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Discussion Starter #1
Hi mammas and pappas!!<br><br>
Ds is getting ready to have a birthday party (hes turning 5). We have talked about who he wants to invite and have made invitations. Dh and I are wondering though about what is appropriate IE inviting his classmates.<br><br>
He has a small class (14 children) and is also wanting to invite some children that don't attend his school. We are inviting a total of about 30 people (including the children's parents an siblings). 8 of these children are from his class.<br><br>
Is this OK in such a small class. We can't really afford to invite the whole class but we don't want to offend anyone either. I think Ds could go either way with this one (he isn't asking to invite the whole class but would be happy if he were allowed to) WWYD?????
 

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Personally, I always invite the whole class. At 5 they are talking to their friends about birthday parties and I never want anyone to feel left out. That, however, is me. I see nothing wrong with just inviting the friends your son has mentioned. You are under no obligation to entertain his classmates. My oldest is now in 2nd grade and there have been some gender specific parties (which I dislike as my children are friends with both genders) that he has not been invited too. Some classmates have only invited a few of their closests friends as well.
 

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If not everyone in the class is invited than invites should be mailed out. Some schools have policies on this.
 

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I think it would be a problem to invite more than half the class. I think you need to either limit it to 2 or 3 close friends, just the boys, the entire class, or no one from class. Maybe he could just bring in cupcakes for the entire class and have a party for non classmates. Definitely mail invitations to the home if the entire class is not invited.
 

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You might also want to double check with the school if they have a policy on this. Our school policy is that if invitations are given at school or if the party starts from school then the entire class or all boys/girls must be invited. If some but not all of the class is invited then the children are not supposed to talk about the party at school.<br><br>
I think its kinder to invite the entire class or just 1 or 2 close friends. To invite half the class seems unkind. We have found that about 1/3 of the kids can't make it at any given time, so that helps with the numbers a bit. Unless you are doing a really expensive number-specific activity, I can't see that the difference between inviting 8 kids and 14 being that big a deal -- its probably really only adding 2-3 kids because of schedule conflicts and such.<br><br>
You probably also need to consider the "school norm" for this community. You probably don't want your child to be the only one who didn't invite everyone -- that might create some hard feelings going forward.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evan&Anna's_Mom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think its kinder to invite the entire class or just 1 or 2 close friends. To invite half the class seems unkind.</div>
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I agree.
 

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I agree with the posters who have said to either invite the whole class or just a few close friends. Also, I wouldn't pass out invites at school unless the whole class is invited, I would call the parents and get their addresses. That has been the rule at my kids schools.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Dh and I were feeling that inviting only some of the children seemed unkind as well. But also, we don't want to make people feel that they need to come and buy yet another gift for a child that really isn't "friends" with Ds. Most of these children that he hasn't expressed a specific desire to invite haven't been to the house to play nor have we played with them outside of school. I almost feel that it is out of line (and materalistic almost...expecting gifts etc (I'm not able to find the right words here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )) to ask them to come to his party. Maybe that is silly?? Money is tight for us and so I am trying to be sensitive to others financial issues too???? But by inviting the whole class it at least gives them the choice if they'd like to attend or not instead of the potential for people to feel left out (not our intention at ALL).<br><br>
It is a financial issue for us to invite the whole class. I'm making magic wands and have some other gifts to give the children that attend, not to mention food for all of the parents, siblings and the children (we're planning a BBQ with munchies and a cake sorta thing). But it souds like most are saying that not everyone will show.....The parents I've mentioned it to already (most of those that are Ds's very close friends) are planning to come though so I'm not sure how the numbers will play out.<br><br>
My other problem with the whole thing is that if I invite Ds's whole school class, I don't want his friends from outside of school to feel left out....It will be 2 girls from one family and their little 2 yr old bro and a boy from another family. Dh and I were trying to think of some of Ds's other friends from outside of school, but he has really begun to mainly play with his school friends aside from these few close friends he still keeps in touch with.<br><br>
We spoke to Ds's teacher from last year who is the mother of one of his very close friends (but not in Ds's class) and she said that we should't feel that we need to invite everyone.....that the people that attend should mean something to Ds (he should have a relationship with them aside from just clasmate). I think this POV has merit also. I would like for the party to be special and it seems to loose some of that if we invite people just to make nice....but it also becomes a negative if others are feeling left out or become upset.<br><br>
Dh and I are really torn about this one. I'm going to ask another mother of one of his friends that did throw a party for her Ds this spring (one of Ds's friends and classmates) and she also has an older boy at ths school and see what her experiences have been. I also never knew that schools had rules about this sorta thing and I certainly don't want to violate them either.<br><br>
I'd love to hear some more opinions....the more info Dh and I can have the better. We aren't that great of decision makers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> (can ya tell!!!). We are hoping to distribute the invitations by Friday and need to make the decision ASAP as the invites are homemade so we gotta get to making more if we deicde to invite more people.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Almost forgot my other problem. If I have too many take us up on the invites, and the weather is bad...I'm in trouble. As long as the weather holds the kids have a GREAT space to play outside (lots of land in the mtns) but, it is November in the Rockies and the weather can get bad this time of year too. If so, everyone is stuck in the house and that would not work too well.<br><br>
What if there were 4, maybe 5 we invited from his class. Do you think this number would have the potential to still cause problems with hurt feelings etc? I didn't want to limit the people that Ds asked to invite as he didn't have a party last year (for many reasons, very long story), and we really wanted to allow him to invite those that he chose.....<br><br>
Oh, and we were planning ot distributing them by placing them in the parent's cubbies (we all have mailbox sorta things that the children can't reach) is that still inappropriate do you think? I don't know that everyone would get them in time through the mail at this point??? What about just verbally asking the parents???<br><br>
Thanks for the help everyone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I disagree with everyone.<br><br>
At parties my dd invites the kids she wants to. It has been like this since playschool. In K she invited 13 out of 17 kids, she was having a dress up tea party and invited the girls(there were 3boys in the class). Last year(21 in the class) she invited 8 originally, then it turned into 12 which turned into 13 after she invited our next door neighbor(or the girl invited herself I'm not sure what happened). This year she says she wants 8(there are 23 in her class).<br><br>
Invitations are handed out at school. They are put on their desks first thing in the morning.<br><br>
Every class in the school does it the same way, there are no expectations that you will be invited to a party just because you're in the class.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If not everyone in the class is invited than invites should be mailed out. Some schools have policies on this.</td>
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Nobody is given class lists, phone lists or mailing/residential addresses here for safety reasons.
 

