Notice: All forums will be retired as of May 31st, 2016 and will not be archived. Thank you for your participation in this community, and we hope you continue to enjoy other content at

Leaving 3 year olds at a "drop-off" party?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Leaving 3 year olds at a "drop-off" party?

    So my 3 year old twins were invited to a birthday party for a five year old at a place where they teach dance and judo and stuff. They do a lot of parties there too. The invitation said "drop off - go get a cup of coffee or do some shopping. My DH said "absolutely not. We aren't leaving them with a bunch of strangers." So I called the mom and she said "Sorry, the venue specifically told me it's drop off only. And I totally understand your concern. I had no idea your kids were only 3 1/2. And to be honest, I haven't left Birthday Boy alone at a party yet either."

    The venue lets moms stay at parties for younger kids so I can't imagine it's a space problem. I just think it's weird. And although I'm not letting them go, I do feel bad that they are missing the event. Of course with their hearing aids - I'm not totally comfortable leaving them until they are able to put them in and out themselves - and I do agree that my DH has a point about leaving them with a bunch of strangers. I've only met the hosting mother once. Our kids attend the same preschool - but out children are in different classrooms.

    What do you think? Would you leave your three year old in a situation like this? Just curious.

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a


    But for DS' 4th birthday I did offer to let some parents drop the kids then go shopping (we're close to all the metrowest shopping-and his party was supposed to be two weeks before chirstmas.) But we cancelled the party due to illness-not sure if anyone would have taken me up on the offer. But it was at a house, and I knew all the kids personally.

    At what age do people feel comfortable droppping the kids off at a party?

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    I think it depends on the situation--and the kid!  I wouldn't be comfortable with the situation the OP described but if it were a house of a parent I knew well and I knew the kids and the situation I'd be ok with it.  It just seems like at that age having all hte parents there is better.  My DD is potty trained and has been for years now but she'd be shy about telling a stranger she had to go.  She'd be more likely to silently suffer or quietly slip away to try to find the bathroom herself -- independent but scary! 

    Any parent who is offering to watch a whole bunch of kids that age without the parents around is braver than I am!  Of course, I can't say I've every been much of a "little-kid person."  I love my own and they're wonderful and all but as they get older they get better haha. I'd rather have lots of adults around to wipe lots of noses. I have watched other kids before while they've been playing with my kids so my friend could run out to pick up her older child but those ratios are different and it's not a party where the kids are all hopped-up on sugar and confetti.

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    Lily, since your kids have hearing aids, I might call the venue and mention if it would be ok if you could go.

    I like Lisa, was comfortable if the party were at a house and a knew the mom. I think the first leave it party my son went too, was when he was in the first grade. It was a classmate and I knew the mom. 

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    I think my other worry is that DS is very independent and a bit of a Houdini. He loves to slip out a door and go explore. Last year when we were in a playgroup at EI for two year olds he got out of the art room and started walking down the hall. Good thing I was watching from the parent waiting room because not one of the THREE teachers noticed!

    Drop off parties at this venue are for kids 5 and older. So I'm sure most of the little guests are at least 4 years old. But I really don't think I'll be comfortable with the idea until they're in kindergarten. Seems preschool is a little early.

    I also think it's funny that the hosting mom didn't want to call and ask the venue to make an exception. She told me her son specifically asked that my kids be invited even though they aren't in his class. They all did summer session together and this little boy and my DD really hit it off. Seems it would be pretty simple to call and say, "Can the mom of the twins with hearing aids come?" I can't imagine they'd say no. Oh well...whatever.

     edited to add: Winter - I just read your post and I thought about it, but I don't want to step on the toes of the hosting mom. I emailed her and told her I wasn't comfortabe leaving them and she said, "I totally understand, but its a drop off party. I'm sure you could sit in the waiting room if you want." DH said that wasn't good enough. He wants me to be able to see them. So, it is what it is. Thanks for the suggestion though!


  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    Miss Lily, I have nothing to add (except that you are doing the right thing), but it's a crappy situation - you don't want to be difficult but you have to be safe. I agree you can't call the venue.

    Maybe you could have the birthday boy over for a playdate at your house sometime soon?

    I do not look forward to these scenarios and drop off parties (or parties every weekend for that matter!) 

