Luck :)

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M.G.

answers from San Antonio on

I wouldn't assume they were invited but the reality is that with four kids all six and under, I would bring them BUT I would assume the cost unless the host offered to pay for them.

I usually tell parents who call to RSVP that siblings are welcome just because I know how hard and expensive it can be to find sitters for the rest of my crew.

Another mom I know who has parties outside of the home includes on her invitations in a kindly worded way that while siblings and parents are welcome, they will be welcomed at their own cost. This past invitation she worded it as follows: invited children will get tokens, food, and drink.

One other thing- I would eat the cost of food for the parents since they will have to stay (believe me when I tell you that you don't want a roomful of unsupervided 2 years olds).

Good luck, M.

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H.B.

answers from Houston on

I have always included the siblings. Usually on the RSVP I write down need to know how many will be coming. I don't want to be a baby sitter so I expect the parents to be there to help with there child as needed. It is hard when you are trying to cut cost.
The only thing I can suggest is put the party is appropriate for ages 1-4. That is a good age bracket.
Only make goody bags for the friends not the siblings. Maybe have extra balloons on hand for the siblings. Hope that helps.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

Our son will be turning two as well and I think it's a little young for a friends party already but if you have one, you should consider the other siblings. All of the birthday parties I've been to for my neice and nephew at the play places have always included both of them. I think though that you could say that the classroom friends and their siblings are invited and admittance will be covered for all the classroom friends and cake/punch will be provided for all kids. This way, the parents don't have to try and make alternate accomodations for their kids which could lead them to stay home. Have fun!

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D.L.

answers from Austin on

Of course not! It is well known that when invitations are issued only the person it is addressed to is invited. I have often avoided this issue by simply holding the party at the day care at a time specified by them it saves on cost and confusion. Last year we made it extra fun by hiring a face painter.

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M.A.

answers from Houston on

I'm an older M. of 4 and I DO NOT assume that I should send all 4 of my children to a party that one or two of them have been invited to. However, this seems to be the current trend with younger families.

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T.E.

answers from Houston on

I would not assume the sibling was invited esp. if the invitation was addressed to one child not the whole family.Some party places limit the # of party kids and price accordingly(ie. pump it up, chuck e cheese).
you don't have to invite all the kids . you do have other options.you can mail out the invites or just invite who your daughter wants to.

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K.N.

answers from Houston on

I wouldn't assume that my other child could go, but I do know what you mean. That's something to take into consideration when inviting kids from school. You just never know how other parents think.
I would certainly ask that person throwing the party if it's ok for my other child to go if I just had to take him and go from there.
Good Luck! I'm sure it will all work out just fine. :)

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L.F.

answers from Austin on

It's not that anyone wants to be rude by bringing a sibling... it's that, who else is going to watch the sibling? Unless you have a nanny, or Dad is home to watch the sibling, you should assume the whole family is coming and even do favor bags for that sibling.
sorry, but it's true!
good luck

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

Hello D..
I am a mother of five children (ages 14,13,8,6,5). So when one child gets invited to a birthday party, I never assume that all of my children are invited. I usually take the one that is invited and the others stay home with my husband. I absolutely understand the cost of a birthday party and would not want to put anyone in that predicament. good luck!!

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R.H.

answers from San Antonio on

If I received an invitation and it was addressed to my child's name only than I would assume that child only was invited. I would not send or take any other siblings that were not invited.
It is as simple as that.
But we do not live in the real world and there are some
folks who do not understand this.
Sorry.

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

According to Etiquette, only the person an invitation is sent to should come to a party. If it says, AND GUEST then you can bring a guest. If it says, AND PARENT, then one would assume only an escort is coming.
I've never had a bday party for my son that I invited his class, as I don't find it necessary (not that it is wrong, it's a personal preference thing). I typically invite neighbors/friends/family. Then I know who is coming and all. But I also like home parties better, my son has never been to ChuckECheese and I hope to keep it that way. LOL
Having said all that... If I received an invitation for my son, I would NOT assume siblings were invited. In fact, if I had more than one, I'd either go or my husband would, the other would stay home with siblings.
It is RUDE to bring all of your children to a party they weren't invited to. IMHO

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T.F.

answers from Killeen on

Fortunately for me, all my children are in the same class. But this situation recently occurred for a birthday party my children were invited to. Several other parents child were invited to the party because they were classmates but the mother had another child that was not in the class. The problem would be who would she have to watch the other child/children? Of course that is not your concern. If this is a problem, the parent should ask ahead of time to clarify the issue. I noticed the other children that had siblings in other classes did not attend the party at all.

