So upset....leaving 1 child out of a brithday party?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD (7) goes to a very small private school. There are only 4 girls in her year at school. She was very upset today because we watched as the other 3 girls all left school together to go to the birthday party of one girl.

This is my DD's second year at the school. She received an invite last year (and we bought a very cool present I think lol). And the girl was invited to my DD's party. My DD isn't best friends with this girl or anything, but I've never heard of any issues/fighting/problems. She seemed very confused about why she wasn't invited. I ran into one of the other moms later and she said that only girls who were at the school for the preschool years were invited this year. ???? That is ridiculous! She confirmed there were no invitations...it was verbal. Why invite her last year but not this year?

The mom seems like a nice enough person. She has a fairly high-profile business in the area. I just can't imagine excluding ONE child in such a small class.

Honestly I am seething right now. Even if my DD said she didn't want to invite one of the girls, I would tell her too bad....it is all of them or none of them. But then again, what can I do? Nothing. I am planning my DD's party and I feel like not inviting her kid, but of course I wouldn't do that. Because it is tacky, cruel and horrible.
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#2 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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That is truly awful and painful. Probably more for you than your dd. Totally crass and tasteless on that mothers part. I don't have any advice just
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#3 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I'm not on board with the "invite the whole class" trend in cases where there are 20+ kids in a class, but your case with just a handful of girls in the class definitely seems exclusionary -- I'm sorry she did that. I bet your DD is really upset, I would be too!

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#4 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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I'm not on board with the "invite the whole class" trend in cases where there are 20+ kids in a class, but your case with just a handful of girls in the class definitely seems exclusionary -- I'm sorry she did that. I bet your DD is really upset, I would be too!

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#5 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, I don't believe you have an obligation to invite the whole class either if it is big. But it is such a small school and it was so obvious (they even waved to my DD as she walked by!). I can't believe an adult would want to make a 7 year old child feel bad about herself. She asked me what was wrong with her and why she wasn't allowed to go to the party. Sigh.
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#6 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Have your dd tell the other girls that it really hurt to see them leaving for a party she wasn't invited to. Nothing more than that statement of fact and then move on. If the other girls have normal empathy, it'll guarantee that they'll at least be more subtle if it ever comes up again that someone in a group isn't part of a separate activity.


And as for the other mom, what was WRONG with her?? I mean, I could see if there were a number of new girls, but leaving out the ONE new girl??

And I have to say, I know it's petty, but if it were my dd when it was her birthday I wouldn't be able to help but make a few remarks about how I made sure to include everyone.
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#7 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I have to say, I know it's petty, but if it were my dd when it was her birthday I wouldn't be able to help but make a few remarks about how I made sure to include everyone.
LOL I have lots of petty things going on in my head right now. I will try hard not to act on any of them. But jeez, I can't get over how ridiculous and rude that was!
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#8 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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That would really hurt my DD, and so it would really hurt me, too. Give your DD lots of extra hugs and attention in the next few days! We also go to a small private school, and the school rule is that no one can talk about a birthday party at school unless everyone in the class is invited. The kids all know the rule and are good about following it, so perhaps you could suggest that to the principal at your school.
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#9 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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No, I don't believe you have an obligation to invite the whole class either if it is big. But it is such a small school and it was so obvious (they even waved to my DD as she walked by!). I can't believe an adult would want to make a 7 year old child feel bad about herself. She asked me what was wrong with her and why she wasn't allowed to go to the party. Sigh.
That is so sad Hugs to your DD!
With a school that small, I think it is horrible that the mother allowed that. I would probably not be able to resist talking to her and just telling her straight out what your DD said.
It makes no sense at all to have invited her last year and not this year!

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#10 of 170 Old 11-01-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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That's awful!

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#11 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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That is rotten. I'm sorry she had to deal with this.
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#12 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 07:28 AM
 
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Playing devil's advocate here... what if the venue where the child wanted to have her party had a limited number allowed? Sometimes, it's $X for the first 5 kids, then $X additional whether you have 6 or 10. That is, she would have had to pay for 5 additional kids if even 1 was added.

Or, what about the number of seats in the parent's vehicle? They could safely transport X number of kids. Or she just didn't want to invite your dd? Or she just forgot to invite her?

And if there is someone my dd doesn't want at her party, I would COMPLETELY respect her about that. I don't want people *I* don't like at my birthday parties. Why is it any different for a child?

