Ask Alice: Advice for Life at Home

Alice, How Do I Tell Friends Not To Bring Kids to My Parties?

updated May 3, 2019
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Dear Alice,
My husband and I have a terrace and we like to throw parties during the warm weather season, cooking on the barbecue, and so on. I know that today parents are going everywhere, every time, with their children and I even can understand it; also, I know that, if I want to be with my friends, I have to be with my friends’ kids too.

Which means that, besides our work as hosts, we have to babysit at our own parties sometimes. Also, some of our guests usually don’t enjoy them because of their kids. At last I got tired of night parties with a lot of children all around my home. So, after several years bearing other people’s children, I’ve decided that this summer I won’t have kids when we’re throwing parties or dinners. I thought that starting the get togethers late at night could be enough, but I’m not sure at all. But (here comes a huge “but”) how could I say this to my friends and relatives without offending them?

Babysitting Hostess

Dear Hostess,

My guess is your friends aren’t bringing their kids along to your parties because they just love spending every minute of the day with the little darlings but because it can be expensive and difficult to find a sitter. Or perhaps, for your relatives, they see it as an opportunity for their kids to spend time with other kids in the family. I agree — these are tricky social waters to navigate —but you deserve to have adult-only parties if you want to.

My suggestion is to pick a few dates for your parties now and designate one of them as a “kids welcome” party and the rest as “just for the grownups” and include this info when you extend invitations. This gives friends and family time to secure a sitter for the grownup parties and lets them know that you’d love to see their kids — once in awhile.


Readers — how do you or would you handle this social situation?

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