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K.D.

answers from Austin on

I would never assume that all my children were invited if only one had an invitation. I lived in Utah for a bit, under that rule i would have had b-day parties with 75 kids! I think your ambitious enough to invite the entire daycare class..good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Brownsville on

I would have to say that yes the whole family is invited. If i recieved an invitation for my 2 yr. old daughter, i wouldn't go out of my way to find childcare for my other kids just so i could attend the party. I would take all my kiddos with me. It's not like a 2 yr old is at the age where they can be dropped off and picked up, the parents/family would have to go with them. If you don't want a whole bunch of kids to go, then be selective with your invitations. I understand not wanting to spend a ton of money on kids you don't even know. I hope your situation turns out well! God Bless!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

If I recieved the invite, I would not 'assume' my younger child would be invited, but I would probably call to ask if there was room leftover for her to come too.
What you may consider doing is put a note on the invite saying, "the cost at the door is $x.00 for siblings that want to attend." I would think that would go over okay.
Hope the suggestion helps!
~K.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

We did this with our son. I put on the invitation that siblings were invited, but the parent would be responsible for paying for the extra child. I also put that I needed RSVP as we had to give the establishment a head count.
When the parents called, we discussed the details. I have to admit I was suprised to find that everyone was ok with paying for the extra child.
It worked out fine and turned into quite a "family" affair.
Good Luck!

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I did something similar, and Jump for Joy charges $10 extra per kid - so on the invitations I wrote, "Siblings are welcome but will be charged $10 each."

No one seemed offended, and I had 5 or 6 siblings there that parents paid for.

S.

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L.B.

answers from Austin on

Well - you have to take into consideration what the parents would be doing with those other siblings. For example, I am a single mom, so if you invited one of my kids and you needed me to be present at the party, it would be difficult for me to hire a babysitter just to attend.... So it can be tricky. I would say in general, you should expect people to bring the siblings along. It was kind of understood that people would bring their siblings to my kids bdays, but I welcomed them. If you don't want siblings coming, you should definitely specify on the invitation that the invitation is for that one child only - and have something about the cost, so if people want to bring their other kids, they will know what to expect financially. Hope that is helpful :)

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P.R.

answers from Dallas on

I think its perfectly fine to only invite the children from her class. If one of my children were invited to a party I would not expect my other children to be invited as well. On the other hand, since your daughter is only 2, I'm sure the parents will want to stay at the party, so if they have other small children they may have to bring them along. I have four children, but my two youngest are pretty close in age and if one was invited to a party and I had to bring the other one along, I would either pay myself for the other child to participate or I would not let them play.

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D.R.

answers from Dallas on

Dear D.,

I am a mother of 5, grandmother of 12 and greatgrandmother of 2. It has been my experience that people with more than one child will often bring the siblings but will pay for them and stay with them. You should not be responsible for the expense of more than those you invited.

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O.M.

answers from Dallas on

for me it has happened both ways. most of my daughters friends know her little sister but i will not take her unless they put on the invite to both. i had an instance where i did not take her and they asked me where she was so i told them the invite only had the older ones name on it so the other one stayed home. I know several of my daughters friends that have siblings and i know them well, so i usually expect the sibling to come along especially since i have a littel one too so she has someone to play with. I think parents should always ask. I think it is the same when parents expect to be fed along with the kids at the party... I think you could also put on the invite, due to space siblings are not allowed and i think most would understand.

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C.H.

answers from Beaumont on

I would never assume that if one of my children got an invitation to a party the the others are invited also! I would not plan for all the siblings, but that's just me. Hope this helps.

A little about me: I'm a mother of a son that will be 6 next month, and a daughter that just turned 4, and I am pregnant with twins! I'm married to the most wonderful man for 10 months!!

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

You do not need to invite the siblings if you are inviting a whole class of children. If you were having a few families then yes the siblings were need to be included as party guests but since it's the class and shes two and she doesn't know the siblings then you are not expected to invite then. Do be prepared that they may come so make sure you have enough cake and beverage to offer (as a good hostess) but you're not obligated to pay their way to play or give them a party favor. Hope this helps.

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T.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi,
My daughter is soon to be 3 and I have stressed every year about her party. I invite children with siblings to my daughter's party, but I address the invitation just to the child I want to come. Last year some of her friends have younger siblings, they did come to the party, but I only had party favors for the children I invited. One of her friends has an older brother, and he did not come to the party. We've had my daughter's party at our house every year so that does make it a little easier with cost. You might could also put on the invitation, that other children are welcome, but you are not able to pay for them. don't know exactly how to put that, but maybe others can help. Good Luck and just try and enjoy the party. No matter what happens, don't get stressed, trust me, it's not worth it. I did not enjoy my daughter's 1st bday party and I regret it all the time. We majorly down sized the next year!! Hope this helps!

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have three children and no you do not have to invite siblings. Birthdays are expensive enough without adding people and kids you don't know.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Any parent who has planned a birthday party at a place where you pay by-the-child knows the drill, and if they are at all polite and respectful, they know the invitation doesn't include siblings. That said, there are parents who are oblivious or who feel rules apply to everyone but their "little Johnny." To cover your bases, just include a quick note on the invitation that siblings are welcome for $xx.xx per person (whatever the charge is for extra children.)

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P.P.

answers from Dallas on

Parents know only the one child is invited, but you are looking at some new parents with 2yrs olds or younger children that do not know that just yet. Make sure the name of the child is on the invitation and do not put family.

Now all the parents would stick around at the party because they are not going to leave you with 15-- 2yr olds. So if they do not have baby sitters, they will probably bring their other children. They would not expect for you to pay for everyone, just the one kid.

With everyone's culture being different, I would be prepare in paying for a few more kids. Just ask everyone to RSVP to give you an estimate number. Some parents will ask if they can bring their other children. And unfortunately, you will have to say yes. Or have a good response to your no. I always say yes when they ask.

About me: I have three girls, 13. 11, 8. I have had many parties, but all at my home. Never at a public place, since I can never tell who will show up.

Hope this helped.

M.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have 2 kids and I would never assume that if one got an invite that the other one could come. Make sure the invite has the specific child's name on it to cover you. You may want to make sure you put a note as to what the "family" may do while they wait since they are 2 years old the family is not going to want to go far.

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A.S.

answers from Houston on

My kids, 5 and 3 have been invited to many bday parties. It is perfectly fine to address it only to the classmate and not the siblings of the classmates. That is the "norm" from my experience. Usually one parent stays home with the sibling while the other brings the invited child.

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

My experience is the siblings come 90& of the time. We have an almost 5 and a 6 year old. I always plan on the siblings especially when they are close in age. My kids almost always go to each other's birthday parties (as is the standard in our preschool) except when it's held somewhere I kow people are paying per child. People usually respect that and everyone does not bring the other kiddo (but some do). I have had parents offer to pay for the additional kids they bring.

When you have two that are close in age it's difficult to explain to one why the other can't go. Also often there is not other child care for the non-invited child because of parent schedules.

Have fun.

J.

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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

Personally, if I receive an invitation that has been addressed to just one of my kids, I assume that I do NOT bring my other child and I make sure to make other arrangements for my other child. I think that most parents would understand that siblings are NOT automatically invited.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

No, I wouldn't think my others were invited.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have it clear on the invitations that you need an RSVP so you can make arrangements, but only leave a phone number (not the address). When you speak to the parent on the phone, you can discuss siblings. Obviously, you don't want a room full of children running around without an escort, so parents come to the party too. But is it fair to expect them to find a babysitter? I'd bring my child's sibling, but keep him entertained myself and pay for the entrance fee but I wouldn't expect that all parents would think to do the same.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

Oh my goodness! I cant believe you received almost 100 responses to this! wow. I would absolutely not even bring any other siblings since they were not invited.

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D.A.

answers from Houston on

No, parents should not assume that siblings are invited as well. I've had some parents ask me if their sibling can come too but this is rare.

Good luck with the party!

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A.V.

answers from Sherman on

Hi there D., I was reading your question through my email, this morning, and thought I'd give ya my opinion, hope ya dont mind? Ok....I have always had to deal with one kid getting an invitation, and the others not. I just explain to them, that each of them have different friends....so each of them will be invited to different parties. They still get totally upset...but I just stick to my guns, and eventually they calm down. In some cases, however, all my kids know the birthday kid and family. Then, I always call and ask first, if they can come too....but I always let the parents know, that I will pay for the extra kids...ie tickets, pizza, games, and anything else. Most parents do know that it's hard on other parents, when they bring the other kids along, so most of the time they wont. But if they do...just kindly let them know that you are glad they brought their "invited" child to the party...and let them know what time you plan to be finished so they can come get their child. Most of the time, they will understand, and take the other kids with them. If you dont have the money to pay for extra kids....dont be afraid to let the parents know that. I hope this helps you! :) Have a great party!!!

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

From my experience the siblings come if the parents are required to be there. I have also experienced parents bringing not only other siblings, but the siblings friends as well. Our daughter's first birthday had a head count of over 70 as a result... fortunatly we had a bounce house in the back yard so it didn't cost us any more.

You should probably mention that you have provided only for the daycare friends. The parents should be prepared to pay for any additional child. Many parents do not have an option to spend time at a party with only one of their children for various resons...

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N.J.

answers from Dallas on

I would think that it was for the one child that was invited. I have had a parent ask for the others and I would tell them that they were welcome but the extra cost would be there's.

Good Luck
Nan

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D.O.

answers from Dallas on

No way would I assume that the siblings are invited! General Eetiquette is that only the name on the invitation is the invitee!

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R.C.

answers from Houston on

No, I would definitely NOT assume my other children were invited. In fact, I would assume they weren't. If I did bring a sibling (for some reason like babysitting issues), I would definitely pay for myself and the sibling.

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M.O.

answers from Austin on

My boys are now 11 and 7 so things may have changed, but, unfortunately, parents have just shown up at parties with siblings with no expanation or apology (or offer to pay.) It's an uncomfortable situation to say the least!! I am not sure how to handle this etiquete-wise. My instincts tell me to suggest the additional price is siblings would like to join. Who has the money to invite the whole world?? Plus, those parties get out of hand and the kids get tired and hungry and feelings get hurt and tears start flowing and ... You end up asking yourself what kind of birthday is this!!?? Honestly, Parties have gotten out of control all around!! A nice party at home with a couple of he closest friends is what I suggest. A party for a two year old is more for the parents than anyone else!! Save your money for whan they are four or even five and then the kids remember them.

