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Birthday party situation - WWYD?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So dd's 7th b-day is coming up in a week.  Last week I asked her who she wanted to invite and she made a list of friends (family friends and friends from school).

 

Here's the problem...

 

I have a good friend (we've been friends since high school and were roommates at University) who is on sabbatical and has moved to our city for the year.  He has two sons who are 6 and 4.  Dd has known them her whole life, but we only see them once in a while (once or twice a year).  Since they've moved here she hasn't really been getting along with the 6yo for whatever reason (they used to get along fine), but does enjoy playing with the 4yo. 

 

While we were making the list I thought of these friends and asked if she wanted to invite the boys.  She said she wanted to invite the 4yo but she didn't want to invite the 6yo.  I said if we invited the 4yo we had to invite his brother too or he would be really sad, so she said she just wouldn't invite either of them.  I talked with her a bit about how they had just moved here, moved away from all their friends, and it might be kind to invite them, etc, etc, but she insisted that she really didn't want to invite the 6yo. 

 

Now, part of me thinks that it's her party - she can invite who she want.  I don't know if I can see myself forcing her to invite someone to her b-day.

 

But, on the other hand, mutual friends *are* invited to the party.  It's v. possible that this family will find out about the party.  If they do then both the boys, AND their parents will probably feel hurt (esp since the dad is a good friend of mine, and the mom is a pretty good friend too).  Basically, I feel bad about not inviting them.  I also think that if we did invite them then on the day of the party she'd be so busy having fun, playing, etc that she'd barely even notice they were there, let alone have a problem with it (there are already 14 other kids invited).  There isn't any open animosity between dd and the 6yo, just that she's not really into playing with him (these days he tends to just play off by himself when we all get together).

 

Thoughts???

post #2 of 19

I would invite them  - as long is there is no good reason (such as bullying) not too.  It models generousity of spirit, and keeps family friendships smooth.

 

I do think it is Ok to limit kids - but mostly when the parties are small.  If it was a party of 3-5 you can easily explain the lack of invitation through "close friends only".  14 is different number - a lack of invitation might be seen as a slight and is probably not worth it.  

 

If she were really adamant about not inviting the 6 yr old I might investigate further why she did not want to invite the 6 yr old (and possibly change my mind)

 

post #3 of 19

I would invite them too, since it is already a big party,  to not invite them could feel like a slight  It would be different if it was an all girls party or just a small party.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post.  I also think that if we did invite them then on the day of the party she'd be so busy having fun, playing, etc that she'd barely even notice they were there, let alone have a problem with it (there are already 14 other kids invited).  There isn't any open animosity between dd and the 6yo, just that she's not really into playing with him (these days he tends to just play off by himself when we all get together).

 


 

I'd invite them. It's the kind thing to do.

 

If she had a strong, solid reason why didn't want to be around the older boy -- he was mean or destructive or something -- then I would leave them off the list. But not inviting a child just because they are quiet is cruel.

 

One of my DDs is very, very quiet and has few friends. Most of the b-day parties she's been invited to are because her sister was invited. I've really appreciated other parents including her and thinking about her feelings.

 

post #5 of 19

Invite them. I think party guest lists are a family decision, not solely the domain of the child. There are different levels of invitees: family, classmates, neighbors, family friends (which include YOUR friends). You ask her who she wants, and you add who you want. I agree with the others - if there's a huge reason to not invite someone, fine, but if someone just isn't her favorite person, too bad.

 

I had a similar experience recently too. DD likes a neighbor girl a lot. She can't stand her brother. Her brother isn't a bully or anything, but sure, he can be a pain. Oh well. She wanted to invite the girl but not her brother. Not happening. I too said that it's neither or both, and she opted for neither. I realized that I wanted to invite the neighbors for my own reasons anyway (to reciprocate their party invites, etc.) so I realized it was my prerogative. We didn't actually have the party (Irene got in the way) but it would have been fine, I'm positive of it.

post #6 of 19

Invite them. 7 years old is too small to understand the consequences of not inviting them.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I would invite them  - as long is there is no good reason (such as bullying) not too.  It models generousity of spirit, and keeps family friendships smooth.

 

I do think it is Ok to limit kids - but mostly when the parties are small.  If it was a party of 3-5 you can easily explain the lack of invitation through "close friends only".  14 is different number - a lack of invitation might be seen as a slight and is probably not worth it.  

 

If she were really adamant about not inviting the 6 yr old I might investigate further why she did not want to invite the 6 yr old (and possibly change my mind)

 



I agree on all three points.

post #8 of 19

I'm going to be different. I would let your dd decide. You can ask her if she'd do it as a favor to you but ultimately I'd let her have the final say because you told her she could choose who to invite and explained that she had to invite both siblings or none and she chose none. When we ask our children to make decisions we need to respect the decision they made or not offer the choice at all.

 

You can explain and aplogize to your friends if you think it will seriously bother them. It is a children's birthday party, not a wedding though. The kids aren't really playmates or classmates or even the same age. I think if your friends are feeling extremely slighted over their kids not attending when your dd only saw them once or twice a year that would be overreacting a lot.

Invite the family over to something else if you think they are feeling left out of your social calendar.

 

Personally I've never been to a kid's birthday party that I enjoyed and my dd who prefers to go off on her own hates parties so it is always stressful on our family to attend. This family may actually be feeling relieved not to feel obligated to come.

 

post #9 of 19

Invite unless the reason is severe, a good lesson to teach here on excluding and caring about others feelings.  I like when these things come up in my house.  Gives me an opportunity to do a little life teaching.  Good luck

post #10 of 19

i would totally talk to dd. i would not invite them without dd's permission. even if it meant i'd have to bribe dd to get her to agree. 

