Irresponsible birthday party, WWYD

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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 5:50 pm
My two sons, age 7 and 4, were invited to a birthday party for an 8 year old boy in their school. I do not know their parents but know both parents work full time and their children are with a babysitter every day after school. The 8 year old is ADHD but also seems sweet. When I went to drop off the kids, there were about 20 boys aged 7-11 playing in the yard which is not fenced in and next to a busy street. There were 6 boys on a trampoline that was unzipped (and my son previously broke his leg on one of those!). Other boys were smacking a pinyata with a baseball bat, too close to other children. Other boys were playing with water guns. The boys father was there with his one friend, and no other parents were there. The fathers were talking in the backyard, but many of the boys were playing at the neighbors house or in the front yard. The mother was nowhere in sight. Some kids were inside the house, and some were out. It would be impossible to keep track of these kids, especially if they had never met them before. My two kids wanted to stay and I was very uncomfortable, especially for my 4 year old who was the youngest by far. I gave the father my phone number and asked that he keep an extra eye on my four year old. Reluctantly, I left them and parked across the street, deciding to watch from afar for a while. ten minutes later I saw my 4 year old in front of the house crying by himself near the busy street, with all the other boys in the yard, the fathers not even noticing him there. My 7 year old was with the pack of kids. I collected my 4 year old and brought him home--apparently the bigger kids were ganging up on him and making him the target of their water gun fight. My 7 year old wanted to stay and was embarrassed that I came back--all the other mothers had left their kids without making such a big deal. I stayed parked across the street for a half hour and then went home for the final hour of the party, feeling very anxious. At some point they went in and had cake, but the birthday party was basically a bunch of boys running wild in the yard with minimal supervision. I now know we will be inviting this birthday boy to our house for playdates and not sending my kids there. Was I over reacting? Am I being a helicopter mom? Should I not have let my 7 year old go at all? WWYD
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 5:53 pm
You took the right moves. Keep following your instincts.
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 6:34 pm
I don't think removing your 4 and 7 year old sons from a Lord-of-the-Flies-themed birthday party is helicopter parenting.
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 6:38 pm
Oh my! I would’ve done the same. I don’t think that makes me a helicopter parent, perhaps a responsible parent?
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 6:51 pm
How is it that your 4 year old is invited to the birthday party of an 8 year old and you don't know the parents? If my kindergarten kid tells me he's invited to a party at a 3rd graders house and I don't know the parents.....um, no.
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 7:26 pm
Any time my 4 year old is invited to a party I offer to stay and do stay if I don't trust the supervision
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 7:42 pm
It seems like this was not a party for 4 year olds. The scenario you described seems more in line with the 7-11 range you mentioned. Maybe more on the loose side. Trampolines are dangerous but not everyone knows that.
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 7:57 pm
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Post  Sun, May 06 2018, 7:58 pm
Sapphire, you were perfect. Good job assessing the situation and trusting your instincts!
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Post  Mon, May 07 2018, 12:12 am
I second the above poster. Op you gotta realize 4 year olds don't belong there. Good for you to following your instinct
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Post  Mon, May 07 2018, 1:10 am
amother wrote:
I second the above poster. Op you gotta realize 4 year olds don't belong there. Good for you to following your instinct

Yes, OP, you did the right thing, but I wouldn't have even taken my 4 year old there. A party for an 8 year old is not a place for a 4 year old. It makes sense that your 7 year old was invited.
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