It's difficult to be excluded, but it's a part of life and a valuable lesson. You can and will be the only one left out at times. It's tough, but something that at some point has to be addressed. Now's a great time in your case.
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#13 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 08:49 AM
 
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Playing devil's advocate here... what if the venue where the child wanted to have her party had a limited number allowed? Sometimes, it's $X for the first 5 kids, then $X additional whether you have 6 or 10. That is, she would have had to pay for 5 additional kids if even 1 was added.

Or, what about the number of seats in the parent's vehicle? They could safely transport X number of kids. Or she just didn't want to invite your dd? Or she just forgot to invite her?

And if there is someone my dd doesn't want at her party, I would COMPLETELY respect her about that. I don't want people *I* don't like at my birthday parties. Why is it any different for a child?

It's difficult to be excluded, but it's a part of life and a valuable lesson. You can and will be the only one left out at times. It's tough, but something that at some point has to be addressed. Now's a great time in your case.
I started out thinking this too. I know that spa type parties at salons often have a hard cap on numbers. It's very possible that the mom could only accommodate three kids in her car safely. That all makes sense.

However, when the OP ran into one of the moms, and the mom acknowledged the exclusion without the tiniest bit of sympathy or explanation (since I don't think "only kids who went to preschool together" is a real reason), then it really started to sound crap to me!

It's true that disappointment is a part of life. However, you'd think that these moms would be more inclined to teach their children a lesson about being kind and mindful of other people's feelings - especially considering the size of the class and the age of the kids.

Our oldest asked to invite the whole class to her sixth birthday party specifically because she didn't want anyone to be sad that they weren't invited. She took it in stride when she wasn't invited to some of the parties at school, but it was really nice to know that we were raising a child who thought about how her actions would make somebody else feel.

Everybody can't be included all the time, but that doesn't give license to be horrible to a seven year old girl for no particular reason.

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#14 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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The etiquette generally is that if you want to invite almost everybody, you invite everybody. If you're only inviting a smaller percentage of people, then it's no biggie.

Maybe do something special with her in lieu of her going to that party, but sadly this is just the first stop on the exclusion express. It goes on and on through high school and beyond. All kids get excluded sometimes, though knowing that might not make your dd feel better.
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#15 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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I just can't imagine excluding ONE child in such a small class.
so she invited the boys too? or are there no boys?

i am lost about this. i empathise with you OP but at 7 i see my dd becoming v. picky about whom she invites to her bday party.

its something i struggle with too. because i have been on both ends. while i encourage dd not to leave out people, i do go with whatever dd wants.

i empathise with my dd and sit and support her.

however i do not stay mad at the mom or that family. it has happened over girl scouts for us where dd was the only one not invited at one party. however that girl and dd just dont get along.

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#16 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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I do not know what to say but could it be she was simply forgotten when the mom did th invites? It has hapend tote best of us...
On the other hand when this happens to my daughter (more often in a class of 22) I tell her that not every houe is vey big and that when I was a child I was only allowed to invite five children. It might be that there is a rule like this.
Although I understand you are upset for your daughter's experience, our children need to learn that they are not always invited to every activity. I try to do something fun with her or invite a friend over who is not from that school.

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#17 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Playing devil's advocate here... what if the venue where the child wanted to have her party had a limited number allowed? Sometimes, it's $X for the first 5 kids, then $X additional whether you have 6 or 10. That is, she would have had to pay for 5 additional kids if even 1 was added.

Or, what about the number of seats in the parent's vehicle? They could safely transport X number of kids. Or she just didn't want to invite your dd? Or she just forgot to invite her?

And if there is someone my dd doesn't want at her party, I would COMPLETELY respect her about that. I don't want people *I* don't like at my birthday parties. Why is it any different for a child?

It's difficult to be excluded, but it's a part of life and a valuable lesson. You can and will be the only one left out at times. It's tough, but something that at some point has to be addressed. Now's a great time in your case.
Just to clarify a few points (not that it matters either way, it is over and done with)....

1) She held the party in her (very large) home. The same place it was held last year, right around the corner from the school. So it wasn't a case of not having enough room in a venue.

2) Last year the parents just drove their kids to the party and picked them up. So she didn't have to not invite one child due to lack of space in her van.

3) She didn't forget. She did it on purpose. My kid only started last year, so she didn't go there for pre-school (but the other 3 girls did). She only invited kids that went to pre-school together (even though my DD was invited to the party last year). Therefore, in a normal universe it appears she is using a stupid, flimsy excuse to exclude 1 child.

