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5th birthday party invite drama - advice please

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, I need advice, if you have a minute, mommas.

My daughter's 5th birthday is coming up and so we're organizing a party for it. I obviously can't invite her whole pre-school (though I know some parents do), and so I invited the kids that my daughter likes the best from school (isn't that normal, or is it not?). We only invited a couple boys whom my dd likes a lot, and then she wanted to invite the rest of the girls- except for 3: 2 of which she's never really talked to, and one other little girl who hurt my daughter's feelings several times last year when she told my daughter to go away and play by herself (away from the other girls in the class).

Well, I now find out from another mom in the class that the mother of the little girl whom we didn't invite because of the unpleasant things the girl said to my daughter during a lot of the year (which the girl's mom is aware of) now has her feelings hurt since she heard about the party from another mom and realized that we didn't invite her daughter to our party. The girl's mom is a nice lady, I don't know her well, but we've always been friendly and cordial. So now I'm wondering if I need to call the girl's mom to apologize for not inviting her daughter and explain that she wasn't invited because my daughter is intimidated by her daughter for the way she treated my dd several times during the school year? I don't hold a grudge or bitterness toward the little girl or her mom, honestly, I just wanted to make some boundaries for my dd on her special day and not invite the possibility of drama into her birthday party. Isn't that what a mom is supposed to do? Protect our kids, if we know there's potential harm coming their way?

I've told my dd during the year not to dislike the other little girl for telling her to go away, but to just pray for peace with the little girl and to find other friends and activities to do if the girl says unpleasant things to her again. The teacher encouraged me in taking this approach with my dd in the matter, rather than making it into a big dramatic thing where the other girl's mom is brought in and everyone tells the other girl that they have to let my dd come along and play - because the teacher says the other little girl will just do what she wants anyways, after the teachers and moms leave.

So, my question is: do I need to call this other mom and apologize and/or explain why I didn't invite her daughter to the party? Or, can I just let it go and the girl's mom can just approach me if she has a problem with it?

Thanks for reading, and I'd love your input!

grateful as always,
joy
post #2 of 23
Nope, let it be.

IF she asks say "We could only afford a party for ten children and this was the first year we let little (insert daughters name) choose the ten children, I'm so sorry that she's not chosen your daughter, I'm sure if we gave her the ability to have a larger list your daughter would have been on it!"
post #3 of 23
Don't call. I think it could come off as rude and makes things more dramatic.

It does feel crappy when we don't get invited to a party that we want to go to, even as an adult. I don't think there is anything wrong with inviting who your daughter likes, as long as she is kind about it. I personally wouldn't hand out invitations at school but instead mail them to prevent children who don't get one from feeling left out. But the other girl knows and her disappointment at this stage can't be spared.

If her mom approaches you (which I think would be rather strange) about the party. I would not go into the whole thing about how her daughter hurt your daughter's feelings. I'd simply smile kindly and say, "We really wanted to be able to include the whole class, but it is just not possible for us this year. I'm very sorry that (whater the name) won't be coming. I hope you understand." and leave it at that.

Have a fun party!
post #4 of 23
sorry you're all feeling bad. that was a tough situation.

i'm guessing i'll be in the minority once all the advice and support comes in, but i would have invited the whole class, especially if it was only 3 kids not coming. i don't know what class sizes are like in your school, but if it's like where i'm from, then 22 out of 25 got invited. that seems like a bit more of a slight (i understand your reasoning) if half the class didn't get invited. if they were a bit older, i'd probably have let her pick, but 5 is so young for that, imo. while your daughter is certainly learning a lesson about boundaries, i'm sure there's a lesson that also could have been learned had you talked to her about inviting the other little girl (empathy? foregiveness? fresh starts? fairness?). i went to a pre-K-12 school and some of the kids i couldn't stand in first grade i liked a lot as we got older.

anyway, i really doubt many/any will agree with me, but i just wanted to throw that out there as food for thought.

hugs all around. sounds like a tough situation. hopefully word doesn't trickle down to the kids.
post #5 of 23
I'd just let it lie. As her child gets older, she'll understand that kids can't invite everyone they might like to invite to parties, and that sometimes her child won't be invited and it doesn't reallly mean anything. But only time and experience can teach that. She'll undoubtably be in your position before too long, and she'll understand then. I don't think there's anything you can say that will help. It'll just stir up the drama more.
post #6 of 23
No, I wouldn't call. If she wants you to know she's upset, she'll tell you directly. So far you've only heard gossip.