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D.R.

answers from San Antonio on

I have 2 daughters ages 4 and 6 and always have their parties together because I know how expensive parties can get. I only invite the entire class (as the rules specify) if I am having a backyard party and I can easily accomodate siblings. I usually serve hot dogs and cup cakes that I make so it's not that expensive to throw in a few extras. I have also learned being a class mom that if you have a classroom list with email addresses or phone numbers it's easier to send invitations via email or get addresses so you can invite only close friends and get around that whole invite the whole class / daycare rule. I know it's nice to have your child surrounded by lots of "friends", but like others have said at 2 years she probably will not remember and chances are she may sleep through the whole ordeal.

As far as taking siblings to parties. I have always taken both my girls to parties that one has been invited to, only after calling to RSVP and specifically asking and of course offering to pay for the extra child. Most cases they will just say bring her, especially if it is a small party, some will say, she is welcome and it will only be x amount of dollars, thank you for offering. Either way, I am glad they welcome the my other daughter.

If you still insist on inviting the entire daycare, I love the idea of please RSVP by such and such date. Siblings are welcome at $x each. I don't think parents would be offended. Most would welcome the opportunity to pay a reduced rate to get some energy out of there kids.

Good luck and don't stress.

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V.A.

answers from Houston on

No you should not have to prepare for all the siblings. Everyone real mom knows' who to bring. I had a B-day party for my 11 year old who had two cousins in the same family. One was 11 year old and the other one was 7 years old. Only one was invited and the parents understood that. there was no hard feeling. I am a 50 year old mom with three 25boy, 24girl, 11boy.

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M.D.

answers from Longview on

No not at all. I have two girls just a yr apart, and if the invatation only has one of their names I never assume that the other is invited also.

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W.T.

answers from Dallas on

Hello-I have three kiddos, ages 9, 7, and 7 months. With my experience, people will bring all their kids to parties because they have no other childcare available. I know it is expensive. I even had a sleepover for my son one time, and I had a mommy call me to say that both her boys had to come even if I only invited one!! I couldn't believe it!

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B.T.

answers from Dallas on

Absolutely not. If you receive a birthday invitation with the names of each individual children in the household then you may assume each of those children are invited. I think that most people nowadays know how expensive birthday parties can get and unless you receive or give a verbal or written invitation including siblings then most people would assume the other children in the familly are not included in the invite.

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E.Y.

answers from Dallas on

You do not have to invite all the kids in her class or in the daycare. You can limit to how many kids you want to have. The siblings are not part of the invitation. Parents know that the child that get the invitation is the only one invited. If their parents choose to bring the other children the pay for them.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have six kids and they are all really close together. Each are a year apart or less (my oldest two are only 11 months apart). They all are so close that they do really share friends. But when it comes to parties I NEVER assume everyone else is invited, ever. My oldest is a boy and my second is a girl, and when he gets invited by friends on his soccer team, even though she is friends with them also, I feel that since it's his team then he is the one they are inviting unless they tell me otherwise. I have on occasion asked if the invitation was writen specifically for one of my kids and most of the time they are inviting the whole family.

Get a list of the kids' names in his class and write each invite specifically for each one of those kids. On the inside request they RSVP by a certain day and say, "RSVP by 00/00/08 so I may plan accordingly, etc." That has helped me with my parties.

Much Luck!

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V.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D., I am a mom of 2, now grown boys, however,I have a party business for kids and I run into this alot with the party givers. No, you should not have to invite nor pay for the siblings. If the parent wants to bring a sibling and wants them to join in the fun just ask them to pay for the sibling but not the invited child. I hope this helps.

V. at [email protected]____.com

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V.A.

answers from Sherman on

I have always invited the entire class/group to my daughther's parties, and often siblings come as well. If I had to bring little sis along when taking my daughter to a party, I would never assume that she would be included in the festivities and would stand back or sit elsewhere to allow for no disruptions in the party. In this case, though, with the very young age of your child and their guests, you would have to assume that siblings may have to tag along with their parent as I doubt they would just drop off their child and leave. I would just greet each "guest" that your child invited, by name, and simply state to the parent, "We are so glad to have "Sally" at our party! I have purchased her entry into the play center already or I will be purchasing her entry into the play center." Most parents understand the concept...Good Luck and have a great party!

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I absolutely would NOT assume all my children were invited to a birthday party that one received an invitation to unless it said siblings were also invited.

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L.S.

answers from Houston on

No. Your children should each have their own party and invitations should only be for the children your own child's age/or group. Of course there are going to be those parents who want to unload ALL their children at the same time but that doesn't make it right!!

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

D.,

I have struggled with that question for years and what I have learned with my 3 kids...ages 5,6 and 8 and in all the parties I have attended and given...I say, No you absolutly do not need to worry about the siblings...if you are concerned about party favors for everyone...no need, just the children invited and the parents are not going to expect you to have room at the party for siblings, especially if you do not know what their family consists of. So don't feel bad just counting your childs friends. If you dwell on that like I have in the past you will end up dreading parties all together. Keep it simple and focus on your childs birthday needs and friends.
Have fun and Happy 2nd birthday.