4) The boys weren't invited (there are a lot more boys in the class). Only the girls. Minus 1 girl, that is.

5) My DD and the girl get along fine. DD even saved certain silly-bands for this girl because she loves horses.

Sorry for the novel. So yes, while I agree that being excluded is a part of life and a lesson you need to learn, I really do NOT agree that it needs to be so bloody harsh and happen in grade 1! This isn't high school. I can understand if there was some ongoing "issue" between the 2 girls, but there isn't. I think if more parents would do their job and teach their offspring that this is NOT ok, then there might not be so much exclusion in the later years (not saying it was the girl's fault....sounds more like the mom made this dumb rule). Treating 1 girl like this damages self-esteem and makes her feel like an outsider. And like I said, she's only 7!! My personal feeling is that any parent who thinks this is ok is a little evil.
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#18 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Sorry for the novel. So yes, while I agree that being excluded is a part of life and a lesson you need to learn, I really do NOT agree that it needs to be so bloody harsh and happen in grade 1! This isn't high school. I can understand if there was some ongoing "issue" between the 2 girls, but there isn't. I think if more parents would do their job and teach their offspring that this is NOT ok, then there might not be so much exclusion in the later years (not saying it was the girl's fault....sounds more like the mom made this dumb rule). Treating 1 girl like this damages self-esteem and makes her feel like an outsider. And like I said, she's only 7!! My personal feeling is that any parent who thinks this is ok is a little evil.
I think you need to chill out a bit. This happens EVERY year with girls - its not limited to high school, and as much as parents try, it can't be eliminated. I think your energy would be better spent empathizing with your dd about how yes it hurts, and its not fair, but she's still an awesome little girl. NOT placing blame (when really, you have no idea who made up the rule - the mother could have just been the messenger), and getting angry about it. It happens, it will happen to your dd more than once. Should it? No. Will it? Yes. It's part of life, it sucks, but thats life.
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#19 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you need to chill out a bit.
Yeah, I know.

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the mother could have just been the messenger
Are you serious?? At 7? You would let a 7 year old make a cruel decision like that? Just...wow. But whatever. At least I know there are all kinds out there.

peace.
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#20 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I just think that was so mean. The least the mom could've done was tell her dd not to talk about the party in front of your dd. I agree there will be times when kids exclude other kids but why is the mom not getting that it hurt your dd?? I was watching 20/20 a few weeks ago. It was the episode on bullying and there was a psychologist on...Gail Saltz or something and she said how sad it was that parents aren't teaching their kids to be kind. It's like the majority only care about good grades and excelling in sports and kindness isn't important. Well, I don't buy it. It is great to try to do your best and all that but what matters most is who you are as a person. Looks like the mean girl crap is starting in first grade.
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#21 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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I just think that was so mean. The least the mom could've done was tell her dd not to talk about the party in front of your dd. I agree there will be times when kids exclude other kids but why is the mom not getting that it hurt your dd?? I was watching 20/20 a few weeks ago. It was the episode on bullying and there was a psychologist on...Gail Saltz or something and she said how sad it was that parents aren't teaching their kids to be kind. It's like the majority only care about good grades and excelling in sports and kindness isn't important. It is great to try to do your best and all that but what matters most is who you are as a person. Looks like the mean girl crap is starting in first grade.
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#22 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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That's tough, I'd be upset for my kid too. It's not the way we work, but we have to deal with the fact that not everyone does that and there might be a lesson in that for your DD. On the petty part, I'd probably make certain that her party is phenomenal though.

DS1 just had his party this weekend and invited a whole slew of kids, when I realized that something like 3 kids in his class weren't invited, I asked DS1 about it, and he immediately invited them because he didn't want anyone feeling sad about being left out. He recently wasn't invited to a birthday party that a lot of other kids were invited to (I wasn't surprised, given the parents). He thankfully rolled with it, he's 5 though and a boy.

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#23 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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Are you serious?? At 7? You would let a 7 year old make a cruel decision like that? Just...wow. But whatever. At least I know there are all kinds out there.
Not necessarily, and I have a toddler right now - but I remember being 7 and girls already being catty towards each other (heck, they were in kindergarten too).

