Monday, January 30, 2012

Parent Etiquette Guidelines, Please RSVP

You know the scenario.  Balloons, cake, your kid waiting in anticipation on their friends to get to their birthday party.  You assume, as most rational people would, that because hardly anyone "regretted" the birthday party invitation that just about everyone is going to show up for your child's birthday party.  Your child is super excited and can't wait.  Then three kids show up out of about twenty.  Your child doesn't understand why the rest of their friends aren't there because they all said that they were coming.  Those three kids that showed up have great parents, the rest (who didn't give advance notice) suck.  They, at that moment in time, are terrible parents.  Anyone who argues that point is one of those parents.

How many birthday parties have you thrown for your kids?  A few? Countless?  Did anyone come to your kid's party?  Did they RSVP?  Did you know how many kids were coming or weren't coming?  Probably not.  How many birthday parties have your kids been invited to?  Countless?  A few?  Did your kid go?  Did you RSVP?  Probably not.

What is the deal with not RSVPing?  All invitiations have some sort of "RSVP" on them yet everyone seems to ignore that part.  I have thrown countless birthday parties for my kids where we had invited 20 and 3 showed up.  Nobody RSVP'd.  Do you know how important birthday parties are for kids?  When you don't show up or have the courtesy to tell the parent that you aren't going to show up, you are essentially telling that child that they aren't important enough for you to waste your time on.  Seriously.  In that moment, as a parent, you suck.

I have always shown other parents the same courtesy that I expect to be shown.  Why can't we all just follow that rule?  There are some "parenting etiquette guidelines" and that should be one of them.  Maybe I will start a list because it seems as if some parents need a guidebook.  I have others that I would like to throw out there too. 

Parenting Etiquette Guidelines
  1. RSVP to birthday parties.  Whether the party is important to you or not is irrelevant, it is important to the kid who sent the invitation.
  2. Encourage your child to be nice to the new kid.  Even if that new kid is a little bit different, encourage your child to be nice to them.  Don't be the parent that tells your child to harrass the other kid because they are different (yes, these parents do exist even though it is hard to believe).
  3. Don't talk about a child as if they are a piece of gossip.  I know that we are all guilty of gossiping, but please keep the children out of it.  They probably can't help what you are gossiping about.  Odds are they didn't ask to be put in the situation you can't keep your nose out of.  Oh, and your child will pick up on this and mirror your behavior which opens a whole new can of worms.
  4. Don't question another person's parenting skills in front of your child.  This demeans those adults and their kid.  You can disagree with what someone does without playing it up to be the worst sin you have ever come across.
  5. Don't question a teacher's authority in front of a child.  Once that is done, that teacher has no more affect on that child, it's over.  Save it for a private conversation with the teacher (oh, and if you ask your child whether or not they did what the teacher said they did, just know that their answer will ALWAYS be "no."  This does not mean that the teacher is lying.  It does not mean that your child is not an angel.  It means that your child wasn't being an angel at the time, and you should check more often for the pitchfork and tail instead of only seeing the halo and wings.)
Please feel free to add more!


  1. Found your blog on Bloggy Moms :)

    I'm HUGE on people making sure they RSVP, not just to birthday parties for kids but for anything you're invited to. I say if someone took the time to invite you, the least you can do is take 20 seconds to RSVP.

    My son's birthday is this weekend and I had an RSVP date of Monday. We received 2 RSVP's on the Tuesday (only because I prompted people), one today (Wednesday), and I'm still waiting to hear back from 2. I finally had to but the contents for the loot bags and games and just had to assume they're all coming so that no one is left without. It's frustrating!

    My other parent etiquette is that I don't think you have the right to complain about Parent Advisory Councils in schools(or any parent run group) unless you have put in time volunteering for it or at least shown up for the meetings and said your peace. If you want to see a change then help make it happen.

    Great list!

    1. I could not agree more! Thanks for reading and responding!



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