Younger siblings banned from attending school parties. Can the school do that?

Cristina - posted on 12/17/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )




I really need advice:

My daughter is in third grade and her teacher, together with all the third grade teachers, has banned parents from bringing siblings to school parties. As I have no family or friends to help out I am now not allowed to attend. I'm so upset and feel really discriminated against. I also have a fifth grader attending the same school, but his teacher doens't have this rule of no younger siblings to the class parties.

Today the school is having the Winter Parties at different times according to the attending grade. I can bring my almost 5 year old preschooler to one of his siblings' party, but not to the other one. I'm really upset. I wrote to my daughter's teacher but she didn't offer any solution. My daughter told me she wants to come home and not to attend the party if I can't be there.

I was thinking to go to the party and have my younger son, the banned one, wait for me outside the door in the hallway where I can see him from inside the classroom. What do you think?

Anyone in a similar situation? Thanks



[deleted account]

A lot of people tend to forget that it is the teacher's classroom, and the teacher should be allowed to make the rules & policies for her classroom. And if that means "No siblings at parties" then it means one of two things: find a babysitter, or forgo the party. Since parties are scheduled in advance, it is easy to plan for. If there are no close relatives or a babysitter, then perhaps talk to the PTO about starting a baby-sitter program during these moments. It's not for the principal to mandate, as principals have greater issues above and beyond governing classroom parties. Besides, principals will usually always leave these type of problems up to the classroom teacher, as we are "CEOs" of our classroom. People seem to forget that parties are a special event, and all it takes is 1 incident to ruin these events for the future. I see no discrimination in the least. A grade level party is being planned. That does not mean 3rd grade level AND young siblings. It means....3rd grade ONLY. It would be distrimination if 1 particular 3rd grade teacher decided NOT to have the party, or cancel the party. Discrimination against parents with young children?! Please...that's a stretch and not worth the school board's time or effort to include on a monthly board meeting agenda. But it would be the catalyst to ban all parties if parents are making such a huge stink over not being allowed to bring siblings. Why should the teacher also have to worry about young children ruining, screamning, crying, and running around the classroom? Perhaps ruining a student's project? Why should the teacher feel compelled to entertain the sibling, or even worry about items in the classroom? Be grateful that your child's classroom even allows class parties these days since so many schools have banned them! There are so many issues to nit-pick about. Not allowing siblings at a school party, IMO, is petty.

Angie - posted on 12/30/2010




I think it's inappropriate for younger children to go to school parties. This is a party for the 3rd graders and their parents, no one else. It's not fair to ask the parents who are throwing the party to bring extra treats for other children. I always wanted my older children to feel special and have some fun things just for them and school parties was a great way to provide that. I used to trade parties with a mother who was in a similar situation and it worked out well. I didn't get to all the parties but I got to half of them...

Yalana - posted on 07/09/2011




When I was one of my oldest son's "Room Parent", he would love it when I brought his brothers in. They were babies at the time and I would have them either in their carseats or a stroller to contain them, but he would show them off to his classmates all the time! The little ones enjoyed it, and the girls in the class would turn into "little mommies" with them. I was "head Room Parent" when my son was in second grade and I had more problems with the students themselves than the siblings! That group was the rudest, most disrespectful kids I had ever seen. It upset my son and his best friend that the others were that way. I was glad when that year was over! But I've never had any problems with siblings.

Heather - posted on 12/31/2010




I think it is ridiculous when teachers do this. I have been the chairperson for almost all of my children's parties. I always make sure to have about 5 extra sets of everything (snacks, craft materials, etc.) just in case any younger siblings show up. I also try to make sure to give them something to do, if I notice them starting to disrupt anything from the party. Usually, they just participate, too, and have a good time. My sister is going through this same thing right now with her older child's teacher forbidding her from bringing the younger child. Then, the same teacher sends home a note to the parents griping that she doesn't have enough volunteers for the parties. Well, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I believe the parents themselves are the best judge of whether or not their child will behave appropriately at the parties. Good luck with this!

Misty - posted on 12/22/2010




tough one,I understand both sides I have had to endure screaming unruling little sibs at my daughters party,but I have seen the best behaved children there as well,maybe find another mom with your problem in the class and take turns sitting with the younger ones outside,and just hope for the school yr to hurry up.good luck


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Nete - posted on 07/17/2011




No I don't think leaving one of your children in the hallway by them self so that you can attend a party is a very good idea .. just stay home is just a party one of many in your life ....if you can't get a babysitter blow them off

Teresa - posted on 07/11/2011




I don't know how many kids are in the class but my son had 25 OTHER kids in his class. There were parties where even the parents were told was just for the kids. Of course we can always visit but it was an in class party just for the kids. I totally beleive in family participation, but just as cub scout den leader, with only 8 boys in the den, when the other parents bring the siblings it can get crazy. It's crazy enough with the youngster much less when others kids get involved. They don't know the classroom rules and are usually too young to understand. I can't imagine a classroom of 25 with all the siblings too. I understand your point on not having a babysitter. Some way you need to explain to your daughter that you can't be there physically but maybe she can take pics with a camera to share with you later. Just a suggestion.