How many girls are in your DD's class? If there are 12 girls and she invited all but 3, that's a lot different than if there are 5 girls and she invited all but 3, you know?
post #7 of 23
Don't call. You are under no obligation to invite mean/rude/horrible children to your home.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by c'est moi View Post
sorry you're all feeling bad. that was a tough situation.

i'm guessing i'll be in the minority once all the advice and support comes in, but i would have invited the whole class, especially if it was only 3 kids not coming. i don't know what class sizes are like in your school, but if it's like where i'm from, then 22 out of 25 got invited. that seems like a bit more of a slight (i understand your reasoning) if half the class didn't get invited. if they were a bit older, i'd probably have let her pick, but 5 is so young for that, imo. while your daughter is certainly learning a lesson about boundaries, i'm sure there's a lesson that also could have been learned had you talked to her about inviting the other little girl (empathy? foregiveness? fresh starts? fairness?). i went to a pre-K-12 school and some of the kids i couldn't stand in first grade i liked a lot as we got older.

anyway, i really doubt many/any will agree with me, but i just wanted to throw that out there as food for thought.

hugs all around. sounds like a tough situation. hopefully word doesn't trickle down to the kids.
I agree with you. Dd has had some problems with a boy at school who can be physically aggressive at times (and dd has twice been on the receiving end), but we still invited him--and the whole class--to her bday party. If they were old enough that all the parents wouldn't be at the party, then I might have limited the guest list, but I felt totally comfortable with all the grown-ups there to monitor the kids' behavior. At this age, so many kids are still struggling with things like impulse control and empathy and I don't think that the kids should necessarily be "punished" for not behaving well 100% of the time. I also think that--again, at this age, not talking about 8 or 10 year olds--being left out will just exacerbate bad feelings between the kids.

In this case, however, I would just let things go. If the mom does ask DEFINITELY don't talk about how her daughter said some mean things in the past (which seems pretty normal to me for five year olds, honestly), but just say you had to limit the size of the party.
post #9 of 23
I'd let it be for now.

But for future reference, I agree with this:

Quote:
i'm guessing i'll be in the minority once all the advice and support comes in, but i would have invited the whole class, especially if it was only 3 kids not coming. i don't know what class sizes are like in your school, but if it's like where i'm from, then 22 out of 25 got invited. that seems like a bit more of a slight (i understand your reasoning) if half the class didn't get invited.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
but i would have invited the whole class, especially if it was only 3 kids not coming. i don't know what class sizes are like in your school, but if it's like where i'm from, then 22 out of 25 got invited
3 of the GIRLS were not invited, not 3 of the class. most of the boys were not invited.

I see nothing wrong with what the OP did. It's ridiculous to invite everyone to a party.
post #11 of 23
I see nothing wrong with what the OP did and would not talk to the mom about it.

We get to decide who we want to surround ourselves with at celebrations. Every time I've invited someone because, "oh we should include them instead of we want to include them" I've regretted it.

Why in the world would you invite someone who makes your DD unhappy and upset to her birthday? It should be a joyous occassion surrounded by those we cherish. Not an include all so as to not offend, who cares if DD gets picked on event.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
3 of the GIRLS were not invited, not 3 of the class. most of the boys were not invited.

I see nothing wrong with what the OP did. It's ridiculous to invite everyone to a party.
Yep. This. She didn't invite quite a few kids, which is fine.

