5-Year-Old Invoiced A Party “No-Show Fee” – Valid Move or Just Bad Parenting?

Party planning can be stressful, especially with a hand full of 5 year-olds. The costs incurred can be a burden, especially for low-income families, and this burden can sometimes lead parents to other more drastic measures.

A 5-year-old boy missed a birthday party and was invoiced a £15.95 “no show” fee by the host’s mother.

The boy was invited to a birthday party at the Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre just before the Christmas holidays.

The boy’s parents confirmed their son would attend, however turned out the 5-year-old had prior arrangements with his grandparents and never ended up showing up to the party.

The boys parents discovered the invoice in thir son’s backpack when he came home from school. The host’s mother, Julie Lawrence, passed on the invoice to the teacher, who aided the delivery. Apparently, the Lawrence even threatened them with small claims court should the boy’s parents not fork the bill. When asked, Lawrence said she had no regrets and emphasized the party invite was very clear with details and her contact information.

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk
Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

The boy’s parents say they didn’t have the host’s contact information therefore could not warn her ahead. The party was over the Christmas holidays, and the parents had no way of telling the mother in person.

I believe boy’s parents simply owe an apology for not showing up but shouldn’t have to pay the bill. Others, however, have a more stringent opinion, saying an R.S.V.P. is an R.S.V.P. 

Click here to read more about managing your expenses and having enough money to save. 

Unanswered Questions:

  • Why would the parents parade their 5 year-old online like this?
  • Why did the father agree to discuss the issue with all media?
  • Is the father compensated for the story going viral?
  • What does this teach the children of both parents?

How would you handle a situation like this? Should the no show guests have to cover their cost of the party? Does it depend on the cost or the reason for the absence? Is it different for a more costly event such as a wedding? 





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Article by: Anna Suzdenkova

Employed in the financial sector for over 7 years. Held various roles including financial advisor, auto claims adjuster and manager of customer service. Attained an accounting degree with Honours. Mutual fund licensed. Passionate about helping people. Forever an optimist, positivity is the key to a happy life. Enjoys helping people decipher the banking world and use it to their advantage!