A.

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,
Everytime that we have had a birthday party (Let's Jump and Chuckie Cheese) the parents have brought siblings... but they RSVP-ed that way.

I also have 2 children close in age and would NOT be able to attend if I could not bring both (unless we paid for a babysitter). That is just kindof the way it is... SORRY!

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C.L.

answers from Seattle on

As a mother, aunt, Godmother, friend and sister I am appalled at the responses this question has brought up. I am a mother of 3 active boys ages 7, 3 and 2 and can be considered a "single Mom" quite often as my husband is in the US Navy going on 9 years now. We are constant transplants to new cities everywhere and while we have seen many different styles to birthday parties I would never in a million years guess that this is how the majority of you mothers feel.
First of all, we are talking about a party for a 2 year old. I do not know of anyone who would leave their child at this age by themselves to attend the festivities and since not all of us have the ability to leave other children behind, I would only assume that would leave you with two choices...to go to the party with siblings in tow or to miss it all together.
I would also like to express that since we are constantly being bounced around and do not have the chance to stay in one place for too long, birthday parties have been some of the best places to meet new friends. When it comes to inviting a select few the classroom this can be very hurtful to the kids that have had to transfer in mid-semester and did not have the chance to bond right away with his or her classmates and feel left out and there is nothing harder to explain to a child why he or she was left out from the invitation list when it comes to this reason.
As for the goody bags and whatnot, I do know where this custom is practiced as I have seen parties that do and do not have these but if they are passed out, I cannot imagine skipping a child or two because they are not part of original intended partygoers. Think about it...aren't we supposed to teach our children to share and to treat others as they want to be treated???
Oh, and as far as etiquette goes, yes you should RSVP and let them know you might be "burdened" to bring your other kids since we are all not fortunate enough to be able to leave them behind.
The birthday parties are supposed to be for the KIDS and to celebrate their lives...what a better way to do so than with as many people as possible. I thank God every time we move to a new city for the gracious mothers like Marisa and Vanessa...I just never would have guessed there are so few of them out there.

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L.M.

answers from Killeen on

For my twins birthday party at the childcare center, it was during the day (class time) and only the kids in the class attended. However, if you have it on a weekend since the kids are under 5 yrs old, you should expect the parents and their siblings to stay. I request a RSVP and when the parents called I ask will there be any siblings attend, this way you can have a true count.

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R.H.

answers from Houston on

D.- I think you are both right- a parent who receives a party invitation for one child should not assume all the siblings are also invited( with the exception of family friends), especially since it is not at your home but at a commercial establishment. That being said, there will always be (a) kids who don't RSVP but show up anyways, and (b) a parent or two who does not realize each child attending has to be paid for and asks would it be okay for Billy to stay and play, too (there may also be siblings who think it looks like such fun they ask you if they can stay!). I recommend a half dozen extra goody bags, a big cake, and a prepared response for those who invite themselves!

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T.L.

answers from Sherman on

It is not necessary to invite the classmates siblings.

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D.D.

answers from Austin on

D.,
I've been in the birthday party circuit for years because I have a 15-year-old and a 9-year-old (not sure how I ended up on this list, but it's interesting). Anyhow, polite parents never assume siblings are invited and, if there's a special need (other parent not at home, no one available to watch sibling, etc.) they are expected to ask if the sibling may attend and offer to pay his or her portion.

Best,
D.

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R.L.

answers from Dallas on

no. i might bring the other, but if i'm going and bringin my youngest we are on our own. some ppl are going to assume you will pay for their whole family though.

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B.P.

answers from Houston on

I do not think that you need to be prepared to pay for siblings. IF they have a sibling that the mom wants to bring, the mom should ask when she RSVP's and offer to pay for it. As a mother of kids that are 20 mos and 14 mos apart, respectively, I always asked permission to bring the other if necessary and paid for that childs way. My 2 sets that are this close in age had a lot of the same friends and one would refuse to go unless the other went. So, that was the way I "solved" the confict. My kids would never put one name on a present, they were always from both of them so I always purchased 2 gifts and they were each from both of them. Make sense?

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

All their lives they will have separate invites and no you do not have to invite the older kids. But parents should be allowed to attend since they are so young. It also may be a blessing to have them help with their child. That ia my opinion G. W

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K.K.

answers from Houston on

Why don't you have two parties for the two year old....one at the day care during lunch and have another you can enjoy with your close friends and family. The day care picks up the tab for the lunch and you supply cupcakes (you don't have to worry about cleanup either). You could ask others to pay for themselves I have done that as well just bring a big cake and pay for the kids on the invites.
At two they really do not remember what they did for the big day.

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

Since you only have one child you haven't experienced yet what it is like for your child to be invited to a party but her siblings are not. Chances are most siblings will be young. I have four children under five. Would I be expected to hire a babysitter so that my 2 year old could go to the party? I wouldn't even consider going to the party if all my children were not invited. I plan my parties including all siblings and invite fewer families. I have a party coming up next month and had to leave a few families out just because I couldn't aafford admission for all the older siblings ( a lot of our friends have six or more children.)

