Family/kids/party - HELP!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Family/kids/party - HELP!!!!
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 11:13am
I'll try to keep this short. I'm hosting a party for my daughter this weekend. Friends and relatives, along with their children are invited. I'm very excited, though, EXTREMELY nervous.

A couple of the parents have made some suggestions for me, which have angered me and I needed some advice on what I should do - follow their suggestions or not?

Here they are:

1. Lock any and all bedroom doors so their kids can't get in.

2. Weather permitting, lock all doors into the house so their kids can't get in unattended.

3. Barricade off my living room using giant planks of wood with large concrete blocks in front - so their kids cannot possibly get in. (Of note, I just remodeled this room and spent over $2000.00 on new furniture and carpeting).

4. Put any and all breakable items up high so nothing gets broken.

Okay, now if any of you feel the way I do, YOU ARE FUMING NOW TOO!! I think the deal is, the parents who have given me this "advice" want to come to the party and relax, not chase their kids and, if I go the extra mile and secure everything, they will be able to do this.

However, from past experience, if I DON'T take their "advice" I will end up with ruined property (has happened before!!). I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. If I do take their "advice", it will take me alot of time to get this stuff done, along with getting my daughter ready, the cooking and the cleaning for this party - this just adds more work. But, if I don't do what they tell me to, I'll end up with disasters.

OMG - WHAT TO DO!! Any advice anyone???????

P.S. I have to invite these families as some of them are close family members.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 1:25pm
When I was reading your list of things to do, I was thinking "Why in the world would anybody do all that stuff?" I mean, you are having children in your house, not a pack of wild dogs, right? Don't these people teach their kids anything?

I can see putting the breakables up high - that I think is a reasonable thing to do when there are multiple children around. I can even see locking the bedroom doors if you have locks or at least putting something across the door to make it obvious that no one should go in there.

I don't know what you should do - maybe locking the doors to the house so everyone stays in the backyard is what you will have to do. I mean, if these parents haven't housebroken their kids, then I guess the kids don't get to go in the house.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:47am
A bit confused here - on several points! No, I am not fuming, so maybe I don't think like you do. I'm just perplexed:

Were the parents making these suggestions as safeguards because of their own wild children, or because they fear the disaster others' children may cause? Is there some friction between these relatives about the kids' behavior, and this is a way of using you to make a point to the other parents?

Or, I wonder if your home is much nicer than most of theirs, with expensive furnishings and lots of breakables - making these parents nervous should anything be damaged or broken? Or do they imagine you will overreact if the kids make a mess?

Another point: Yes, I can understand the parents wanting to come to the party and relax, not chase kids. (Imagining a scenario here of normal parents with normal kids - not a mob of slobs with a herd of monster children.) I can also understand locking the bedroom doors, and any room you wish your guests' children to stay out of. That's not so unusual - just wise precaution. Why does it make you angry that someone suggested this?

Why would the parents be so concerned that you barricade your home??? In my view, it has to be one of four things: (a) their children ARE monsters, or (b) they think YOU are a monster who will fly off the handle at a little spilled kool-aid, (c) you really do have very expensive furnishings and they wish to avoid making a scene, and paying the bill, should anything be damaged, or (d) they've been to these family gatherings before in someone else's home, and the advice is given from first-hand experience (if this is the case, then you should probably heed it!)

And finally, I don't understand why you say it would take a lot of time to get all this stuff done - unless you live in a huge mansion with hundreds of doors and barn-door-wide entries to your living room? For goodness' sake - do these parents imagine that the children will overrun your home like Iraqi looters in Saddam's palaces? (Please forgive the pun - no offense intended - it just seemed a relevant and current analogy.) Exactly HOW many children are planning to attend, and just how big is your house, anyway???

If you go the extra mile and do all of this, guess who ELSE will be able to relax and enjoy the party without chasing kids? That's right- YOU. If you don't (I'm imagining a summer lawn party with the pool, volleyball nets, barbeque on the veranda, a clown wandering around blowing bubbles and another one making twisty balloon animals, and about a hundred screaming children running pell-mell all over the grounds of your home and in and out of every room in your house....... dropping jelly beans into the fish tank, doing kool-aid splatter designs on the living room carpet, having races sliding down the bannister, dancing on top of the grand piano, playing hide-and-seek in your closets....)

