Guest blogger Gina: My seven-year-old recently invited 10 friends to her birthday party (held at our house), but 20 people showed up! Who were the party crashers? The guests' parents!
I understand that it is appropriate and even necessary for parents to accompany their child to play dates and parties when he/she has needs that require special attention (like not being able to use the bathroom on one's own, for example), but somehow I missed the memo that says that parents must accompany their school-aged children everywhere. Somehow I was under the impression that a child who goes to school from 9 to 3 by herself was able to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey without her mom's supervision.
If safety is the issue, or your child only feels comfortable being at a friend's house when you are there, then do the courteous thing and LET ME KNOW AHEAD OF TIME THAT YOU'RE PLANNING TO STAY. That way, I won't run out of food (that you say you're not interested in eating but do anyway).
However, next time, if you don't absolutely need to be there, then please don't come. Besides being a burden on me, your presence is also distracting and annoying for the kids.
School-aged children want to be independent, but it's hard to feel that way when your mom is cutting your pizza.