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

NOOOOOO, thats tacky...they should call you and ask. If they bring there siblings without telling you, then the parent shouild pay for the extra kids he/she brought. Im pretty sure you made the invite out to one indivisual, not to "John and family". LOL Good Luck

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

I know exactly how you feel. My daughter is 6 and every single year the party place tells you how many you can have in a party. I send out that number of invitations expecting that some won't show and ALWAYS someone brings a sibling that I wasn't expecting. I am always over the limit. It is very frustrating because you have the extra cost and goodie bags not to mention you need to make sure that there is enough food. I just think it is rude to show up with kids that the birthday child doesn't even know. Having said that-all you can do is be prepared for the unexpected. I have heard other mothers who have told those parents that they will have to pay for their extra child if they stay. I haven't done that though.

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L.A.

answers from Dallas on

Wow D. a big party hey? I raised both my son's in full-time day care but at 2 years years old - we invited only family and close friends - the pictures later on can be easily recognized...I would imagine the parents that cannot afford to have birthday parties for their children in day care and all their acquaintences will be greatly humbled when it's their child's birthday. My sons do not have grown friend's from day care days at all now - but if this is all necessary...then of course as young as they are their parents would probably prefer to be invited also and of course the siblings - why the siblings are closer to those children than your 2 year old is I can guarantee it! Best of Wisdom from experience...L....Happiness at home is the most fun I've learned!! lol

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J.A.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi D.: To me it would depend on the people inviting him. If its close friends and family. YES. But in your situation. I say NO. I would not bring other sibilings to this party. To save yourself and the other parents embarassment, I would include in the invite, that bringing extra children will cost them a fee. Have a great day!!

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R.P.

answers from Dallas on

Absolutely not. If one of my children gets an invite to a party, the rest of my kids stay home with me. Anyone who would infringe on someones elses party has no couth. I would state that this is just for your daughters friends, not siblings. If the parents choose to bring the siblings, they need to pay for them. This is not rude, just a courtesy to you.

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M.S.

answers from El Paso on

Thank you Vanessa! I agree that even though you are only inviting the 2 year old to the party, you should expect their parents to be there with them. And if there are siblings in the picture, all children should be treated with respect and not feel unwelcomed. (Goody bags for only the invited children & not the others is wrong!)

I was appalled when I first heard so many moms with advice to make any of the invited 2 year old's family feel uninvited and unwelcomed. If this is the way anyone feels about having a party, I would prefer not to attend.

Please don't get me wrong, when your child is older, it is very acceptable to drop off your child at the party and not send the whole clan with them. But at any toddler party, I would invite the families of the children you would like to attend. If this expense will be too much, then keep your party simple and invite only your closer friends and family.

And a personal note of etiquette: When ever you host a party, always be a good host and welcome everyone who wants to attend your party. - The more the merrier! Your guests will leave happy, appreciate your generousity, and may become some of your closest friends.

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L.E.

answers from Dallas on

I never take my other children to a party unless their name is on the invitation, HOWEVER, I have had siblings show up at my parties who weren't invited. Some of my friends have put on the invitation that space is limited so siblings aren't included (saying it in a nice way of course!!). Obviously, at 2 years old you can't make it where you specify it is a "drop off" party, but you can do that when your child is a little older. Good luck!

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P.O.

answers from Austin on

At age 2 it is a very nice gesture to include the whole family as many people have more than one child in this age group. As the kids get older, in elementary school, it is more appropriate to include just the child's choice/class . . . especially because if there is a schedule conflict with the family, most children can be dropped off at that age. I would never automatically assume all my kids are invited to a party, but be prepared to be asked if siblings can attend by some parents, or to have the invitation rejected. . . this is not to suggest you have to invite everyone - it is your party! But, if you invite everyone, you might meet some people that end up being dear friends -- which is what always tended to happen to me. . . it is nice to include everyone when the kids are young so you build a core network of people in your community that you know. Just some thoughts.

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P.B.

answers from El Paso on

You could very well be looking at siblings too. Is the party during the week or on the weekend? During the day or evening? Mom's with other kids might have to bring them all if their husband is at work still when the party is scheduled. I've been in that situation before and (after asking the parent hosting the party) brought my other children. I suppose one way to limit it is to state on the invitation "no siblings please", but you might have to be prepared for few kids to make it.

Just because you are asking the teachers to pass out the invitations does not necessarily mean you have to invite all children. These are two year olds- they do not pay too much attention to invitations and such. Could the workers just put the invitations in the bags/cubbies of the kids that are invited? Or just hand them to the parents of those kids you are inviting?

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E.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,

We have 4 children and have been invited to many a b-day party as well as having plenty of our own, and it is not expected that siblings will be included in parties.

With that said, we have been to many parties where the family purchased extra treat bags for siblings, and our children received one, but we certainly didn't expect it.

This is totally up to you :)

Have a great party!

