birthday party drama and hurt feelings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Im having a little anxiety over a situation with some friends.
My DD turned nine last week..and for her birthday she decided she wanted a sleepover. Dd decided on two girls she wanted to invite...and we planned the party. Dd is in a class where all the kids are fairly close friends..and have all been in the same class together going on three years.
Dd and two birthday friends talked about the sleepover at school..and another close friend (I will call her friend 3)..assumed she was also invited to the party.
A little background on friend 3 and Dd. They have a very love hate relationship. I am friends with friend 3's we have gotten the girls together a lot. This hasn't always been easy for Dd because she doesn't enjoy playing with friend 3 most of the time..but will tolerate it. While Friend 3 would never be Dd's first choice for a play date..Dd is always very nice to her. But friend 3 and mom seem to think they are a lot closer then they are. before the birthday party friend 3's mom texted me to see if Dd's birthday party was the next day. I told her it was..but that we were having a small party and that dd had only invited two girls to the party. She texted right back and specifically asked if friend 3 was invited. I told her very gently that no, she wasn't and I'm sorry if friend 3 had hurt feelings. And that I would talk to Dd about talking about birthday parties around friends that aren't invited.
I never did hear back from her. What do I do from here?
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#2 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 09:20 AM
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From here, I'm not really certain what the best course of action would be (other than being certain to have that talk with DD about not talking openly about "out of school" plans in front of school friends whom are not invited). I would probably try to make amends by scheduling something special with #3 and her mother, yourself and your daughter; and hopefully find some time to talk with the other mother about what an awkward situation you found yourself in. Maybe by seeming to go to her for "advice" it will help to soothe the hurt feelings and she'll be more understanding of just how difficult this situation was for you.


If something similar were to arise in the future, I'd approach DD right away. It may very well be that in order to avoid hurt feelings and be "polite" that she allowed or encouraged #3 to feel that she had been invited to the party; especially seeing as how it would have been quite difficult for her to find a gentle way to let her know that she was not included. If this really seemed to be the case, I believe I would have had to adjust my own plans to accommodate #3, and let her know that she had, in essence, extended the invitation and we had to follow through on it.

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#3 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 09:51 AM
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Hmm well yeah she needs to know not to talk about a party around someone who isn't invited. That can be really hurtful. I think you've done as well as you could. I agree that maybe inviting friend #3 out for something special sometime might help.

I think I might have tried to accommodate the third friend as well, but it is really tricky to navigate this kind of thing. I have also found that three kids have a hard time playing together - often one feels left out - so we usually have three anyway. But then of course you have the fourth who hears about it then you end up with a party of five, where someone can also feel left out. It's hard to know when to stand firm on numbers and when to give.
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#4 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I have had a talk with Dd about how friend 3 probably felt when she heard the other girls planning. She realized what she had done and felt genuinely sorry for hurting friend 3's feelings. We also told Dd that she could invite friend 3 to the party. (this would have complicated things since we were transporting them and only have three buckles in the back...which is why we initially said only two friends). Dd said she didn't want to invite friend 3 and I guess I sorta thought at the time she shouldn't have to invite someone she didn't want to. If she were able to have more kids at the party..there were several she did want to invite.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 03:41 PM
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We have been on both sides of this issue.  We started last year with discussing what kind of party DS wanted to have, and then went from there.  We specifically talked about how we do not discuss birthday parties & sleepovers at school.  We also have a policy about groups - he can not invite half of his cub scout den, he can invite none, one, or all 6.


I would call your friend and let her know that YOU put the limit of 2 friends on your DD due to seat belts, and that you were not trying to exclude friend 3.  I would not force your DD to do activities with her though.  My mom and her friend used to do that to her daughter and I.  We did not get along, but my mom drilled into me that I had to be polite.  At her 11th birthday party she announced to everyone that her mom had forced her to invite me since I had no friends of my own.  It was not true but it was also humiliating.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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#6 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 03:44 PM
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This happened to dd last year, the girl she considered her best friend didn't invite her to her party because she was only allowed to have two friends.  Dd was destroyed, big huge sobbing meltdown.  But we talked a lot about it and she understood that you can't always have everyone.  We talk a lot about not telling people about playdates and parties, it only causes hurt feelings.  It's something you don't think to talk about with the kids until it's too late.  


I wouldn't bring it up again.  If the mom mentions it to you just say you're sorry, the plans you had wouldn't have worked with more girls and that you will invite girl 3 over sometime soon.  Don't feel bad, it happens every year.

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#7 of 7 Old 09-16-2013, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone. This has been eating at me all weekend. I sent a little text apologizing and making sure it was clear we weren't intentionally hurting friend 3's feelings. I haven't heard back from the mom..and I don't expect to.
I asked Dd if she had played with friend 3 at school today and she said she had and there was no mention of the birthday party. Dd said " we acted like the birthday party never happened".
Hopefully the mom of friend 3 can forgive too.
Thanks again for the advice, mamalisa.
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Child , Birthday Parties , Birthdays And Holidays

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