Party Manners: Drop Off or Not?

Drop off parties hold a certain appeal: parents love them (two child-free hours!) and your house will be less crowded.

If you elect a drop-off party, be sure you have home and cell numbers for each parent in case of emergency. Also make sure you have other adults to help you run the party … BFFs, aunts, or even a favorite babysitter can be essential to a smooth party.

The question of whether or not to make your party a drop-off event really depends on three factors:

  1. The age of your guests.
  2. The type of party you’re hosting.
  3. How well you personally know the children and parents.

Age

My experience is that children do better with moms in attendance if they are age five or under. Younger children may need personal assistance with crafts, and so having a parent in attendance can be helpful. By age six, children have a sense of how to behave appropriately at your party even without mom. They are more independent, better able to handle crafts, and more confident interacting with friends without having mom in the background.

Party Type

More active parties (for instance, a water party, or a party with an inflatable bounce house) really require parents to be in attendance regardless of the child’s age. If there is any chance a child could be accidently hurt, you need the parents on site.

Personal Knowledge

If you have invited children you don’t know well or at all, don’t make the party a drop off, regardless of age or party type. You have no idea if these children will respect your instructions and your home. The last thing you need is to be distracted throughout your party because one or two children are out of control.

Our flower fairy party was a drop-off and it worked for all these reasons. The girls were all six. I knew each guest (and which one might need extra attention). I had my core party team of Grace’s godmother, their aunts and one fabulous friend all in attendance to help. Our crafts were well-within the girls’ abilities. And while I love our group of moms, it was kind of nice to have a less crowded event.

So what do you think? Drop off or not?

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