The Problem With Kids…

…Is usually their parents.

One of the things that I noticed pretty quickly when we moved back down here 7 years ago is that in the South, people tend to live by the rule of “do as I say, not as I do” – especially when it comes to RSVPs. I have Rsvp

been bitten on more than one occasion by parents who didn’t RSVP for birthday parties. I don’t mean responding “no”… I mean no response at all. One year, I had to move an entire party altogether due to parents not RSVPing for it. Try explaining that to a 4 year old who had her heart set on a certain type of party and on a certain date. Not pretty.

I’m not the only one who’s faced this.. I have a friend who went thru the effort and expense of having professional invitations printed up and still ended up having to call each person who was invited to find out if they were or weren’t going to be in attendance.

It’s insane.

And while not responding to an invitation is annoying I’ve decided that an even more annoying trend that I’ve started to witness is the one where parents try to change my plans to accommodate their needs. It happened a couple of years ago with M’s birthday and it happened again this year. We lay out a plan to celebrate her birthday, extend the invitation with details on what we’re going to do and when. Both times, without fail, there is one set of parents who come along and try to change it. I don’t even understand why they would even try to change this year’s birthday party, as it was really good, even if I say so myself! M wanted to have it at somewhere similar to Funtopia World (HTTPS://WWW.FUNTOPIAWORLD.COM/GLENVIEW/) which was a great idea and it involved relatively less stress as they had different birthday party packages so it was just a matter of choosing which one we liked best. My friend had her son’s birthday party there once and said it was amazing. But it is hard to keep it amazing and fun when every single parent that comes tries to change everything.

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This one particular year the plan was to do a (non) sleep over in a downtown hotel. We planned to have all the girls show up by 5 so we could go to dinner by 6.. eat dinner, come back and swim, then proceed to hanging out, watch movies while consuming gross amounts of junk food before retiring for the night and not sleeping. Fun plan for the evening right?

Well, it was until the inevitable last minute change of the one family who wants to arrive 2 1/2 hours later and only be here until 10. Really? Why bother coming at this point? I get that you want your kid to be involved in EVERY thing that gets put in front of them, but have you given any consideration to the rest of the party?

Of course you haven’t.

It honestly doesn’t matter to me but when it affects my kids, it makes me absolutely bonzo. There is nothing worse than having to console a kid of any age because they think it’s personal.

What other annoyances have you seen parents do? Does it make you look at their kids any differently?




October 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

Omgosh, the no RSVP drives me NUTS and I was guilty of it recently but only because I’d THOUGHT I’d rsvp’d. Oops. Everyone is terrible, not just parents. If it’s an electronic invitation you can tell it’s been viewed yet no response. Just say yes or no. I don’t even like “maybe” but I understand. Btw, thank YOU for rsvp’ing to my party. Sorry we missed you :(…maybe next year!

October 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm

You had me at “The problem with kids…is usually their parents.”

Boom. You win.

My list of grievances with parents is typically aimed at the Type A, “I’m would never do that” kind of mom. Well, I’m genuinely happy you would “never do that” but last time I checked, I’m the one who, after 10 hours of labor, was essentially gutted during the emergency c-section that saved my daughters life. I don’t give a flying hoot what you would or would not do with your child. This is my child. So step off!

*Ahem* Sorry, I may be a teensy bit upset. Some Type A just got snotty with me in Wal-Mart because my two year old daughter still has a pacifier. Meanwhile, in the background, her children were systematically destroying the diaper section…
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October 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm

The non RSVP also bothers me. I get that people are busy, but I really think there is no excuse in this day and age. It takes two secs to shoot off an email or a text. It’s just plain consideration. I also can’t stand the people that take it a step further with trying to rearrange your plans by suggesting you do the party another time all together to accomodate them!! “Could you possibly do the party on SUnday instead of Saturday?” Um. No.
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October 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I know I’m overly organized but as soon as I get an invite in the mail, I check the calendar and then respond. It’s just.that.simple. When I planned my wedding and then baby showers I realized just how inconsiderate people can be. I know everyone is busy and maybe not as organized but really?
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October 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I have been guilty of this. 🙁 It’s not due to anything except too much on my plate sometimes and plain forgetfulness. I find it works best for me when I respond right away and put everything in my calendar then and there. When I wait, it’s easier for it to fall through the cracks. Now I’m feeling even worse about the time I’ve done it. I do try to call people when it happens the other way around and they haven’t rsvp’ed to me for something we are hosting…I try not to assume people are ignoring me. I don’t think they usually are.
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    October 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I cut people more slack now because I know we are all busy and I understand that sometimes kids forget to give invite. Which is the reason I prefer using something like can send reminders to they “silent” ones 😉

October 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

The sad thing is that I’m sure I’ve done it before.. forgetting to RSVP. It was probably when I had just had a baby, though. We threw a huge party for Scarlet this summer and some people just responded silence. Needless to say, they will not be invited back here. Good riddance.
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October 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

I find the “no rsvp” issue to be frustrating. On the one hand, I don’t think the non-rsvp-er is trying to be malicious or hurtful, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. On the other – the planning and effort that goes into a party is big, even if it’s “just” a home party – the food, goodie bags, cake, etc – it’s nearly impossible to do correctly if you don’t have a head count.

