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Rules of etiquette for bringing kids to a party

Bringing your kids to a party might present some challenges, but are there any specific rules to follow? Yes! Read on to learn proper etiquette for bringing your kids to any social gathering.

Family party outside

Yes, your kids are the apples of your eye, but are they to everyone else too? There are specific expectations when bringing children to an event, and proper etiquette dictates certain rules. Here’s the 101 lowdown on bringing kids to a party.

Listen to the host

Your host has made the guest list, sent out the invitations and planned the party menu. As a guest, it’s important not to second-guess their decisions. If the host has requested an adult-only affair, it’s up to you to respect that and not bring your youngsters along. While your host may be gracious about having children join the festivities, it’s likely to still cause undue stress for the host as well as the other partygoers, who now may feel the restrictions of having kids at the party. It may also cause the party to exceed the maximum of people allowed, affect the amount of food available and be detrimental to the party atmosphere.

Keep your kids under control

If your kids are invited to the party, it’s imperative you keep them under control. You don’t have bad children; they are just happy and extremely excited to be at the party, and as every parent knows, this can easily become a loud and crazy distraction! Take time before the party to remind your kids of their manners and proper behaviour.

Don’t expect special food favours from the host

The host of the party has enough to deal with without having to cater to your request for homemade chicken nuggets and soy milk. Don’t burden your host with anything you as a parent can handle yourself. If you have a child that is a picky eater or has a food restrictions, feed them ahead of time and bring purse-sized snacks along for quelling hunger pangs later.

Make sure your children stay entertained

Mixing and mingling with adults just may not be your child’s thing — or any child’s, for that matter! To keep boredom at bay, bring along their favourite DVDs, iPod, MP3s, craft supplies, reading materials, games or anything else your child is interested in and that will help keep them engaged while the party is in full swing.

Be mindful of the time

Sure, you’ve been known to keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning, but what about your child? If it’s a special event, the usual bedtime rules can be bent a bit, but keep in mind that an overtired child will put a damper on a party faster than a lack of tequila shots! So keep aware of the time, and remember there will always be another great party to go to!

More on party etiquette

10 Dos and don’ts of being a guest
Is there such a thing as “fashionably late”?
How to always be prepared for guests

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