Birthday Bonanzas: Do siblings all need to be included?

by epi on October 15, 2013

Q: I am in the process of planning a birthday party for my soon to be four year old son. Many of the children that he is friends with have older and/or younger siblings. Some of these friends are neighbors in which our families are friends. But some of my son’s friends are from preschool, etc. Do I need to invite my son’s friend’s siblings to the party as well or is it okay to just invite the child my son is friends with? Also, how should I address the invitation?

A: No, there is no reason to invite the siblings of your son’s friends. They will be invited to their own friends’ birthday parties and needn’t be a part of your son’s party. You address the invitation specifically to those you are inviting. If Jason is your child’s friend, you invite only Jason. If you are inviting two children in a family, you use both of their names. You do assume some parents or a parent will stay, however, unless you make it clear when they respond to the invitation that you have plenty of help so they can certainly take the time and do something else because there will be good supervision, although of course they are welcome to stay. By next year, most parents will not feel the need to stay.

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Joanna October 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

Only problem is, some parents use the occasion to unload ALL their children for a few hours, invited or not…and it’s up to the party-giving parent to decide how to handle that. I don’t have kids, but I recall vividly the MANY years as a child where I invited my friend “Jane,” the same-age daughter of longtime family friends, to my birthday parties, and her mom always dropped off “Johnny,” the younger brother. Not only was he younger, and when you’re, say, 8, nobody wants to hang out with a 4 or 5-year-old, but Johnny was a hellion! He would run around screaming and otherwise ruining the party for the actual invited guests. But as far as I know, my parents never said a word.

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