I’ve had to step out of taking it personally and realize despite the fact that the party “is about my child” the lack of consideration and responsibility “isn’t about me (or my child).” While it doesn’t let people off the hook: people are busy, kids don’t always hand over invites when they get them and many times parents just forget. Especially if the child isn’t “best friends” with my child.

Instead of getting mad I now send the invites and get my kids involved. I ask them everyday if they’ve talked to their friend about coming. If they are texters I have them text. And I also call or email the parents one time with a reminder. I also set the RSVP date with a couple of days built in. Unfortunately only a very few people insist on good manners for themselves and their child and respond appropriately and/or on time. I used to get hurt and angry about it, now I take into consideration all I will have to do, figure out what I’m willing to do (and if that’s only call 4 parents if need be, then we only invite 4 people) and plan accordingly.

It stinks to have to account for other peoples inconsiderate behavior but it makes me less frustrated and angry with them when I do. Then I am in control and they are at my mercy when I cannot accommodate their last-minute request, etc. instead of me being at theirs. And lets face it: the first party a kid can’t go to because they or the parent didn’t rsvp on time or the first “goodie bag/gift” they don’t get because they weren’t expected won’t be forgotten and will probably be thought of the next time they get an invite. And I’ll bet they RSVP.
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    October 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Great points, Stephanie. I’ve definitely noticed now that mine are older, that I don’t see as many invites or even worse – they literally come home scribbled on a piece of paper. That’s when I DEFINITELY call because now I’m thinking… ‘does your mom even KNOW about this?!’

October 16, 2013 at 8:36 am

I get annoyed with the last minute invitations. My 1st grader cam home earlier this year on a Tuesday with and invitation for a party on Saturday. We already had plans, so she couldn’t go. But of course, since the invitation was in her backpack, she had seen it and was upset that she couldn’t go. If I had had more than 4 days notice, I could have possibly worked something out.
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October 16, 2013 at 8:09 am

I am unsure if it’s just me or whatnot, but, it seems worse in the country too! I don’t know why, but, these people just move at whatever speed that want (which apparently is slow as molasses- like how I’m learning to use that term, ‘eh?) I don’t understand why people do it either, KD… frankly it sucks for the youngins’…
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October 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

I thought it was bad this year when I invited my 4 year’s classmates to her gymnastics party and most didn’t RSVP until the very last day for the RSVP Date. Seriously, back in the day, when you got an invite you would RSVP immediately, but now the trend is to RSVP on the actual date on the card, which say “RSVP by” not on, but clearly people think otherwise. So that is my vent on this topic, but seriously some parents are just nervy and can’t believe the gall!
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    October 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I still do it immediately.. I get the invite, check the calendar, write it ON the calendar and then RSVP. Otherwise I’ll forget. Funny.. it was a gymnastics party that I had to cancel and move because of zero RSVPS. Didn’t even care if people showed up and found no one there.

October 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I have friends who I swear live by that rule. Really? BBO? So obnoxious. It’s better to accept and THEN if a bbo came along, bail with some eloquent excuse.

October 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I have been meaning to comment on this forever and I am just now getting to it! Anyway, we always say that the people who don’t RSVP are waiting for the BBO. (Bigger, better, offer) Drives me nuts. This is one soap box I could stand on forever. It is just common courtesy. People have gotten really rude!

October 10, 2011 at 6:27 am

M went to a birthday party in PA where a parent did that… I thought my friend was going to lose her mind. There are sadly, too many instances where parents do these things. I wish I could say they were clueless but we all know that in most instances, they just don’t care.

October 9, 2011 at 7:18 am

I completely agree with this! My oldest has one particular friend whose parent always does this sort of thing. It drives me crazy. She allowed her kid to bring an incredibly large suitcase (that we actually couldn’t even fit in my car since I was bringing a total of 6 kids and they needed to pack lightly) to Great Wolf Lodge. And sent money with her daughter even though I said not to. That wasn’t a terrible thing to do because I just said that no one could buy anything, but this kid would constantly say that she had money, so she could buy souvenirs, food, treats, whatever. I still didn’t let her because the reason I didn’t want anyone to have money was so that everyone would only get whatever I planned to get for them and there would be no fighting. Like you mentioned above, I had a specific plan for this birthday trip, and I just wanted to follow the plan.
I could say so many other things, but mostly I just wanted to agree with you. And say that that birthday party sounds awesome – I’ve been wanting to do that with my oldest. Maybe next year!

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