Q: I was always taught that it was rude to invite myself anywhere to anything and never did. I have 6 children ranging from 6-28 years of age. Over the years, I have found more and more that if my children invite their classmates for an afternoon of playing Barbies or whatever the case may be, the parent frequently asks: Can Sally bring (older/younger) sister or brother Jane or Jerry? They do this at birthday parties as well. I find it extremely rude however I haven’t found a polite way of saying ‘no’ and find myself with a house full of ‘uninvited siblings’ and quite angry. Sometimes they do not even ask they just ‘dump’ the children and sort of pretend that the invitation was for both.
A: You are correct. It is inappropriate for a parent to ask if another sibling can also come over for the play date or attend the party. Nonetheless, we would suggest the next time a parent asks that you simply say that you’re sorry but you would prefer just having Sally come over. You don’t need to give any reason. If a parent brings another sibling to a party, you again could simply say you’re sorry but that only Sally was invited and that you had planned the party for a certain number of guests. If the parent is embarrassed or upset, so be it. The rudeness is on her part – not yours. However, this is only a suggestion.