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    ML - the most important thing at this age is not to mention it to your kids until you know they are going.  Since I didn't mention it to my twins, I don't have to disappoint them. They were supposed to go to a neighbor's party in december and when DS woke up sick I cancelled. I hadn't told them about that one either - I literally wait until the same day to tell them stuff like this so I don't have to let them down if they get sick or can't go.

    I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband travels for work (he's an actor) and she said when her son was small she'd say "daddy will be home in 3 days, 2 days, 1 day etc. and then he would call and tell her he'd be a week late because of reshoots or something. So she stopped counting until she KNEW his schedule wasn't going to change.

    I do want to have the birthday boy over - so I will try and organize that with his mom soon.

    And it's reminded me to be as accomodating as possible to moms when I have my kids birthday party this summer.


  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    I was thinking about this all day, trying to figure out why the no parents thing would be an actual rule and I had an epiphany: I bet the place that has the parties figures it's easier and safer to not allow ANY adults besides the one that's contractually there rather than try to keep track of which adult belongs with which kids.  If they KNOW there is only going to be the host parent, they can see an adult who is not the host parent and know that adult should not be there, rather than assuming all the adults in a room belong there and end up having a creep sneak in.  Who knows, insurance might dictate that all adults (like staff and host parents) pass a CORI. Sad comment on our society, but a very likely bet. sigh.  I would take it easy on the mother.  I bet she didn't realize how strict the rules were going to be and hadn't really thought it through.  She's probably feeling awkward about it already and regretting putting the deposit down and trying to make the best of it.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    "rather than assuming....and end up having a creep sneak in."

    Or calling the cops on some poor grandpa who's half an hour early to pick up somebody.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    In response to purplecow89's comment:

    "rather than assuming....and end up having a creep sneak in."

    Or calling the cops on some poor grandpa who's half an hour early to pick up somebody.


  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    Except that if you go to the website for the venue they do parties for all ages. For parties for little kids (1-5) they allow parents. For the parties for older kids (5-10) with more games and obstacle courses and stuff they say "drop off only". So it's not a legal thing.

    I figure the hosting mom already made an exception for her best friend or something - I know the grandparents are going too - so there's no room to make an exception for me. I mean let's be serious - I'm sure if she called and said, "I'd like to bring the mom of the 2 kids with hearing aids" they'd say yes. They are probably required to accomodate me under ADA anyway.

    And I probably would have been willing to sit in the waiting area, but DH nixed the idea. He's more important than some silly party - not worth getting into a fight over it.

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    The deal is, that at 5 yrs old, children are able to listen to other adults, follow instructions, play more cooperatively, and understand the concept (a tiny bit) of 'having a party for X and being well behaved.'  And that's most 5 yr old, not all 5 yr olds are ready for this, some need to wait until 6 yrs old. And I'm not sure they are ready for an "out of home" party without adults - although now that children have been doing their birthday parties at party places vs. the house since they were born, they probably are very savvy about the way the parties go, the pattern of them, etc.  Heck, kids can use a smartphone and ipad by 4 yr old - it's all in what you're exposed to.

    But 3 and 4 yr olds aren't ready for that yet, so that's why you have adults at the party. (and then the hearing aids adds a wrinkle, but I don't think ANY 3 and 4 yr olds are ready for this without adults). The problem is, the birthday boy is 5 yrs old, but some of his friends (your twins) aren't.  Honestly, I wouldn't want to host a party for fiften 3 yr olds at the house without any parents - the kids just aren't ready yet for this.  At 5 yrs old?  Sure, if it's a SHORT party, it's not raining, and you keep things moving right along.  My sister fully expected all adults to accompany their children to her kids' birthday parties until they were in kindergarten. Period.

    On another weekend, invite the birthday boy over to play and give him his birthday present then (your kids will enjoy helping you wrap and giving it to him, and it will be far less over-stimulating and more fun) - even serve cupcakes or cake after lunch!  He'd love having two birthday celebrations, who wouldn't?

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Leaving 3 year olds at a

    I wouldn't leave my three year old at a "drop off " party at a public venue under any circumstances. I don't know what the venue is..but I am a little surprised they adhere to such strict age rules. When my son was younger there were children who were a variety of ages at most parties..including his.

    Honestly..I would have a little bit of a hard time leaving a 5 or 6 year old at such a party that was not in someone's home.