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 [email protected] on someone else’s bedroom carpet!

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