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C.W.

answers from Waco on

Ooh you just touched on a good subject. Yes some people would assume that the sibs are invited. I don't think you should have to pay for the extra sib though but that is my personal opinion. The good news is that people are so busy that if you give out 20 invites at daycare you will probably have only 5 kids actually show up. The parents don't know you and they drive and make the weekend plans. I wouldn't be too worried.....Invite everybody and ask them to rsvp and expain it is very important so you can give the final # to the party place. That should get the message out that you are not having it at your house so they "should" understand that an extra sibling will cost you extra $$$ and they can decide what they want to do about it.

Good luck

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H.P.

answers from Dallas on

No. I never assume that. If you are worried about it, write a small note on the invitation stating that you are only paying for the invited child. Once we had a skating party and wrote this on all of the invitations. It is bad enough that you are going to have to invite all of these kids because that is the rule at the daycare ... don't invite siblings too!

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J.S.

answers from San Antonio on

All I have to go on is what my step mom did with my two sisters who were close in age and how I feel on the subject. My stepmom always called and asked. It kinda determined if they would go to the party. If my mom had to stay at the party than yes both kids had to come. Since your daughter is 2 I would think that some siblings might have to come. You can have them pay the extra but that always was the deal breaker for my stepmom. Me personally if I didn't have anyone else to watch my child and it was on a weekend I would either ask or just not go.

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J.R.

answers from Austin on

It is pretty much a given that when dropping off is not appropriate, you have to accept sibblings at birthday parties. If not, then the parents may have to pay a sitter to come to your party. I have kids 3 and 6 years of age and this has been a constant from the get go. Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

You are starting the trend of your childs,birthday parties for the rest of your life and hers...You don't have to invite any extra children...I am a mother,grand-mother,aunt,friend and sister...I am 60..I have given hundreds of parties of all kinds...These modern times have brought prosperity and divine ideas...Keep it simple and beware...that you won't fall into a rut of trying to out do the last party or the other person...Some children I know have already had Limo.'s for there birthday and there still in elementary school...Take it slow and easy...and give lots of hugs....Happy Birthday...another Mother...Donna B.

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L.D.

answers from Killeen on

As a parent of three children, when my kids get invitations I never assume that the others are invited. Now, as the parent throwing the party, let me tell you my experience. When my son was in pre-k I had a party for him at his gymnastics center and there was a limit on the number of children that could attend for a certain price. I addressed all of the invitations to the children in his class, and I still had parents show up with siblings without even asking. So, I guess it just depends on who the parents is. I think it is rude, but obviously there are some that think there is nothing wrong with it. Good luck.

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G.G.

answers from Dallas on

maybe on the invite you can say rsvp with number of guests including siblings....are you familiar with all the kids and their families in the class? Would it be a huge amount of kids extra if siblings came?
that's a tough one. In our case the moms usually ask if their brothers/sisters are also included in the rsvp....then we plan according to that.

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D.F.

answers from Odessa on

I have two boys and and they are in their teens now but I do know that Brandon has his friends and Chad has his and no I would not assume that Brandon was invited just because Chad was. Hope this helps.

D.

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

Given the age of your child, I would expect that other children from their family will be there with their mother/father. Most parents with more than one young child, will not find childcare for the children who were not officially invited.

At this age, I would expect it and plan accordingly. Encourage an RSVP with the number of attendees. Is this a home party? Or is it somewhere that has a cost per person or limit of attendees? If you have to pay for additional guests, you may want to put that in your invitation as well as the cost.

Hope the party is great!

C.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

my 5-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday party and since both my husband and i took her, we also took her 2-year-old little brother. but we did not expect the family to include him in anything or have enough food/cake/party favors for him as well. we just had my daughter share her cake and toys with him :-) i don't think you should have to include their siblings also and if they expect you to, then i don't think that is right. just my opinion :-)

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J.C.

answers from San Antonio on

I totally understand your point on this issue, but having attended many parties, unless you specify that no sibilings are invited then expect them to show up. This just seems to be how things are now.

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M.R.

answers from Corpus Christi on

yes... u kind of have to count on more ppl going aside from their parents and stuff.. keep in mind not all of them are going to go... but you'd be surprised how many ppl show up.... especially if its going to be at a play center... with a kids party you always have to assume more ppl are coming... well you also do not have an obligation to ask any other child in the daycare other than the teachers... its really up to you because she is turning 2 and really doesn't have any friends right now that she would wish they would be there... in the long run its your choice but i say always be prepared for the most expensive case scenario...
M.

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J.A.

answers from Killeen on

Hello
I am a mother of 2 and grandmother of 13! When sending the invitations just remember to add the RSVP and a deadline for such,upon receiving the calls,it is perfectly o.k. to thank them for responding and ask them if they have any questions,it is ALSO perfectly acceptable to bring up in the conversation that "Sally" will be paid for and any siblings that may want to come are more than welcome but at the parents expense. Any one with any sense will understand how expensive a party can be being parents as well. If they show up at the party expecting for the sibling to be paid for the embarrassment is their own you have done your part. It is amazing how understanding parents really are and for the inevitable ones that don't rsvp and just show up, well you did give them a chance to do so and the explanation will have to be done at the party.YOU DO NOT HAVE TO INVITE THE SIBLINGS! Now relax and put your energy into creating the best party ever for your little one!!!

