Q: I’m planning to throw a fancy Fourth of July barbecue, and I hope to keep it an adult affair. How do I diplomatically let friends know that children aren’t invited?
A: Start by addressing your invitations only to adults. You could also call invitees who have kids and say, “We thought it would be fun for just the grown-ups to have a night out. We hope you’ll be able to arrange for a sitter and join us.” Keep in mind, this may mean that some friends will be unable to attend – finding child care over a holiday weekend can be tough, and some parents may prefer to spend the Fourth with their kids. Accept regrets graciously, but don’t let guests guilt-trip you into including their kids. If you make one exception, you’ll be certain to offend others who abided by your request and left their children at home.