1. Vanna Keiler

    EPI, I think it’s an excellent suggestion.

    There seems to be a surfeit of topics doing rounds on advice and etiquette columns nowadays, such as this, where the question is always “someone was invited, but wanted to invite so-and-so also. What do I do?”.

    Whatever happened to the good old days, where people politely accepted invitations (or declined politely) and did not try to orchestrate or customize the event to their own comfort or needs? If one cannot attend an adults-only party because one has children, then one need only decline the invitation. Similarly, if one wants to invite their entire family or additional friends to a wedding or other event which specifically stated certain invitees, aside from calling and asking if so-and-so can also attend, either accept or decline the invitation.

    The key to etiquette and courtesy is to evaluate the invite “as is”, and determine if one can attend or not attend according to the invitation at hand. Don’t make assumptions, don’t try to inconvenience the coordinators by customizing aspects of the event to your own needs. If you cannot eat food you are certain will be served at a wedding, eat before you go and have the salad (or nothing). Of course, one could argue that invitations are in the eye of the beholder, as in “one should accommodate one’s guests to their best abilities”. This may hold true for smaller venues such as intimate get-togethers with few friends at one’s house. The larger the event and the number of people, the more the guests should assume they need to make their own arrangements if they have specific requirements or needs…or just politely decline.

  2. Lilli

    I agree with this advice for when you are making plans, but if the parents just shows up with an extra kid to a birthday party let the other be included – it’s not their fault that their parents don’t have manners and the kid probably didn’t see the invitation to know they weren’t invited. I would mention for the next party which children are specifically invited and maybe call the previously offending parents to remind them.

    • Joanna

      I had a childhood friend whose mother ALWAYS did this — it would be a girls-only party, and the mom would drop off my friend along with her toddler brother. Not only was he younger and a boy, but he was, quite frankly, a demon child whose behavior was incredibly difficult to control. As far as I know, however, my mother never said anything out of politeness or fear of rocking the boat. I have Little Brother in the group photos of a decade’s worth of birthdays, LOL

  3. Cyra

    A totally agree about not extending the invitation if the mom asks ahead of time, but I think this changes when she’s actually standing at your front door. If it’s a drop-off-your-kid kind of party then I totally agree with EPI about standing your ground. But if parents are staying then you need to be a gracious host to whomever shows up. I would though, reconsider inviting this family to my events in the future.

  4. carolyn

    My daughter has a school/neighbor friend, whose mother demands the younger sibling tag a long. I have told her nicely face to face that we’re not interested in that. The next time we declined an invitation to the younger sibling, the mother started to text bully my daughter. I took over and told her again, through text that we’re ‘re not interesred, then she tried to text bully me. Then she forbid the friend from being friends w mine. That blew over, I wanted to take the girls to a movie and extended the invitation to the little sibling out of courtesy. They excepted invite. An hour before movie the mom text me and said “my daughter’s friend couldn’t go, but she’d have the little sibling at our house at 6:30. I stood my ground. I sent a text back…the older daughter is my daughter’s friend. The younger sibling’s invite was a courtesy. You have said my daughters friend can’t come Sssooo…then I turned off my phone. Of course it blew up when I turned it back on. I’ m very angry about the rudeness, am I wrong?

    • Alicia

      Poor kids. All three girls are at the mercy of parents behaving badly. If your daughter just wants older guest let her just invite older guest . Help daughter show shiny spine and only invite older guest. If your daughter and by extension you invite both guests reneging on invite to one is not gracious. Both sets of parents could have handled this better.

      • carolyn

        I know I’m embarrassed of my behavior. But I feel like I’ve been pushed to this point. That’s why I’m reaching out for advice. If roles we’re reversed and one of my older daughter’s friends extended an invite to my youngest. It would be a no brainer to me that my youngest isn’t going either. I most certainly would not expect them to still take her.

        • Elizabeth

          I agree with Jody, this other mother is behaving very badly, and I feel bad for her kids. I can’t imagine that there isn’t some resentment building up between your daughter’s friend and her younger sibling. I think, going forward, you have to be careful not to include the younger sibling in any invitations because, if given an inch, this woman will try to take a mile.

        • Alicia

          I get that and I agree 90 percent is the other mother. I mainly feel bad for all three little girls. Yours because her friend is limited. The friend because mom is being a pain insisting little sister tag along. Little sister as she probably knows nobody wants her. I’d include little sister on big group events but mainly be clear upfront about only inviting friend. If mom then arriving with both girls I’d greet mom and little sister and then pointed say to little sister how excited she must be to get an afternoon just her and her mom.

    • Jody

      Carolyn, you are not wrong. Your daughter is friends with the older sibling and it was wrong of the other mother to insist on the younger sibling being included. It’s too bad that the other mother can’t deal with it. I think you were absolutely within your rights to stand your ground.

      • carolyn

        Thank you guys. I was thinking exactly that…my new rule is no siblings, unless parent is present. I feel so bad for all the girls. I don’t really know how else to handle this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *