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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

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