Family Magazine

Kids Party Behavior – Do’s and Don’ts for Parents

By Stevezany @stevezany

Kids party behavior – Do’s and don’ts for parents - RI Magician Kids Party Ventriloquist Steve Zany

During the course of 25 years, as you might imagine, I’ve been to a lot of kids birthday parties. Often times moms and dads will ask me how I deal with inappropriate behavior.

“By the kids or adults?” I jest, with a touch of seriousness to my reply.

While often, when you imagine a kids party, you might think about the actions of the kids, sometimes, believe it or not, it’s the parents who aren’t on their best behavior.

Parents who are loud talkers – When performing a magic show, every once in a while, I’ll find a few parents who start chatting up a storm during the show. Surprisingly, it can get to the point that the kids, including the birthday child, start having trouble hearing my magic show banter or even the birthday child’s mom giving instructions to the children about a game or activity.

Sometimes, during a magic show, I get this dumbfounded look from the birthday child’s mom in the back of the living room who is shocked that the adults’ conversations are so loud they become a distraction for the birthday child and their friends. A number of times, I’ve seen the birthday’ child’s mom ask their adult friends to quiet down or continue their conversations in another room, so their child could hear.

Such behavior isn’t an isolated incident. It’s not that parents are intentionally being inconsiderate, they just might not be aware of their actions, or inactions, for whatever reason.

See if you can relate to these situations:

Parents who don’t RSVP – Have you ever sent out an invitation for your kids party and never received a reply? I have lost count of how many parents I’ve spoken with who tell me, days before the party that “I still don’t know how many kids there’ll be at my kids party. Not all of the parents have RSVP’d. I’m expecting 12 kids but there could be 24 if everyone shows.” When a mom hasn’t heard from 50 percent of the parents of invited guests, that’s shocking. But it seems to be more of the norm unfortunately.

“The poor birthday parents, I feel so bad for them,” says Jeanne Rosenberg, a professional birthday party coordinator. “If you can’t come, just call them to let them know.”

Parents who look at kids birthday parties as a babysitting service – Whether it’s the party child’s parents, the party staff or the party entertainment, they are there to entertain the kids or keep the children busy having fun in an organized manner.  So it’s best for parents to keep an eye on their child at the party. That way a guest’s misbehavior or inappropriate actions can be dealt with appropriately by their parent. That also prevents any unwanted situations from becoming a distraction for other party guests.

Parents who bring an uninvited sibling – Best to leave sister or brother at home if they weren’t invited, say many kids party planning professionals. At some party places, party parents are charged for every child who shows. If the party parents are on a budget, this can put them in an awkward financial position. Or, the party child’s parents may not have enough cake, ice cream or pizza for everyone who wasn’t on the list.

Parents who show up to birthday parties late – Whether a parent is hiring kids party entertainment to perform at their child’s party or hosting the party at a ‘big box’ party place, the birthday child’s parents are spending money which contributes to the enjoyment of the party guests too.

Unfortunately, party places and party entertainers like magicians and clowns, all work on a schedule and do numerous birthday parties back-to-back on weekends. Therefore, the party or performance time usually can’t be delayed or extended for guests who have yet to arrive.

Not only is arriving late to a kids birthday party likely disruptive but, says Brenda Holloway, a spokesperson for a major national kids party chain, the party parent is paying for the invited kids, so parents of invited guests should be considerate.

But misbehavior by kids and adults is a too way street and the parents of the birthday child should consider being mindful of their guests too.

When it comes to arriving on time for a birthday party, the same might be said for the birthday child. The best of all situations is for the parents to have their guest of honor arrive early. It’s more considerate to avoid making guests wait for the birthday child to make an entrance.

In the end, perhaps the golden rule is the best guideline to follow when it comes to parents’ party behavior: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Steve Zany – RI Kids Magician Ventriloquist

RI Magician Kids Party Ventriloquist Steve Zany - Nickelodeon Parents Pick Award Winner!

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