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44

Don't bring a gift; don't call and ask This is an opportunity to teach your son three very important lessons: 1. Your beliefs are not more important than their beliefs. While it may be tempting to give the gift anyway, or try to persuade them to accept the gift, that really isn't respecting their beliefs. If you give the gift, you're forcing your belief ...


36

I would suggest handing the gift over privately before or after the party. That way you don't make other parents feel bad that they didn't bring a gift, or feel like you are sucking up, or whatever weird social dynamics can result when one person brings a present and everyone else doesn't. Don't expect to be around when the cousin opens the present since it ...


20

In this situation, I think you responded in the best possible way. You deferred to your son's choice, since ultimately it was his birthday; his choice of friends. You referenced historical evidence that it would have been a problem for her son due to the activities scheduled. You've also recognized the quality of relationship your son has with his friends, ...


18

This is a territory problem, but not I don't think in the obvious way... If it's your kid, it's the territory between your house, your rules, and the other kids family's way of doing things. It's all about domain. I'm assuming we're talking about elementary aged kids. There's a lot to be said about what kids know at that age that can't be quantified. ...


17

Re: compromise. The gift recipient's parents are giving the gift of the party to all the attendees. It is natural in society to reciprocate in some way for gifts received, so points to your son for showing a sense of appreciation. Perhaps you could contact the parents of the child and see if there is another way you son could contribute to the party such ...


13

If the parents are generally okay with gifts, and just don't want them at the party, I would recommend telling him to give the gift at another time entirely, and not making it a 'birthday gift'. The cousin's parents made it clear a birthday gift is not desired, so don't give one. Instead, give it to him at another time - a week later, something like that - ...


10

Well, the definition of "OK" will vary, but I have never held my daughter's birthday parties at a venue. She wasn't interested in it and I don't like them anyway. Doing something at home gave us the freedom to do her party however we wanted and allowed for great creativity. There aren't any laws, of course. And I've never heard of any "rules" about home ...


8

I think there are a couple of important points here: My son (3) likes to give presents. (...) We recently received an invitation to a cousin's 5th birthday. The invitation says "No gifts please!".   This child's parents have specified "no gifts" for other events, as well (previous birthdays, family holiday celebrations, etc.), but the boy still ...


8

If the other parents have requested 'no presents' then you should respect their wishes. Even if you give a gift before the party it is still going to cause problems, when guests subsequently compare with each other at school. Since your child is keen to be generous and give gifts, why not suggest that he gives a gift to a needy child via you rlocal ...


7

I would focus on two aspects here: three is a very small party; she probably assumed something like one-per-year and was therefore concluding her son is your son's 11th-favorite friend. Ouch. she didn't know in advance There comes an age where one-per-year hang-at-my-house-cake-and-balloons morphs into a much smaller thing. Often this has to do with car ...


7

This is an opportunity to begin to teach your son about honoring the wishes of others. If your son gives a gift, he is not giving what the receiver wants (the receiver having specifically asked for "no gifts"), he is instead giving what HE wants. This is a little bit abstract for a 3-year-old, though, so I would try something like: "I love how you love to ...


6

Many other answers focus upon the assumption that the "no gifts" rule is to prevent public competition. However, I would ask the parents directly and explain the situation. There could be other reasons, any of which could provide good options. For instance, both of my daughters have had a bad habit of leaving small pieces of toys (rubber bands, plastic ...


6

I don't understand the problem. Since when has the "wants" of a 3 year old guest been more important than the house rules? Take the opportunity of teaching your son the importance of respect and compromise. The "no presents please" comment should not be ignored, and the only compromise that needs to take place is on the side of the child - the party hosts ...


6

If my child was the guest of honor, and I was the hostess, I would just say "No, it is so and so's birthday." You can say it to the cousins and avoid the mother if you want. Probably better to have this conversation in advance with the mother on the phone. "So, I know in the past we've let them help open presents, but it bothers me because.... Instead, could ...


