What If The Friends Of My Child’s Friends Have Siblings?

List-making for your child’s birthday party does not have to be complicated.

Dear Party Planner Mama, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for

In terms of children’s birthday parties, the short answer is that you don’t need to do anything. I’ve taken a “you do you” approach to these gatherings for the past ten years. It’s possible to think about what’s best for your child and family in a number of different ways.

Organizing a child’s birthday party was something I was looking forward to before I had to do it. When it comes to arranging a child’s birthday party, there are sometimes a lot of tough choices to be made that take away from the fun. During the midst of the birthday party commotion? The list of attendees.

Organizing a child’s birthday party has eluded me for years, but I’ve finally settled on some common sense principles for who to invite and how to go about it:

Consider the Age of the Child

Your child’s friends’ ages and stage of development are essential factors in deciding whether to invite their siblings. When my children were younger, it was a given that my younger child would accompany me to their birthday parties. A per-child cost is often not applicable to babies or toddlers, and the hosts also intend to feed the parents, so it shouldn’t be an additional hardship.

There is a good chance that older siblings will wind up as assistants if they accompany their younger siblings to these child-oriented events. A slice of pizza and a piece of cake is required of older kids who attend to their smaller siblings to entertain the younger ones.

However, as your child grows older, it’s reasonable to restrict invitations to only close pals. When you reach the magical stage of “drop off” parties, the lines start to blur the most. Depending on the venue and party size between the ages of 5 to 6 (i.e., you don’t want to be responsible for 20 six-year-olds roaming a family fun center), this has happened in my social circles.

What About a Budget Discussion?

Let’s face it: whether or not your children and their siblings attend the same school depends a lot on your financial situation.

The expense of a child’s birthday party is a definite consideration. (It’s like being on a high!) That impending cut-off number before the price doubles is problematic for us as the party hosts. As a result, I can appreciate when an invitation requests RSVPs by a specific date or implies a maximum number of guests. There are logistical limitations, and I hope we are all accepting this with compassion.

After deciding whether or not to invite siblings, based on the venue, age, expense, etc., it’s lovely just to tell the other parents! ‘ For my birthday parties, I’ve heard it said either “all children are welcome,” or “we can only accommodate a certain number of youngsters.” How do you feel about it? Either way is fine with me.

Exceptions do not always have to be the exception.

Consider each request on its merits, such as “may I bring his younger sister?” Explain if it is not possible, but if it helps that buddy come, giving an exception doesn’t mean you have to open it up to everyone. The fact that we have all been there—maybe our partner is away for the weekend, or we don’t have anyone else to bring our child with us—means that we can all sympathize.

It’s reasonable to consider if parents should be given the option of paying for an additional child if you’ve set a financial limit on how many children they can have. Your level of comfort and the social norms in your community could influence this decision; you may or may not respond in the same way. I may be more inclined to offer this alternative to a specific group of parents. A parent offering to pay for their extra child’s attendance is more embarrassing than accepting the money unless there are good reasons to exclude the youngster. When at all possible, it’s probably ideal for hosting without exchanging money!

Imagining You’re in Your Child’s Place

Those famed birthday meltdowns have yet to be mentioned. The crowds at these events can be so raucous that it’s necessary to contain them. It’s OK to emphasize your child’s comfort above inviting everyone, especially if your child is more prone to being overwhelmed.