Some birthday party rules for kids



Dear Carolyn:

We have hit the age of the full-class invite to birthday parties. Yet, I am unlikely to throw a full-class party. Or maybe in a few years. Is it bad form for my kid to attend if it’s not a close friend and she didn’t invite/won’t be inviting the kid to her (very small) party? Is it OK to decline just because we need family time? How much say should the kid get in attendance?

— Anonymous

No, you don’t have to throw big parties.

No, you don’t have to skip big parties just because you don’t throw them.

Yes, it’s OK to decline just because you need family time.

Yes, your kid should have some say in deciding whether to go, of course.

Please always be mindful of the feelings of the child for whom the party is being thrown. Apply as needed.

 

Dear Carolyn:

My future mother-in-law asked that my soon-to-be sister-in-law, “Sue,” be included in the bridal party and I agreed for the sake of family harmony. The problem is I am planning to have a smallish wedding party, only three plus my sister as the maid of honor. Two of the four are out of town and can’t help much and Sue isn’t really stepping up to the plate. That leaves my poor sister to do everything.

I know Sue’s wedding was very small and laid-back but our wedding is anything but that. The bridesmaids need to fill their traditional duties if this is going to work. Sue doesn’t seem that interested or invested, and I think she only agreed to be in the wedding for the same reason I asked her.

It seems silly for both of us to be doing this out of a misplaced sense of obligation. Would it be alright if I had a frank talk with her to see if she’d be just as happy bowing out and letting one of my friends take over? The dresses haven’t yet been ordered but will have to be soon, so it’s now or never. And if she does agree, how do I best break the news to my fiancé’s mom, since this was all her idea in the first place?

— Now or Never

So, your biggo wedding depends on the unpaid labor of your friends?

That’s what you need to rethink, not the inclusion of your future sister-in-law. Your poor sister indeed.

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Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Syndicated Advice Columnist
Advice Columnist Carolyn Hax takes your questions and tackles your problems.