How young is too young for parents to leave children at a birthday party?

How young is too young for children to be left unsupervised at a kids party? [Photo: Getty]
How young is too young for children to be left unsupervised at a kids party? [Photo: Getty]

Weekends aren’t what they used to be. If you’re a parent of a young child you’ll appreciate that long, lazy pub lunches and a mooch round the shops has likely been replaced by an endless slog of kids parties.

One of the best bits about children getting older is the fact that you’re often able to drop and go at a birthday party.

But how young is too young to leave your little one unattended at a party?

One mum believes that parents of children aged six and under shouldn’t just drop their children off, then leave.

Taking to Mumsnet the mum-of-three explained she’d recently hosted a party for her six-year-old and was shocked that two parents just dropped their kids off without checking with her first.

“We had our child’s 6th birthday party and two of the parents just dropped their children off and came back a few hours later to pick them up,” she wrote.

“It may not have been so bad if I had met the people and their child before but I didn’t even have a clue who their kids were and all of a sudden I have been given the responsibility of not only hosting a party for 15 kids, looking after my own 3 children, aged 6, 2 and 6 months but now another two people’s children.

The mum went on to explain that on top of it all one of the kids was really badly behaved, upsetting some of the other party guests.

“And then also when the parents collected their children they left without saying goodbye and didn’t even thank me for the party or looking after their children,” she added.

“I just don’t get why someone would leave their kids with someone they’ve never met, they could be leaving them with peodophiles [sic] or they could be abducted by someone else If I wasn’t paying attention to them or get lost and hurt and I’d be the one held responsible for it…”

She concluded her post by asking if she was being unreasonable to think that 6 is too young to leave your child at a party with someone you’ve never met before.

The post sparked a debate among parents about whether it was ok to leave children at a party and what age this was acceptable.

A mum has taken to a forum to complain about parents dropping their kids at a party and leaving [Photo: Getty]
A mum has taken to a forum to complain about parents dropping their kids at a party and leaving [Photo: Getty]

Some claimed that children are at school age are old enough to be left unattended, as long as they checked with the host first.

“I think 6 is fine,” one woman wrote. “Personally I’d just double check before RSVP’ing but I’d expect at 6 for others to leave their kids with me if they wanted.”

“YABU fairly typical here to leave 6 year olds. More unusual for parents to stay,” another wrote. “Normally parents would ask some friends or other family members to stay to keep an eye on the group.”

“From about half way through the reception year it’s normal to drop and run! Always say thank you though,” another agreed.

But other parents agreed with the original poster, believing it is not only rude but also irresponsible to just drop and go.

“YANBU at all,” one user wrote. “I’ve seen kids younger than that being dropped off and I’ve been horrified.”

“YANBU. One of my DDs bdays is in Sep oldest in class. Just started reception and some children were just dumped. Cheeky, irresponsible and uncaring,” another wrote.

“It’s cheeky,” another agreed. “Unless invitation specifically says drop off, then the parents need to stay and supervise. Unfair to expect host parents to do that, they have enough to be getting in with.”

It’s not the first time the subject of children’s parties has sparked debate.

Back in April a mum was left fuming after her daughter’s friend sent back her party bag with a note complaining about the contents.

And earlier this year another mum kicked-off a parenting debate about whether it is right to charge children to attend a birthday party.

Myleene Klass also found herself on the receiving end of criticism after an Instagram rant about a parent who asked for donations for one big present for her child’s birthday.

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