I also don't think its all that cruel. It's a birthday party - not a trip to outerspace I guess I don't worry too much about kids self esteem b/c it doesn't come from their friends, their friends parents, or their teachers. It comes from HOME and what parents do at home with their kids. My self esteem comes mostly from my DAD believe it or not - not getting invited to the b-day party of the year back in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade isn't even something I remember now.
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#24 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also don't think its all that cruel. It's a birthday party - not a trip to outerspace I guess I don't worry too much about kids self esteem b/c it doesn't come from their friends, their friends parents, or their teachers. It comes from HOME and what parents do at home with their kids. My self esteem comes mostly from my DAD believe it or not - not getting invited to the b-day party of the year back in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade isn't even something I remember now.
I hear you. But really, we are all different. My self esteem was severely affected by several things that happened in elementary school (I was very very shy). I don't recall feeling worthless when I was 4 or 5. It was only after dealing with cruelty and exclusions in grade 2/3 that I started viewing myself as different and "less than" other kids. So that's probably why I'm so sensitive to the entire issue. I never wanted that to happen to my child because I know how much it hurts and how damaging it is. But it is good to hear that your self esteem came mostly from home....I think we do our utmost to build good self esteem.
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#25 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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The whole things sounds odd....and inconsiderate at best.

Like you said, the preschool excuse is pretty flimsy and probably not the real reason. So then, it seems likely that there is an friend issue that you might not be aware of.

Could you talk to the teacher to see if she has any insight about the situation? Not from a standpoint of indignation, but from a standpoint of "Can you help me understand why this happened how it happened?"
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#26 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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I also don't think its all that cruel. It's a birthday party - not a trip to outerspace
I hear you, and normally I'm on your side of the debate when this topic comes up here at MDC. But many people who start this topic have a problem with a kid inviting only 4 of his 20 classmates and "excluding" the rest, and I think that's a silly outlook to have. But to just exclude ONE of the 4 girls in the class is more glaring and does seem unnecessary IMO. Many schools these days have a policy that says something like:

1) Don't pass out invitations at school unless all the kids in the class are invited.
2) If you invite more than half the class (or more than half of the students of your child's gender), you should invite all of them, but if you invite less than half it's okay to pick and choose.

I think those are reasonable guildelines, and they're the ones I tend to go by (mostly by making sure I invite less than half of the kids, since I have no intention of ever having a whole-class party ).

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#27 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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I can't imagine how hard it would be to help a child get through something like that. Kids use their birthdays as ways to exclude and really hurt other people, or to try to get someone to be nice to them all the time. It may not have been something the mother intentionally meant to do and she may have made that excuse to try to save feelings once she realized what was going on.

Last year I let my dd pick four friends to invite for a special lunch (because I couldn't afford more than that). She chose to pick a two very close friends outside of school and two girls because they were popular while leaving her two close friends out. I was very sad when I realized this, her friends were crushed, and I am going back to inviting the class so it doesn't happen again now that I can afford to do so. The whole class never shows up anyways and there are many places that do parties cheap but fun in our town and her grandma has a big house if all else fails.
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#28 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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I hear you. But really, we are all different. My self esteem was severely affected by several things that happened in elementary school (I was very very shy). I don't recall feeling worthless when I was 4 or 5. It was only after dealing with cruelty and exclusions in grade 2/3 that I started viewing myself as different and "less than" other kids. So that's probably why I'm so sensitive to the entire issue. I never wanted that to happen to my child because I know how much it hurts and how damaging it is. But it is good to hear that your self esteem came mostly from home....I think we do our utmost to build good self esteem.
I can see that. I understand that all kids are different, and their different personalities definitely need to be considered.

My parents always acted like these things were no big deal, and would say things like, "Why would you want to go to a party you weren't invited to?" It didn't make sense at the time, but it sure does now! If the host doesn't want you there, being there would just be AWFUL! Even if the mother had forced the issue, if the 7yo didn't want your dd there, it might have been an awful party for your dd.

I do think that as parents we should strive for our children to be inclusive, but I think we should also be striving to teach our children that they are perfect the way they are - and if other people don't like them its the other persons loss.
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#29 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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I agree w/ the OP, it's cruel. Kids start to exclude one another at a young age & form cliques, and it's the parents' responsibility to teach them how hurtful this behavior can be. Where is the empathy?
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#30 of 170 Old 11-02-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indiana
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I'm an adult and I'd be really hurt if i was one of four people that was intentionally left out of something.
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