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I agree with his teacher's opinion that the kids you invite should be special friends of your child. If you were to invite, say, 3 children from his class, and then the rest friends and family from outside of class, I think that would be fine. It was the inviting over half the class and leaving out the remaining 7 that seemed perhaps a little unkind (not that that was your intention at ALL).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong></div>
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Invitations are handed out at school. They are put on their desks first thing in the morning.<br>
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I'm sorry, but I think that is absolutely dispicable. So when the children walk in, some kids have a birthday party invitation on their desk and others do not? I doubt you would feel so great about this idea if your child happened to be one of the ones who was always left out and not invited to any of the parties. Can you imagine being the ONLY child who didn't get an invitation?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Earth Angel</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, and we were planning ot distributing them by placing them in the parent's cubbies (we all have mailbox sorta things that the children can't reach) is that still inappropriate do you think?</div>
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Please, please, PLEASE don't distribute them at school. Even if you put them in the parent's cubbies, they are likely to say "Look! You got an invitation to so-and-so's birthday party!" and someone who was not invited might overhear.<br><br>
My DS was not invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates last year when he was about 4.25 yrs. Not only was he crushed when the invitations were handed out, he was also crushed when this thoughtless mom handed out the thank you notes at pick-up time while reminding each invited child of the great time they had. DS sobbed. My heart still hurts when I think about it.
 

