I think everyone’s read about the story in the press concerning the missed party. This is the one where a child was invited to a party, accepted and then decided not to go, but to visit family instead. Difficult to judge whether that is a sufficiently good reason for missing an event you have committed to, without knowing the full family circumstances, but generally I’d say not. That said, if you were able to contact the party holder beforehand and gave a reasonable amount of notice, then that is fair enough. That doesn’t seem to have happened here for whatever reason. In fact, there doesn’t seem to have been any communication at all. I think if I couldn’t communicate with the party holder, I’d have decided that I better go ahead with attending the party as initially agreed as that seems the more considerate option.
All the children’s parties that I have been to haven’t required fixed numbers up front, so I was surprised at the charge, but maybe some venues have different rules. For soft play parties you generally just see how many turn up and pay for those. You do need to give the venue some idea, but they are usually flexible. Maybe this venue was less flexible, although there seems to have been some suggestion that the cost of the session for this child could have been offset against other costs, but that this offer wasn’t taken up.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, it’s difficult to see that either party has covered themselves with glory since. Sending an invoice seems a bit of a childish thing to do. The adult approach would have been to have a quiet word and say I am out of pocket becuase you didn’t let me know, but sending an invoice via the school seems like a strange thing to do. It’s bound to get people’s backs up and that is easy to forsee.
Then it’s difficult to see how going to the media with the story is going to do anything to improve relations. Surely that just stirs it all up. Again it seems like a childish thing to do and again it’s easy to see that it would annoy the other side.
Sadly, it will be the real children who will suffer with all the publicity and backbiting. It’s a pity neither set of parents considered that before taking the action they did.