Essential birthday party etiquette for parents

So you think that your kids are the only ones who need to learn about birthday party etiquette? Kids primarily learn basic etiquette from parents. Brush up on your birthday party etiquette today, and lead by example!


Do you know how to behave at birthday parties as a parent?

Are your kids part of the reason why most parents dread throwing their children birthday parties? Even though some people might disagree and try to play dumb, sometimes both parents and children need to learn how to act at parties, whether they are hosting or attending it. Parents have to lead by example so that their children will know how to handle themselves during social events. Follow these party rules, and be a great role model for your kids when it comes to practicing birthday party etiquette:

General party etiquettes for parents

Stay calm
Children can behave inappropriately but that doesn’t mean that they always do it on purpose. When you see that your kid is ungracious, disrespectful or impolite, do not respond with anger. Stay calm and talk to your child in a low voice. If you instantly get angry, your child might react in an even more hostile manner.

Ignore the little things
If your child’s behaviour doesn’t cause pain, disruption or destruction, ignore it. Don’t point out their annoying behaviour, instead talk to them about it after the party.

RELATED: Terrific birthday party ideas for kids 

Reprimand not shame
When scolding your child, do it discreetly. If you can, take them to a corner before talking to them. Avoid scolding your child in a loud voice. Make sure to never do it in front of everyone. It can have a negative psychological effect.


Make sure to read on to find out the etiquette of attending and hosting a party as a parent!

When attending a party

If your child is invited to a party, do not assume that each one of your kids are invited as well. While it is perfectly normal for one guardian to be a part of the event, bringing siblings is inappropriate. If you don’t have a baby sitter, ask the parents of the celebrant if it’s okay to bring another child with you. This way, they’ll be forewarned and can adjust head count, food portioning, and giveaways accordingly. If your child is old enough and the venue is safe, just drop them off at the party and pick them up later.

Always bring a gift. You don’t have to purchase something expensive but pick something useful. If your child is artistic, maybe they can create something for their friend.

If costumes are required, you should always oblige. This helps in preventing your child from being left out at a themed party. If budget is tight, be creative and make the costume yourself.

RELATED: Birthday party etiquette for kids

When hosting a party

If you cannot host a large party with your child’s entire class, it’s best to invite them by gender. Specific gender parties are easier to plan and generally less expensive.

When sending out invitations for the party, stick to paper invitations. Emails or text messages to parents aren’t as exciting as being handed an invitation. However, to confirm, send text messages to parents asking for a RSVP and to also remind them of the  party.

Delay gift opening until after the party. Your child might be tempted to open their gifts during the party, but you should convince them otherwise. It’s a possibility that they could lose or damage their newly opened gifts in the party.

Giveaways or goody bags aren’t really necessary but if you want to, you can hand them out. You can also just let the kids go home with a piece of cupcake or cookie instead of the usual goody bag. For example, these days people are making ‘cake pops’ at home or buying them and distributing them at the end of parties.

How do you normally act during parties? Tell us how you handle your kids during these events.

For more on how your kids should behave at birthday parties, watch this video: