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Invite My Kid to Your Birthday Party ... Or Else

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Momlogic's Julie: When a kid from my son's class came up to him and said "I'm going to Caleb's birthday party Friday," I wanted to cringe, scream, or punch somebody ... because my son hadn't been invited.

small boy

I don't know why mothers of second graders feel it's okay to invite a few people from class to a birthday party but not the entire class.

Don't they know that other kids will talk about the party, and make the ones who weren't invited feel excluded?

Don't they realize that this will get back to the parents, who will then feel ill will toward the parents who didn't deem their kids "worthy"?

I brought this up in a staff meeting, and a few moms said I needed to "toughen up." Life's not fair, they said, and your kid needs to get used to it.

Believe me ... I know life is not fair. But I don't know why my son has to learn that lesson in second grade. Isn't that a little young to adopt a "life sucks, then you die" philosophy?

The rule in my house is that my kids must invite the entire class or none of the class to their party, period. No, I don't exactly revel in the idea of that many kids invading my house, but when I think of the alternative ... some kid feeling like mine did on Friday, when he was told all about the party he wasn't invited to, I know it's worth the extra effort. In fact, I couldn't live myself if I excluded even one classmate from the guest list.

One mom I know said that maybe Caleb's mom couldn't afford to invite the entire class. Moms, if you can't afford to invite the whole class to the party, don't have the damn party! That's my opinion.

What do you think?

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97 comments so far | Post a comment now
daniele plumber October 30, 2008, 8:55 AM

Its sounds like you have some major issues that will be passed down to your kids if you don’t get a grip quickly, very quickly. Kids forget and forgive before the hour is up. if you think that parent should have invited everyone, then maybe you need to go speak to that parent and offer to HELP PAY whatever the expenses necessary for her to make your dream a reality.

Wendi October 30, 2008, 10:07 AM

I do not think that you need to invite all the kids in the class. This is how we do things. We have a special event party for my kids, bowling, skating or horseback riding. Something like that, and even sometimes a party at home. Depending on the cost of the event and the amount of kids that can be included, is how many can be invited. I then tell my children to think about who they really like and like to spend time with and then invite only those children. I believe that this is teaching my kids that not everyone is a really good friend and that there are special friends that you really enjoy being with. When inviting the friends that they want they are to do so privately. At young ages, well I would go to the parent and not the child, which was easy since you see them all the time because your kids are good friends.
I believe that the more me play into this everyone has to be included and you always have to have lots of gifts and big parties, the more the child is spoiled. It is jus not okay to do this. Children need to learn boundaries in all areas of life and that there are disappointments.
As for the rest of the class, well to celebrate my kids’ birthdays I would and do always bring in some cup cakes (with teachers approval of course). That way they can all sing happy birthday and have a little cake too. Everyone is happy in the end. I have NEVER had any complaints or heard anything bad when doing things this was and I know lots of parents that do the same.

Anonymous October 30, 2008, 10:24 AM

I think this is where the ungrateful mentality stems from that so many kids have these days. Sorry, but true.

During the time leading up to every birthday party, my kids get threatened with phrases like “Are you coming to my party on Saturday? I hope you bring me a present, because if you don’t, we won’t be friends anymore.”

Or the one that REALLY gets me (that they ask my kids), “You’re inviting me to your party, right? Because if you’re not, we won’t ever be friends again.”

I get this with both my 2nd grader, and my 6th grader.

I feel that these days, parents invite as many kids as possible to birthday parties to make their kids feel ‘popular’. And because of this, I’m the bad guy for NOT letting my kids go to the parties of these selfish families.

I send in treats for the whole class, and I have small, family-oriented parties with my kids. The birthday child is allowed to pick one friend, and we have a special day that we go and do a ‘day out’. This saves money, stress, and hurt feelings. My kids have never had a problem with it, and everybody has a great time.

Shanna October 30, 2008, 10:30 AM

Let it go! Your child needs to learn life is not always fair and there will always be something or someone that will hurt his feelings.Too many kids think that the world owes them something. I just threw a birthday party for my 6 year old twins. Do you think I was going to invite 50 kids to a party?!?!?! Heeelllll NO!!! I still had about 20 in attendance and it was a lot of work, time and money!

