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HELP!!! Parenting etiquette?? What do I do??

October 5th, 2010 at 06:16 am

We've entered a new era of parenting now that Bean is in preschool. We just got our first school fundraiser form AND our first invitation to a birthday party for one of the other kids in his class. Yep. Parenting is about to get more expensive.

The fundraiser is for gourmet popcorn, at 6 bucks for an 8 ounce bag. It's made by a locally-owned business, so I like that part. But do I really have to ask my friends to buy this stuff? Or, can I just put in a small token order for us and have it be enough? What is the etiquette?

Also, Bean has 7 kids in his preschool class. He has a lot of fun there. We are just starting to get to know the parents. We got a birthday party invite from one family. I think I have only smiled and waved politely. Not sure if I've ever actually talked to them. Do we go? If we do, what is the etiquette? (gift, etc.?) and, when it's time for Bean's b-day, do we invite all the kids too? (There will be more in the class by then, as more join in January.)

HELP!!!

13 Responses to “HELP!!! Parenting etiquette?? What do I do??”

  1. LittleMsMom Says:

    I have a long list of reasons why these fundraisers will not work for me. I will buy from another person but I will not be the one that has to sell them or hand them out.

    That might change if it was an activity that my son was directly involved in or he is old enough to deal with it himslef.

    My sons school fundraiser is frozen food...Pizza, Cookie Dough, Cheesecake etc. The school says that it needs to be picked up on such a date and give a 4 hour window as they do not have freezer space to hold it. With my job I cant guarentee that I will ever be able with 100% certainty be able to pick something up within a 4 hour window (and that window they give means I would have to leave work early to pick up stuff and have room in my freezer for it). They also sell gift wrap etc, but it is not in stock so there again I have not guarentee that I will be around to deliver the stuff. What happened to selling stuff like huge boxes of chocolate bars and selling what you had with you?

    As for the Party - If it was my case, I would let my son go to the party because I like for him to get to go to these things, and yes gift for the birthday child. I just look at birthday parties as playdates with a hostest gift though.

    As for your childs birthday IF you hand out invites at school you need to invite the whole class, if you mail the invites then you can just invite his best friends. It would depend on how many children you want attending.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    I was thinking that, for the bean's b-day, I will just invite the 7 kids in his class now. The kids joining the class in January will be almost a year younger than him.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I have done it all as far as fundraisers. I will skip ordering all together, I placed an order just from us, and I have asked friends and family...my family usually likes to order actually.

    I agree with littlemsmom. It's how you hand out the invites. If mailed then you can be more discrete with the invites. Always a gift. At preschool age, they should allow parents to stay for party. I don't think I started school parties until kindergarten.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I suppose I could care less about this type of etiquette, so take my answers with a grain of salt.

    I refuse to participate in those type fundraisers. Maybe easier said than done, because I don't think my kids have ever been subject to one. (Seriously - their school is really good about those things). I'd rather just give the cash to the school, and that's usually all they ask for. I don't know or care what the "etiquette" is. It benefits to school more to just give them 100% of my money, rather than that they get some proceeds from a fundraiser.

    Birthday parties - I always welcomed the chance to get to know the other families. At preschool age, etiquette is to invite everyone in the class, probably because you don't know everyone's personal info, and then tactfully it is all or nothing. In our area, this clearly stopped in first grade. In Kinder, everyone was invited to everyone's birthday. In first grade, the parties became much more smaller.

    I've invited the whole class to one or 2 parties (in 5-ish years?). Other times, just the friends, or no one from the classes. Just depends. The kids generally only want to go the their friend's parties, and not other kids, so it just works out. Not everyone does parties, so it has never been party overload.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Okay. I was thinking of just writing a straight donation to the school, rather than buying the stuff. We don't really need the stuff, and I don't mind giving a few dollars to help fund the actual project.

    Monkey, thanks for the b-day party insight. I think we will attend the party, and plan to invite the kids to Bean's party. I agree that it will probably become a non-issue as they get older. And it would be nice to meet some other parents.

  6. momcents Says:


    I am thankful that this year the kindergarten class that my son is in is quite social, and weekly have play dates after school at the park (while it is warmer). It is a nice way to meet the newest set of parents, and the cost is minimal.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    MM -- Re: donating money vs. buying crap. You just blew my mind! I'll definitely ask about that when my friends or co-workers ask me to buy stuff for a school fundraiser.

  8. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    To clarify:

    Fundraisers-make your stand now because this is going to happen every year through all public and private schools. Whatever YOU feel is right and do it (buy ; not buy ; donate directly ; donate nonmonetary ways). It's kind of like girl scout cookies on anti-hyper pills.

    Bday Parties-The etiquette is invite the whole class or none at all (through about 3rd grade or so).

  9. MonkeyMama Says:

    ceejay - LOL!

    I think my feelings about this really evovled when I sold for a MLM company. Fundraisers were about making more money for the company. Period. The schools would get very little of the proceeds. So, I feel more jaded seeing that side of it.

    But like I Said, my kids have never sold as much as a candy bar. So I haven't had to face all that selling yet. Phew! (I think, the school also realizes they make more money this way).

  10. My English Castle Says:

    Oh my, we've been through this and it's a thorny path. I don't buy much, if anything, at the fundraisers, except for the book fair which induces such euphoria in DD that I can't avoid it. But no food. I'm always tempted to lie and say we have allergies (not mentioning they are dust and pollen allergies) but I haven't gone that far yet.
    Sometimes our school sells scrip, where you pay face value for gift cards at local merchants. Those I do buy. They spend like cash, and I'd shop those stores anyway. And then there's Girl Scout cookies....

    For birthday parties, we've adopted the "invite them all" theory. I'm not sure it's right, but so far, so good.

  11. ThriftoRama Says:

    I don't mind the scrip sales. Or the charity veggie plant sale at my mom's old school. But this, well, it's not something we can use or value. My mom came over today and signed right up for the most expensive thing on the list : A $20 brownie box. I told her not to if she's doing it just to 'represent' for the kids. I told her we were just going to write them a check directly instead of buying stuff. She swore she really thought the brownies would be good. But I'm still skeptical.

  12. M E 2 Says:


    My parents were wholly against us selling any items for school. They just sent the money in themselves. And please note they had 4 kids in school.

  13. SnoopyCool Says:

    We don't participate in fundraisers. We save boxtops and when there's a business sponsorship opportunity, we buy what is reasonable for our small business (it's a good way to get our name out there and help the school).

    No real advice on the birthday party situation. My babes have summer birthdays, and I've yet to throw a party which involves their classmates.

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