good question

A Parent Wonders What Age Is "Normal" To Assume A Birthday Party Is Drop-Off

She had an awkward exchange with another parent who planned to leave a pool party.

A mom polled the group on what they think the “normal” age is to assume a birthday party is a drop-o...
Liudmila Evsegneeva/Moment/Getty Images

A mom on Reddit wonders if an awkward encounter with another parent at her child’s birthday party is her fault. Plus, she polled the group on what they think the “normal” age is to assume a birthday party is a drop-off.

On the “Parenting” subreddit, Reddit user @bugsontheside shared her story, including an awkward interchange with a fellow parent.

“Just had my kiddo's bday party at a public pool. Decent sized place with a lazy river, slides, splash stuff, it's a fun spot. All kids invited just finished 3rd and 4th grade and I know most of the kids and parents pretty well,” she began.

“One parent brought my kid's 10yo buddy and their twin ... and when she started to leave, I apologized and told her it wasn't a drop off party. She just kinda stared at me and I apologized again, said I would have put ‘drop off’ on the invite had I thought to and wasn't comfortable accepting responsibility for her kids at a public pool. Another uncomfortable silence, then said she would go get her older kid and be back in an hour and left. She didn't come back, and sent a text just before the party ended saying she was busy and told me to leave her kids at the pool or have them sit by the parking lot.”

“I let her know I wasn't comfortable with the position I was in and said we'd stay for a while but I would tell the office about the situation and give them her info if we left before she arrived. Someone came to get them 30min later.”

Then things got even more weird when another parent and their kid that the OP had never met, came up to her and just said ‘Here to drop off [kid's name] for the party.’”

“I felt in the wrong and out of some loop, but the other parents that came were similarly surprised as they hadn't thought about the drop-off thing before either,” they wrote.

“Is there an age when drop-off at these things is just the way of the road?”

The mom also wondered if she was in the wrong for planning to give the office at the public pool this parent's number and tell them the kids are alone. She wondered if she was rude for not wanting to take responsibility for other people’s kids at a public pool.

After her post gained traction on Reddit, comments started to flood in.

“I just hosted a birthday party for my 10yr old. It was 15 boys, all 4th and 5th graders. None of the parents stayed, even the ones that I’m friends with,” one user wrote.

Another wrote, “At that age, you 100% need to specify if you'd like parents to stay.”

One user agreed, “I would say, you should explicitly say on the invite if you have 100% expectations of drop off or parental supervision for an event you are hosting. If you totally expect something, you need to make it clear for any kid party.”

Another parent wrote, “Here I would say it's about 50/50 when they turn 6, about 80 percent dropping off by 7, and 100 percent dropped off by age 8.”

“If you didn’t want to be responsible for kids at a pool, then you shouldn’t have invited them to a pool. At that age, my kids and their friends were going off by themselves at the water park. Asking a parent to stay at a party outside in the summer heat is a lot,” another wrote.

After receiving tons of responses, the OP updated her post and said, “thank you for the feedback everyone! Birthdays we've hosted/attended over the years have always been with the parents around, drop off honestly wasn't on my radar until today, I was definitely caught off guard and apparently kind of TA.”