So far, most of the parties that N has been invited to have mostly been via friends of mine – so NCT, friends from initial swimming classes, or neighbours. I expect this will probably change next year once he starts school, but if any of his own parties end up like his cousin’s disco party, I will definitely despair. I’m not sure I want to keep an eye on a whole lot of children I’m unlikely to have met before.
His cousin was turning 6 and held a party in one of the village halls. Great idea as it’s a lovely hall, plenty of room, and all the organisation was great. We walked in and N was a little dubious. Of course you would be unless you were a really confident 3 year old, going to a party where everyone else was at school. Add to that the music and he was a little unnerved, however much his cousin tried to get him involved, along with his aunt, uncle and myself.
I do have an issue with the whole party invite thing. It appears that unless you have a really small intimate party, that once you’re at school, inviting the class (or at least the school year if you have combined year in a class) is the norm. And that has to include even the nightmare children.
Now as a child, I don’t remember the party invites. I went to quite a few and mostly they were at home parties with traditional party games and a parent on the music (if there was even music). Then once we moved to the area we are now, my mum refused to hold any more post my 8th party due to the appalling table manners of the girls there (essentially from a middle class village housing development).
Nowadays parties are a lot bigger so I suppose there’s more pressure to impress and give the child what they want. I’m hoping N will mostly be happy charging round the garden, although having a January birthday probably isn’t going to be the easiest for holding parties actually around his birthday!
The party N went to, mostly had children of parents I know. They’re all fairly similar in the way they expect their children to behave, and on the whole, for ‘sugared up’ children, the dancing jumping up and down was fine. About half the parents stayed, including the parents of the 2 children who turned out to the a bit of a handful (to say the least).
I’m hoping that not every party has a nightmare child who:
- Pours every grape from the bowl and every sausage from the bowl onto his plate, oh and not forgetting all the crisps from another bowl
- Piles up a huge stack of sandwiches on his plate that of course he won’t eat
- Sprawls across whatever chairs are available, and knocks into every child sitting nearby so drinks go flying
- Pushes other children over while they’re dancing
- Insists on trying to blow out the candles on the cake even though his mother is trying to hold him off
- Won’t leave the competition floor when they’re playing party games/dances and he’s been eliminated, despite being told to do so
- Grabs at every cake put on the table
- Wheeling chairs around the dance floor (until I removed the chairs and told him to stop)
What I couldn’t believe was that the mother half-heartedly made attempts to stop him doing all of these things before telling me (while every other child was sitting and eating as well as you’d expect when they’re excited at a party), ‘it’s school that’s made him like this’…hmm, like none of these other children go to school and yet even those whose parents had gone home were behaving themselves.
The other child who was causing a bit of trouble was taken outside by his mum to cool off, and surely this is the least that you’d expect to do if you’ve a child causing chaos and tears. I really felt for my sister-in-law having had to put up with however many kids as well as keeping an eye on this one child whose parent either didn’t think much was wrong, or couldn’t control her child and didn’t seem to have a reason to have a child who behaved like that. If it had been me, I’d have marched N outside for a talking to, and if he didn’t behave on going back in, he’d have been taken home.
In the end we left early as N wanted to go home. He did have a bit of a dance once he’d had some tea (he even turned out to be quite good at musical statues), but I think the loudness of the other children and their size did unnerve him a little.
Yes, it seems parties these days have to be inclusive, but if I’d been running the party, I’d have had to have said something to him myself about either behaving or going home. I don’t see why a party should be ruined because of one child. I despair what I shall do when N’s at school and wanting the whole class to be invited. I also hope that N never behaves appallingly at a party or another person’s house.
How do you cope with invites for children’s parties? How do you deal with bad disruptive behaviour at parties (or on playdates)?
Or do you just let it ride and pray the nightmare child leaves the school before next year comes round?