Laura - posted on 01/14/2011




I agree with a lot of the opinions on here about those younger siblings who cannot control themselves, and likewise parents who cannot control their children. I completely and utterly agree with not allowing unruly siblings go to a function. It's rude and disrespectful. Parents need to take (obviously) full responsibilty for their children, and they can't be controlled and are disruptive then yes they shouldn't be allowed to attend. I personally however (am lucky) and whenever my daughter has a function and her littlebrother goes, he emulates what the other children do. If they're sitting quietly, so is he. I think that kids who CAN follow rules should be allowed in, and those children who need a little extra attention should be brought somewhere to either calm down, or leave. It is not up to the teacher and other parents to watch your younger child, nor is it their responsibility to occupy them. I just believe that if it's a party, and the child can cooperate then it shouldn't be an issue. If the child is unruly then they should leave. That's my opinion.

Jamie - posted on 01/10/2011




I think it's wrong to ban younger siblings, but I understand where the teachers are coming from. My daughter is in 2nd grade and we've had a mother bring her younger children in and use the other adults in the classroom as a daycare for her children. It's like a time when she doesn't have to watch her children. One time she came to a class activity and was falling asleep while her two year old was running wild. I was appaled!!

Kim - posted on 01/08/2011




We aren't allowed to their parties. If they have a show or something everyone is invited and since parents bring in the food, plates etc there is usually more than enough for everyone. The only time I was told Parents only was for a special day to go over their work which stunk because everyone was going so we couldn't watch each others kids. One teacher did ask local HS kids to come watch siblings while our 1st graders showed us some science experiments in another room. I thought that was a great idea!

Sherri - posted on 12/31/2010




I can understand this more when my son's preschool just had a Christmas program and it was specifically made clear that it was for parents ONLY. No siblings, no grandparents etc. Parents ONLY and parents showed up with siblings, grandparents. No one could move siblings kept standing in the way so parents couldn't see, crawling all over the floor. It was truly a hazard and I was furious after finding care for my 2 other children that could not attend.

Laura - posted on 12/31/2010




sherri I understand that rules are there for a reason, however if the school had a liability issue it would be a schoolwide rule, not a "teacher" rule. Since she had said her older child's teacher lets her bring siblings, but the third grade teacher doesn't how is it a liability issue?

Laura - posted on 12/30/2010




OMG! did you bring that up to the principal???? I'm sorry my stepdaughter's school lets us bring siblings, and they should not be discriminating against you for having another child. They're keeping you from participating in her school life and is so wrong. They may have that rule because in the past having siblings may have been an awful scenario (ie: interrupting, being too loud, running, etc) I don't really know but that would usually be the case for odd rules. Seriously, take that up with your school's principal. That's ridiculous.

Kekua - posted on 12/19/2010




I'm a single mom, I know how hard it is to miss out on something, it's tough. But I also can understand why they have the rule. I would just encourage your daughter to still go and try not to make a big deal out of it because you don't want her to have to miss it. Maybe come earlier than the pickup time so that you can at least be there for a little of it.

Sherri - posted on 12/17/2010




I have had that happen before as well I couldn't attend not parties persay but a lot of parent meeting because of that reason. Tough but it is the rules and you need to follow them whether we like them or not.

Ange - posted on 12/17/2010




we have not had a problem like that here but if one teacher allows it and not the other then you should talk to the principle and if you are still not allowed in the one you have every right to complain to the school board there is absolutely no reason that a younger sibling can not go to a party it is not like they are sitting there trying to learn the younger one is not distracting them from that and it is up to you to look out for their safety so the 3rd grade teacher is being discriminating against parents with younger siblings... If that were me then I raise hell in the school for it as they have no right to do so like you said you have no one to help so that is is absolutely rediculous.... good luck

Candy - posted on 12/17/2010




Our school doesnt allow little brothers or sisters to go either. It was rough last year because I couldnt go. I wouldnt take him. He will be so upset to be standing in the hall. I wouldnt go. Your daughter can go or not. Just explain to her what fun she will miss. She will be fine without you.

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