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W.R.

answers from Houston on

No, it's not polite to bring the whole gang.

I just got an invite for my kindergartner and it said "if parents and other siblings wish to attend, they will have to pay for a buffet meal." I wasn't offended, because I never bring my other children if only one of them was invited, but it may give other parents who drop off the whole gang that there is actually a cost involved in bringing additional people who were not included in the invitation.

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R.D.

answers from Dallas on

I don't,unless the invitation has both my daughter (5)and son's(2) name on it or it states on the invitaion it's okay for siblings. I do bring the other to the party with me but I pay for that one. I usually get the information on how much it will cost for my other child when I RSVP.

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P.L.

answers from Houston on

It may be more a matter of necessity - maybe the other moms can't find babysitters for the other kids. If you're that concerned about it, maybe you should include a polite little note in the invitations that say something about limited capacity or something so they get the idea without being rude.

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K.F.

answers from Brownsville on

My advice is that if the children take their siblings their parents should be responsible for them.not you.

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L.N.

answers from Dallas on

As a mom of 3 (14, 12, 2) you have to just assume that the siblings will come. I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I have ALWAYS taken my son's siblings to Birthdays IF I had no place to leave them(husbans was working or busy). As I plan for my 2 year olds bday, I don't like having to assume her friends siblings will be comming but there is no other way to do it so we will be inviting less kids to accomadate her "CLOSER" friends and their siblings. Good luck.

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J.O.

answers from Dallas on

If you address the invitation directly to the child it is implied that siblings are not expected (this does not include infants). You will, however, have some parents that will bring older siblings anyway. We're in a similar situation ourselves but I figure (and hope) that the number of siblings that show up will be offset by the number of invited kids that don't show up at all.

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S.C.

answers from Sherman on

I always ask first. I have four kids. I dont want to take all four of them. Alot of times if the parent dosent say bring your other kids, i will ask if it is ok. My kids ages are g(12),g(8)b(7) g(22mths. For instance, we had a birthday party not to long ago. It was my boys friend. I took the baby with me and i took the eight yr old girl too. I wouldnt take all four of them. Plus my twelve yr old would not want to go to an eight yr old boy birthday party. I always ask if it is ok to take other siblings. Some people wont though they will just show up. Alot of times moms will say bring all of your kids. I dont know if i helped you any...S.

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M.J.

answers from Dallas on

I would take the extra time to write the child's name (the one from daycare who's invited) on the invitation. I personally, would not assume that every one of my children (had I more than one!) was invited. Some people will gladly bring the whole Van Trapp Family if able (from past experience). If you are inviting the whole family, then I would put So & So family on the invite. Be prepared, you will still have those parents who bring the whole Brady Bunch, and personally, if they want to pay for their own kids, I would have no problem with that. If I couldn't afford to pay for siblings, I would tell them so and not pay. I would stick to what you budgeted. Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

Address the invitation to your child's friend(s) and that will be the person coming to the party....not siblings.

On occasion, my daughter has been invited to a party and because our families are close, they say it's ok to bring her younger brothers. The party was at a bounce house and their was not a limit on headcount so it didn't cost the parents extra for my other kids to come.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Yes, your husband is right. When my son turned 3 we had a party for him at a gym place. We paid for and inivited just the amout we were allowed. Well, most of them showed up with one or two siblings and we were way over our allowed amount. We ended up having to pay double after the party and we did not have enough food. It was an awakening for us. Now we count the siblings when we have a party.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I think it is completely RUDE to show up with an uninvited sibling without asking the host. Anytime I've had a party for my son, a few people have asked to bring siblings. However, if I had reached capacity and would have had to pay extra for the sibling, I would have explained that to the parent and let them decide if they wanted to pay for their other child. In fact, I had one parent offer to do so. I think everyone should abide by this etiquette. Fortunately, I was under capacity for the party so it wasn't an issue. Sometimes I wonder where the rules of etiquette have gone. Nobody seems to follow them anymore!

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Me personally-I wouldn't 'assume' my other child was paid for. I would wait till we get there and if they were paid for great-if not I wouldn't be surprised and I would cover it. Especially since like you said you don't know these other people personally.

I to have had this problem recently. We're having my daughters 5th birthday party this afternoon at the bowling alley. I had talked with the skating rink but they told me they wanted a list of who I was willing to pay for because some people would bring their whole family in and if I didn't specify I was only paying for the child then I could be responsible for paying for everybody!!! Didn't want to risk that and I didn't want people to assume I was covering the whole family either so I've just signed up for the bowling alley.

Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from Austin on

I am the mother of a 5 yr old daughter and my son will be 2 next week. When one of them gets a birthday invite, I just take them to the party. Only if they both know the kid having the birthday, I will take them both. I dont think that siblings should go along, unless they know the birthday girl/boy.

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