I'd also just let it go. This stuff just happens, and often. At some point, every kid will be left out of something. It's really not that big of a deal.
post #13 of 23
I would not call. It's your daughter's birthday and she can invite whoever she wants. If you call, you open the discussion and are forced to justify your daughter's choice of invitees. She doesn't need to hear how you feel about her daughter or why you didn't invite everyone in the class.

If I were that parent, I would not expect you to call and explain your decision to me.
post #14 of 23
Leave it be. This isn't the first party her kid won't be invited to and it won't be the last.

I do have a policy that if you're inviting most of the girls, you need to invite all of them. But, since your dd didn't invite 3 of the girls, I think it was OK.
post #15 of 23
Yeah, I was always 1 out of the 2 girls not invited to a party. It sucks, believe me.

There's nothing you can do about it now. It is just like that for some people, and we learn a lot about exclusion and ostracism. I'm not sure how valuable the learning experience is but I guess it's part of life. A phone call won't make anybody feel better.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Yeah, I was always 1 out of the 2 girls not invited to a party. It sucks, believe me.
Yep, it hurts like hell to be one of the 1 or 2 not invited to a party.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by db1au View Post
Yep, it hurts like hell to be one of the 1 or 2 not invited to a party.
While I agree with this... I have to say I had some horrid birthday parties because my mom was so nice she invited everyone. What happens is the other kids at the party know who should have been left out and then they are mean to that kid at the party. The parents step in and it gets ugly and the gossip goes on for weeks.

Why attend a party that you aren't wanted at? Why have your kid attend one if its this way? If the children aren't friends... it is far better not to have invited them in the first place.
post #18 of 23
I agree with everyone to just let it be, and if asked, just say you couldn't invite the whole class. Personally though, at this age, I think if a big chunk of the class is going to be invited, then everyone should be (barring some serious issue of course).

I think this whole situation could have been avoided though if this girl's exclusionary behavior had been addressed last year. It doesn't sound like she was ever really made aware that what she was doing was wrong, and therefore didn't correct her behavior. Now she's being excluded. I guess that's natural consequences, but five seems a bit young for that IMO. I think kids this age need a lot of help from adults to help navigate this kind of thing, and it didn't do this girl any good to just let the issue go and figure she'd just do whatever she wanted anyway, so there was no point in bothering. I'm glad my daughter's school doesn't tolerate that kind of exclusionary behavior. It's normal to some extent, and kids do it, but they need to learn it's not cool.
post #19 of 23
I agree with the majority - don't call.

Our pre-school teacher actually laments the large parties and has encouraged us to just to the traditional party with a few close friends. And 5 is coming up for us in October and dd wants the big party she's attended . . . but we're just not gonna.

And I don't feel slighted as a parent or on behalf of my daughter. I realize she is not close to everyone in her class and no one is required to have a party, much less invite my daughter.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
While I agree with this... I have to say I had some horrid birthday parties because my mom was so nice she invited everyone. What happens is the other kids at the party know who should have been left out and then they are mean to that kid at the party. The parents step in and it gets ugly and the gossip goes on for weeks.

Why attend a party that you aren't wanted at? Why have your kid attend one if its this way? If the children aren't friends... it is far better not to have invited them in the first place.
I think this depends a lot on how many kids are invited and how invitations are handled. In my dd's school, it is the norm for the whole class (15 kids) to be invited. If I chose not to invite the whole class, I would invite just a few kids and make sure that invitations were not handed out at school. If a large group of kids are invited, and the party becomes a hot topic of conversation at school, then it can be truly horrible for the ones who are left out. When I was a kid, my siblings and I generally invited the whole class or just a very small group of friends (maybe 4-6), so there was never a sense that just a few people were being left out.

And at 3 or 4 or 5 years old, I just think a lot of "bad" behavior can be attributed to the fact that the kids are still developing socially. Hurt feelings now and then are sort of par for the course--and while I would always encourage dd to stand up for herself and/or tell a parent or teacher if she's upset, I also wouldn't want to label another YOUNG child as "mean" or a "bully" just for engaging in some age-appropriate behavior.
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