Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | DAD BLOGS: Marc | Party Problems

Party Problems

Children’s birthday parties were in the news last week, you may have noticed the story about a 5 year old being invoice for failing to attend a friend’s party.

Whilst the action of the mum sending an invoice is unacceptable I do understand her situation, as a children’s entertainer I have seen it happen on many occasions when a party booked for 30 ends up with less than 10 children. In one case a mum invite the whole class and a week after the invite another mother whose child was invited organised a party on the same day and time…. inviting the same children…. even sending a note to the birthday child saying you are invited but I know it’s your birthday too and you might have other plans !!!

As a Dad we may avoid these occasions but having a household calendar and following our own rules ….such as once an invite is accepted you don’t change your mind last minute …..  But we know children do and sometimes this is unavoidable….. But what if you’re a non-resident parent?

Do you say no parties on contact days ? Do you say yes if you can get there … Or do you forgo contact on that day? Joint parenting when it works should be about dialogue and compromise but things like parties can also be used as weapons. “Your dad won’t let you go”….. “He/She will be the only one not going”…. “If you want them to miss out”…..etc.

Gone are the days of children’s parties being simple; in a house and a few games. Now children aged 5 have indoor skydiving parties…. pool parties ….11 year olds have casino nights…. All are costly and often used by parents as status symbols…… But none work without other children attending. To a child, a friend not attending can be a painful experience. If they understand John has to be at his Aunties or they are on holiday etc. that’s great…. But when they’re waiting for a friend who doesn’t come, for a small child it can ruin the day.

So looking at both sides an invoice for a no show was wrong and has inflamed things but on the other hand a call ….. The dad in this case didn’t have a contact number but if it had been me would I have found one? Probably the venue or a school friends parents all may have helped.

Just remember just when you think you have being a dad under control something always comes along and shows you that sometime parenting is more school playground politics than you might like.

Until next week



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of

Related entries



“I think that sometimes if you try and tighten the bonds and be more controlling – are you going to then create resentment in your children? Are you going to create a situation where they look at you and go, “don't really like what me dad's doing? I feel constricted.”...


Children’s Parties

Planning a children's party? Follow these top tips... When my son turned six last week we didn’t have a party, given our situation my ex felt it wasn’t appropriate and anyway the class hadn’t had big parties this year and we didn’t have to pay any back. It is a sad...

Latest entries

One on one time with children- the benefits

One on one time with children- the benefits

When it comes to building a deeper bond, you can't beat one on one time with children. There are a number of great benefits not only for your relationship but also for your child's wellbeing and confidence. What is one on one time? One on one time is time devoted to...

Parents call for smartphones ban for under 16s

Parents call for smartphones ban for under 16s

MPs are being pushed to consider a smartphones ban under 16s following a number of tragic deaths. The mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, who was killed by two 15 year olds, has asked for both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to consider measures to stop children...

How to help children with anxiety

How to help children with anxiety

It can be tricky to know how to help children with anxiety problems- as parents it's difficult to know what to say or do for the best. However, there are a number of tools that you can guide your child to use to fell better, and draw upon to regulate their emotions...

Pin It on Pinterest