OK - I'm convinced. You call the lumberyard, and I'll be over on Saturday with my tools to help. I'll bring the concrete blocks. You don't mind a few nails being driven into your door trim when we barricade the doors, do you?

;) ;) ;) ;) ;)



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 9:42am
What nerve AND what a lack of manners! This is what I would tell people who make demands like this on a hostess who has invited them to their homes. I would say that my home is child friendly, as all homes are. Things that are breakable are removed to a certain height; however, I will not lock doors to rooms, to the house, nor will I barricade my living room. It is the parent's responsibility to watch their children. If they want to come with no responsibility, leave the children with a babysitter. Hon, if they get mad at you for "suggesting" they leave the children at home, then they will just have to be mad. It was nice of you to invite them. Ultimately, it's the parent's responsibility to make sure their children are safe. I hope your party is a great success. Please let us know how it goes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 9:49am
Why not have the party at a park or do it in your back yard? You could also go to a pizza place and do the party there. They aren't usually terribly expensive.

If their kids are that wild maybe the party would be easier outside....


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 4:39pm
im not saying this is true of anyone here but it seems to me a lot of people dont take the time to raise their kids. WHat i mean by that is they tend to let other people take responsibility for them. Did you hear about the german actress(?) who sued Tommy Lee because her kid drowned in his pool? She expected him to have the pool sealed off and she didnt watch her kid so he fell in. Anyway the judge ruled that the rocker wasnt at fault. If i was a parent i would either bring my kid and watch what they are doing or not bring my kid and just enjoy myself.

If i was in your place i would just go ahead and seal everything off. I wish you the best of luck. Too bad there are so many inconsiderate people out there.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 2:35am
Reason #1: All the houses nowadays are made of mansions, many rooms where kids can roam around freely. (in the 70's when my kids were having parties over, we have the living room, and that's where they stay all during the party. Unless they go to the bathroom!)

Reason #2: All the children's parents let their kids run around freely because they are too busy dishing them up and picking after them. They're not having a party, they're having let's go play hide and I'll ramage the house when you're seeking me and see what I can steal.

Reason #3: Parents don't teach their children good manners as guests. Go to parties, and touch everything you like and break anything you touch. How old are those children?

If the weather's nice, the party is in our patio, and they don't roam around to break or be near any garden decorations. Patio or you're OUT, never to return! ! !

Here's what I suggest: if it's in your house, make some rules. You don't HAVE TO HIDE or lock anything. They break, they pay. That's your rules. They better behave, or there won't be any future parties at your house again. Relatives as well as best friends. Have the party in one room, and tell the children, that they have to REMAIN in that room, until the parties over. There are no exceptions. They don't even have to go to the bathroom or the TV room, upstairs or basement, unless they ask YOU. It's only polite, since it is YOUR HOUSE. They're guests. But best of all, have fun. Don't worry as long as you know they go by the rule! ! ! The adults should help you SUPERVISE THEIR OWN KIDS. The adults should be responsible for their kid's behavior! Think how Tommy Lee got sued because one 4yrs. old drowned in his pool. Unsupervised! Need not to worry, as long as you LET THE ADULTS UNDERSTAND the rules. This is not strict, this is being responsible as a hostess.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 9:04pm
I totally sympathise. When my nieces and nephews come over I have to constantly watch them because my DB, SIL's and BIL seem to think that it means they have the day free. It's not too bad with the older 2 (8 and 10), but the other 3 are aged 3, 2 and 1 1/2. The 2 year old is just tall enough now to be able to bump his head on the table in the kitchen. Not fun. I'm constantly leaping from my seat to catch him or pull him away. If you tell him something is hot though, he stays away.

SIL #2 expects me to lock my dogs up whenever they come over (I have the sweetest mongrels) because 3 year old terrorised their dog until the poor creature bit their child in self defense and now he is scared of dogs and cries constantly when he sees one, even through a window. I told her that my dogs live here and if she can't teach him to respect animals its not my responsibility. It is their home and I will not lock them up.

And SIL #1 watched the 2 yr old empty his juice bottle on my carpet without saying or doing anything. I just happened to be looking at him through the doorway when he did it and when I rushed into the room with a towel she was sitting less than 1 foot away from him, facing him.

I close doors of the rooms I don't want them to go into but there are plenty of areas that don't have doors. It seems rude to say "watch your own kids", but it is really the parents responsibilty unless they are paying you to provide day care.

Hope the party goes well and your DD has loads of fun and that your house survives.