Moopy October 30, 2008, 10:47 AM

Yea… I too could see how it would be hurtful to a child, but unless they were the ONLY classmember not invited I don’t think it is a serious offense. Growing up, my family was poor and I was allowed no more than five at my “parties”. We handed out invitations after school and the kids that weren’t invited that heard about it (it happens) had absolutely no problems with inquiring as to why they weren’t included… so I told them why. There never seemed to be any hard feelings about it… every child deserves a party but not every family can afford to host a class of 20+ kids!

RIN October 30, 2008, 11:26 AM


momof2 October 30, 2008, 11:35 AM

I can’t even believe someone feels this way. This is so selfish. I’m sorry your son got hurt, and I understand you want to protect him, but everyone else’s life does not revolve around you and your son. Life is not fair, and we learn that from birth on, or we think that the world revolves around us. And when we learn it doesn’t, it’s a huge disappointment. And you are obviously having a hard time dealing with that concept as an adult. I have always invited the entire class, but I am not upset if someone else does not. Why should they cancel their party just because they aren’t going to invite your son or you or anyone else?

Anonymous October 30, 2008, 12:15 PM

Just last week my son invited just a handful of fifth graders for a birthday slumber party. I wasn’t sure why he invited one of them since they were not really friends. But since they were in the same class, I didn’t question it. Well this kid was obnoxious, picking on everyone, destroying my house, being rude to me and my family, leaving mess everywhere, not to mention, he trashed my sons bedroom and kept all the kids up until way past 3 a.m.
I said NEVER again will I invite kids that I’m not familiar with.
The next day when I asked him why he invited this kid, he said it was only because he felt pressured by the boy who kept insisting he invite him. It absolutely ruined the party.
So I don’t care what grade a kid is in, it’s my house, my rules, my family party, my decision.

Tracy October 30, 2008, 1:56 PM

Have you ever thought that the kid might not like your kid? If his attitude is anything like yours I wouldn’t want to invite him either.

Michelle October 30, 2008, 3:46 PM

We don’t invite any kids from her class. We have a party at home for family or close friends and then I brings cupcakes and juice for the kids at school on her bday. I kmow all schools don’t allow cupcakes to be brought but if thats the case bring in muffins or something like that. Some of my coolest memories were the in school parties we had.

Karen October 30, 2008, 4:54 PM

My kids are grown up, but I remember this problem. I don’t think parties HAVE to be expensive. I bet you could make 24 cupcakes for less than $2.00. Buy some snacks and drinks and that’s plenty. Have a few games, then send everyone home. Have the party for an hour tops. Invite everyone (I don’t think I ever had everyone show up—about half at most).

Shawna October 30, 2008, 5:25 PM

I’m confused. Who was crushed? You or your kid? Life is not made up of a bunch of birthday parties.
Host a study party! Host a yard raking party! Do something else rather than focusing on why YOU OR YOUR CHILD was not invited to whatever.

renee October 30, 2008, 10:04 PM

stop acting like a second grader and get over yourself.not everyone wants 25 kids at their house/party.

Chris October 31, 2008, 2:07 AM

Who needs birthday parties? I mean’s not like kids dont get enough gratification or social interaction as it is.

Karen October 31, 2008, 3:16 PM

When I was in second grade, I was the only girl invited to a boy’s birthday party, and my mom still teases me about it sometimes. But it made sense because Vinny was my friend. Good for Vinny for inviting the people he wanted to be there, even at the tender age of 8. Screw this Caleb kid and the brat who boasted about being invited — why go to a party where you’re not really wanted? It’s much better to know who your friends are and spend your time with them.

We had to give valentines to everyone in class, but that is super-cheap and easy, and kids still could write nasty stuff if they wanted to. As so many of these posters have said, kids have to learn to deal, and second grade is not too early at all.

kelli November 1, 2008, 1:46 PM

I don’t think 8 is too young to learn that life is not fair. My daughter is 6 and I never miss and opportunity to let her learn that life is not fair. I will not have her growing up a spoiled child who thinks the world revolves around her so that she is a mother sulking when her child is not invited to a birthday party. There have been parties she has not been invited to either because she is not extremely close with the child or because they are getting to that age where some parties are becoming “boy only” or “girl only.” It is easier to teach them now that being not invited to one party is not the end of the world - that there will be many more like it in the future, you can still be friends.