 

but i would never invite without dd agreeing to it. 

 

your dd is old enough to realise that sometimes moms know best even if they dont understand it.

 

and you just never know. she might either enjoy him, or wouldnt really notice him with all the other kids there. 

 

whenever i've had dd agree to my request which she didnt want to do - i expressed my gratitude for her understanding and my appreciation for putting my wishes against hers. that really has always had an impact on her. 

post #11 of 19
This always depends on the specifics for me. In these situations, my dd and I discuss it and come to an agreement together. Sometimes we end up agreeing with her, and sometimes we agree that it doesn't count as one of her 5 guests, but I'll add that one in addition. But we do work on creating an agreement until we're on the same page.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your input!

 

We haven't decided what to do yet, but need to soon as the party is in 1 wk.

 

I've brought it up a couple more times with dd.  She says she "just doesn't like him", but doesn't give any more specifics even when I press a bit.  She also says "I really don't want to invite them".

 

I admit to being torn.  I would really prefer to get dd on board and not just force her to invite him (them).  I also really don't want anyone to feel left out or hurt.  And even if they would never find out about it, or wouldn't feel especially hurt or anything, I still think it would be the kind/inclusive thing to do to invite these kids who just moved away from their friends/family/city/school.

 

I do also wonder if what a pp suggested might be correct, that the 6yo might feel overwhelmed in this party of a bunch of people, the vast majority of whom he doesn't know, but who know each other and go to school together.  But I guess even in that case the thing to do would be to invite them, and let them decline if the 6yo doesn't want to come.

 

meemee - it might end up that I bribe dd, though I also hate using bribes.  I had thought about playing the "well, you'll get another present if you invite them" angle, but I really prefer not going there!  I guess in my ideal world I could get her to see how it's nicer/better to include these boys, but maybe that's asking too much of a not-quite-7yo???

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

If she had a strong, solid reason why didn't want to be around the older boy -- he was mean or destructive or something -- then I would leave them off the list. But not inviting a child just because they are quiet is cruel.



I don't think she doesn't want to invite him just because he's quiet.  I think there has been friction between them.  It seems to me more like he plays by himself because they just don't seem to "click" in their play these days.  From what I've seen they tend to bicker a bit and disagree while playing.  He's not especially shy personality wise. 

 

I'm going to talk to her a bit more.  I'd like to get to the bottom of what exactly has been going on between these two.  I don't know if he has been actively unkind to her - not that I've witnessed, but often when we have get-togethers the adults sit and chat and the kids run off to do their own thing.  Until the b-day party came up I didn't realize that she was feeling that neg towards him.

 

I think tonight we'll have a chat at bedtime and I'll have to figure out just how I'm going to handle this.  If they are going to be invited I don't want to leave it any longer.

 

ETA - I just re-read my OP and noticed I'd written that there's no open animosity between them, but I guess that's not 100% true.  Like I wrote in this post I have noticed some bickering between them during play time.  But mostly we get together in big groups of friends and they just tend not to interact.  Like I said, I think they just don't "click" so well these days.

post #14 of 19

You asked her who she wanted to invite and she told you. I don't think I would go against that or make her feel guilty. It sounds like the main reason they are friends is because the parents are your friends. Would the 6 yo be someone your dd would have made friends with if it wasn't for the influence of you being friends with the dad?

 

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by camracrazy View Post

You asked her who she wanted to invite and she told you. I don't think I would go against that or make her feel guilty. It sounds like the main reason they are friends is because the parents are your friends. Would the 6 yo be someone your dd would have made friends with if it wasn't for the influence of you being friends with the dad?

 



I agree.  It seems she has made it quite clear that she does not want this boy at her party. Will she enjoy her party if he is there?    The party is about your dd & who she wants there.  It is not about the rest of the family or the parents wants.

post #16 of 19

For me, age 7 is when they DO get to decide who to invite (okay, within reason, like you can't invite every girl but one). If I want to invite certain families over for a social event, I'll have a barbecue or something. If even after several conversations she's holding firm, I'd respect that. It doesn't sound like she and their DS are going to magically become best friends or anything.

-e

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

Update: Well, the matter is resolved.  When dh took her to the park yesterday he said "well, if you invite them you'll get more presents", so now she wants to invite them.  Argh.  Meanwhile I had decided that I wasn't going to force her to invite them (I was going to have one more conversation about it with her last night, and then let it rest).

 

I guess the matter's resolved but it doesn't feel great to me.  But not a big deal in the bigger picture I suppose.

post #18 of 19

For my son's 8th birthday, he wanted to invite only the boys with whom he was already very comfortable, and decided to exclude two boys with whom he had friendly acquaintance. (I saw how he got along with the kids in his class because he requested I come along as a chaperone on a couple of field trips.) He was also going to exclude two girls because they were girls. I sold him on inviting the four children he hesitated to invite, and two of them came. He was worried that the one girl wouldn't have anyone to play with! The little girl was the person he played with the most at the party, and the little boy of whom he had previously been unsure became his favorite seat mate at school. It helped them be more friendly that he'd invited the other boy to his party. The other children who came were also more friendly after the party, more interested in play dates, and so on. It wasn't a particularly spectacular party--bowling and pizza, the same place a lot of kids in the class do their parties, and so on--it just feels nice to kids to be included.

 

 

I was rewarded for following my instincts about what would be good for him by having his party lead to better social situations for him. Since I had that experience, I think you may have a similar one with this. I hope so! This was also the first year that I got him to write his own thank-you notes in a timely way, and I think that helped, too. 

 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, I have a further update.  It turns out they're going to be out of town this weekend anyway!  Oy vey....

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