Being a good birthday party guest parent is more than simply buying a gift and dropping your child off. Don't be the equivalent of a birthday party dump-and-run. Instead, keep these tips in mind.
It may seem unimportant, but that little R.S.V.P. line on the birthday invitation means a lot to the parents of the birthday boy or girl. If you don't call, they don't know how many guests to expect, and if they err on the side of caution, they might end up with way more food or party favors than they need. And if they plan on your child not attending? There may not be enough goodies for everyone. Even if you can't attend the party, make the call—this is so much better than a disappointed kid waiting for friends who will never come. As an added bonus, many parents now provide cell phone numbers on the invite, making it way simpler to text your R.S.V.P.
Talk About Allergies
If your child has food allergies, it's a good idea to inform the parents throwing the party. They will likely be caught off guard if your child can't partake of the treats at cake time, and they might feel bad for it. Instead, let them know that you will be providing your kid's own treat before the party even gets started. Some moms may want to get your child a safe treat, and can ask you about ingredients and how to read labels—well before it's time to blow out the candles.
Tune Up Your Kid
Before heading out to the party, make sure your child is well rested, fed, and in a good state of mind. Chances are, he'll become completely unhinged with excitement at some point, but it shouldn't be because he's starving, got up way too early, or has been running ragged all day.
Offer To Stay
One of the most valuable things you can do as another parent is offer to stay during the party. Some moms and dads just drop their children off, and while that is often perfectly fine with the host, sometimes having the option to have another parent around is really appreciated. Even if they don't need you to stay, offering to do so shows that you know that wrangling a roomful of kids can be a unique challenge.
Cancel If You Have To
It's important to know when your child should just stay home. If they're running a fever, if they are producing colorful snot, if they've had diarrhea, if they feel sick to their stomach…if they just aren't feeling right, don't take them to the party. And as always, be sure to phone or text the parents to let them know why they cannot attend. The kids will probably be disappointed, but you'll be much happier knowing your child didn't go to a birthday party and give the gift of disgusting germs. The hosts will be glad too.
With these tips in mind, your child's friend (and the parents) will enjoy hosting their party even more. Birthday parties can be extremely tiresome and hard to deal with, but if the other parents know that you're willing to help or simply call in an R.S.V.P., it can make a ton of difference in how the day goes.