Shelley  November 3, 2008, 9:47 AM

My son was not invited to a few birthday parties, yes he was a little saddened but me made up a new rule. If there is a party that he doesn’t get invited to, we go and spend that day together doing something special. We’ve gone to the theatre, the arcade, skate park, even a simple trip to McDonalds was enough to ease the pain. Now my son doesn’t get upset if he isn’t invited to every party, he even looks forward to are “UN-PARTY DAYS” together.

pamela November 3, 2008, 3:04 PM

Wow if you continue to overprotect your child like this he is going to be a whiny little momma’s boy, and this is going to cause him a lot worse problems than being left out of a party, bullies will come from miles around to pick on him, you need to toughen up now, or this kid and you are going to be in for a world of hurt. He is only in the second grade and you are already fighting his battles, could be the reason he wasn’t invited to the party in the first place no one wants to play with a sissy. Get a grip.

MidwesternMom November 3, 2008, 5:25 PM


I can understand the many factors to giving your child a party…and when one considers not to invite another child due to a bully situation, this is understandable. Not every child can be invited if the class is large also. But, what we experienced was a Mom (a reg. volunteer/substitute teacher at my child’s school) using the school bus to re-route min. of 5 children to the house for the birthday party, in addition all those children on the same route with my child getting off the bus right in front of my child (a couple doors down) for the party which he was not invited…one other child was excluded and not on the bus. My child experienced anxiety for two weeks and the teacher found him clingy and annoying so she separated my child’s desk from other students further adding insult to injury. These are young children who shouldn’t have to deal with rejection like this before they can understand politics. I finally met with the teacher and told her and it made more sense to her and her suggestion was nxt yr to pick my child up at school, take my child to Dairy Queen on that day: But, the damage is done. And I want to make sure that next yr this bus thing does not happen again - policies should be in place folks! Moms,invite whom you want to your parties, but don’t use my tax dollars to facilitate the party at my child’s expense!! I would like to hear what other parents would do in this situation! This mom knew what she was doing before she did it! Folks, excluding children in this way is beyond my moral understanding. Parties should be discreet…on the weekends if exclusions are necessary…and this is part of life also to learn too. Where is some accountability people??

Janelle November 4, 2008, 11:34 AM

I find it interesting that in one week there were 2 completely opposite situations about the same issue. One mom invited everyone and only a few showed up. Another was upset because everyone was not invited. I have seen both in my time as a mom and now a grandma. My experience leads me to make the following observations: in all likelihood if you invite the whole class many will not come due to other commitments or feeling they can’t come without a gift and they can’t afford one. However, if you are going to insist on using the school to give out invitations for your convenience it is unfair to make a production of only inviting certain people and the school will probably not go along with this - they don’t want to be involved in your personal preferences, and they should not be. On my opinion you should invite who you want, but do it yourself. Get in contact with the parents of your child’s friends by dropping off invitations in person one afternoon, or mail invitations to those close friends. In all likelihood these are the people you are most likely to know how to get in touch with. If not, it is a good time to get to know the families of your child’s closest friends. They will also be the most likely to respond and attend if able. This is also a good time to reinforce teaching your child tact and good manners. They should not be bragging about their party to those they are not friendly with or those your could not afford to invite. In my opinion it also would not be wrong to mention to the other parents that you were able to have a party with your child’s closest friends and that you don’t want anyone else to receive hurt feelings due to not being invited. I would have no trouble reminding my child that it would not be nice to brag to others that “I was invited but you weren’t” Bottom line - take responsibility for delivering your own invitations and don’t expect to stick the school with it. Also, take every opportunity to teach your child good manners and to respect the feeling of others. They need to be taught to treat others with the kindness they want to be treated with. This might seem “old-fashioned” to some people, but I prefer to think that good manners never go out of style.

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