5

There are absolutely no USA laws or regulations about this - and expectations vary. Many people have young child birthday parties at home. I think you're mainly locked in to "the practices of upper middle class whitebread helicopter parents," and for that set it's definitely super common to have the parties at a Chuck-E-Cheese or other venue where the ...


5

In my experience, typical parties for this kind of age group are 2 hours - I think you may find 3 hours too much. The normal format is something along the lines of: Games - 30 mins Organised entertainer (magician, puppet show, etc) if relevant - 30 mins Food - 30 mins Games - 30 mins If you're not doing an organised entertainer then extend the games a ...


3

Honestly, I wouldn't try to over-organize at this age. Have a few games prepped and ready to go, like the ones Vicky suggested, but I would mainly just have lots of age appropriate toys and let hem kind of just have fun. If they seem to be getting stir crazy before you are ready for next phase of party, then bust out one of your prepared games.


3

To provide a specific answer to your question: no, there is not an established rule of etiquette for the situation you cite. The goal of etiquette, especially when throwing a party, is to put your guests at ease and allow them to have a good time. In this case, there are a few factors to consider with this specific guest: Your relationship with the family. ...


3

You absolutely must honor the "No Gifts!" request. You can tell your son that he will give a gift to charity instead of to that child; or you can buy the gift and "forget" to take it and give it to someone else at another time.


2

I think that its really lovely of your son to be so generous definitely encourage this!, but also be respectful of the parents wish (this is a wish that they have given for the party, to disobey would be disrespectful towards them however I think it would be fine to drop over a a little earlier (maybe before or after to give a gift then) its just a ...


2

We chose to do something not suggested here already, but that I thought might help others to know about if anyone else out there has similar problems. The other ideas were both great but included the assumption that these are reasonable people being worked with and the reality is, they aren't. I actually tried to have a convo about it with hubby and ...


2

There are few quandaries or challenges in education, they are mostly AGLO moments (AGLO = Another Great Learning Opportunity). This is not a challenge, it is an opportunity to teach your child three very important principles: Boundaries - Respect boundaries, there is no "small" or "large" when it comes to another persons boundaries, our own take is not ...


1

I would say no compromise and no gift. I am myself a mother who always mentions "no gift please", and I find it a bit annoying when parents do allow their child to bring in a present. The idea is that my children receive way too many presents anyway and they don't need any more, and I don't want the invited children to compete and the invited parents to ...


1

It's good that your son is so generous. But I would say don't bring a gift this time. Your son can learn something new and important from this experience. Not bringing a gift can teach him that giving material things to others is not the only way to contribute. In fact, there are situations in which simply being a source of comfort to others is far more ...


1

Do not give a gift It's great that you're raising your son to be generous, and it's to his credit to want to give gifts however in this case you've been specifically asked not to bring a gift. If you let him give a gift anyway or try and ring and arrange a way around it you are teaching him that it is okay to override other people's wishes with what he ...


1

There may be many reasons behind the no gifts rule. Possibly the child has an allergy to something (plasticisers?) and the parents have to throw away 90% of gifts which causes them all pain. Maybe they are afraid of cheap toys which might have poisoned paint. As a strong rule respect their wishes unless you have their permission to do otherwise. As a ...


1

I can't answer for USA, but in the 4 European countries I've lived in, "parties at venues" is a rare thing for below-teens, and typically the kids don't care as long as they have fun. I've certainly never heard of any requirement to hold a party at a venue instead of at home. I've attended and arranged several preschool birthdays in people's apartments, ...


1

Another solution that might work is to simply put off opening presents 'til everyone (or at least the offending parties) have gone. Or compromise, and only open the presents that are from them? It might be a break with tradition, but that could be preferable to a break with the family. In some cultures it is not the 'done thing' to open presents ...


1

Don't invite them to future parties and if/when they ask why tell them the truth.



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