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My mother always siad that if I was having a party, the whole class had to be invited. As I got a little older then it was just all of the girls from my class.<br><br>
Dominick was devistated last year when talk of a birthday party of one of his close preschool friends (apparently not that close <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> ) didn't invite Dom to his party. He cried and begged me to call the boy's mom because they must have lost his invitation. It was heartwrenching as a mom. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> He talked about it for months and thought it was my fault because I did not call. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Oh....and it was a bowling party. He begged me to call all of the bowling alleys to see if he could meet up with them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
I told him they may not have enough food then, because they didn't know he was coming. He said he wouldn't eat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> He just wanted to wish his friend happy birthday.<br><br>
From what I know, most of the class was invited.....if not all of them.<br><br>
It may have been an oversight as Dom had missed a couple days due to illness, but it was heartbreaking none the less. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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The best advice I can tell you is to check with the school hand book. I really understand where you are coming from with not wanting people to feel obligated about buying your son a gift if they don't play with him, but I don't think 5 yr olds will understand this. To them they see that some people get to go and have cake and play games and some don't.<br><br>
If you only want to invite a select few from the class, then that is fine. But I would still mail the invitations and not have your son hand them out in front of other kids. Mailing shouldn't be a problem if your son is already freinds with these children and you know the parents names and such.<br><br>
If you choose to invite the whole class then typically your son can bring all the invitations to class and the teacher will help him make sure everyone gets theres, this way no one is excluded.<br><br>
In our school these are the guidelines. Also want to add that even if your son doesn't play with all the kids in his class this might be a good opportunity for him to get to know others outside of school, and you to get to know more parents.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Earth Angel</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But also, we don't want to make people feel that they need to come and buy yet another gift for a child that really isn't "friends" with Ds. (clip) But by inviting the whole class it at least gives them the choice if they'd like to attend or not instead of the potential for people to feel left out (not our intention at ALL).<br><br>
It is a financial issue for us to invite the whole class. I'm making magic wands and have some other gifts to give the children that attend, not to mention food for all of the parents, siblings and the children (we're planning a BBQ with munchies and a cake sorta thing).</div>
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For your first concern, I think you have answered your own question. If the invitee and/or their parents doesn't feel close enough, doesn't want to buy a gift, whatever, then they can decline to attend. And I suspect some will. Sort of like you'll really work with the schedule to get to a party for a close friend but not if that person really isn't close. The other thing is, its still really early in the year. Maybe the person that your child doesn't invite will be his best friend by Christmas?<br><br>
For the second, I guess it comes down to priorities. For me, it woud be more important to invite the entire class than to serve more elaborate snacks. If you decide to go to more people, maybe scale down the food a bit? Just cake and ice cream? Different meal? No alcohol?<br><br>
Or, taking a really different approach, just the kids? About age 5 and/or kindergarten, the norm here shifts to a "just kids" party, at least for classmates. That, of course, elminates the parents and siblings for the equation. Close family friends and such still might include both kids and parents.
 

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dd has a summer birthday and has always had just a handful of friends so this has never been an issue. I do agree that invitations set out on a desk is kinda harsh. We will probably never do the whole class thing due to a summer birthday but I would think that if dd's birthday was during the school year we would. My bf has 3 dc and attends a birthday party atleast once a week. The presents $ really adds up. Even now, my dd lets me know if she wants a playdate with someone. I feel that if she wasn't close with the birthday child, dd would not care to go to the party, so that should help cut down the numbers.
 

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This really IS a hard one.... there are a lot of different ways to think about it. My opinions:<br><br>
Do NOT distribute invites at school in ANY way, whole class or not. Some kids could lose them between school and home. There have been times my child insisted she was invited but couldn't produce an invite - so I'm in the uncomfortable position of calling the mom and hoping she'll mention something.... ugh. In preschool, we also experienced invites in the parent cubbies and it was bad. As already mentioned, some parents will loudly proclaim "oh look! you got an invite to Tommy's party!" in earshot of others who may not have been invited. Or even if the parent is discreet, the kid knows what that size envelope means and is asking "what's that? what's that? am I invited to a party???" Mail them or hand deliver to their house if you are out of time. We've had that happen once or twice - doorbell rings and it is the mom and kid with invite in hand. Or use evite - that works well too.<br><br>
If you have the party on a weekend, and your child understands it is unkind to discuss said party at school before or after the fact, I think it is ok to invite just some classmates. Think you said 14 kids in the class? 8 is just one more than half so that seems ok to me. 12 would be wrong IMO.<br><br>
I agree that you might want to switch gears to a kid party, not a family party. In my area/circle of friends, no one expects that siblings will come along to a birthday party for the other one's friends. Starting at age 5 or 6, most moms just drop and pick up later. One or two will stay and that is fine as you can use the help.<br><br>
If it is a money issue, I'd do chips, cake and ice cream instead of the whole bbq. Scale down the goodie bags or whatever. I think you go either the whole class on a more basic scale or just five kids on a bigger scale. (Turning five = five kids you get to invite) We have done this on a rotating basis - one year big party, next year just a few friends but a more elaborate party.<br><br>
I do think some may decline - but not a lot. Kids love parties and love to feel included and you are talking about five year olds. I'd bet you'll see 80% or more easy.<br><br>
If you invite Sue, then her mom may feel pressure to invite your kid to Sue's next party. Sue's family may not be able to afford to buy birthday gifts for everyone in the class; it really does add up when you start attending birthday parties two or three times a month.<br><br>
Who to invite is always tricky. Just be kind in the delivery of the invites, make sure your child knows not to discuss it at school in any way, and it will be fine no matter what you decide.
 

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Being a former preschool teacher for years and a kid I think you should invite the entire class. Children do know if they aren't invited and the other kids will talk, talk, talk about it before hand. I have a suggestion to offer would it be possible to plan a smaller party for examply from 2:00-4:00 or whatever and then do the barbeuce with the closer friends afterwards or the next day? From my own experience with b day parties alot of the kids from class that he is not close with likely wont come anyway.
 
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