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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
EMG March 21, 2009, 3:44 PM

First of all, no one said one has to invite every child in the class. The problem is when you deliberately leave one or two children out. That is not acceptable when you know that those children will find out despite your covert efforts to prevent it. If it requires being covert, it is WRONG. Why anyone would want to be a part of such a scenario is beyond me. I only know they are the horrible people who make bullying a part of life for young kids, as they themselves are bullies. They don’t have enough sense or humanity to teach kindness. You moms who say life isn’t fair are absolutely not getting the point and are obviously among the moms who think it is okay to treat others poorly. Of course life isn’t fair, but why do think it is necessary for 7 and 8 year-old children to find that out so early? Our children grow up fast and having them feel loved, safe and secure for as long as possible is not wrong. Unfortunately there are always those who care nothing for others, only for themselves. There are way too many of them!

fanceefree March 26, 2009, 11:43 PM

well, my 8 year old was not invited to his “best friend’s” birthday party, claiming he “forgot” him. I did not make a big deal about it when my son told me, but I could cry for him as he is clearly dissapointed. I understand that there are many reasons children are not invited, but in some instances, such as this one, it does seem cruel. It is not a matter of teaching children that life is not fair, but a matter of teaching them that we sometimes have the ability to make life a little more fair.

revised the truth April 26, 2009, 10:22 AM

I absolutely agree with ‘fanceefree’. In fact the same thing happened to my 7 year old. His best friend didn’t have him on the invite list. These kids play together, eat lunch together and have play dates. Only the play dates are usually at my house, because there is more things to do. However, back to the topic - my child didn’t look hurt at first until he said ‘that’s okay and he understands’. So what I told my child is that “I hope your best friend is so understanding as you are when he doesn’t get an invite to your birthday since your parents will be taking you to Virginia Beach to see the ocean for the first time.” I will tell all of you mom’s that hurt for your kids broken heart - life has a funny way of coming back around and biting you right in the behind. And that’s exactly what happens down the road of life. And I know that my son isn’t going to miss having a birthday party, because he was the one that made the choice of going to the beach or having another party, himself. In fact I really like the birthday trip better than the stressed out worry stuff that comes with all these parties. I’m sick and tired of playing the politically correct game and/or the bag of excuses that comes with these parties. And I agree that ‘life isn’t fair’ so there is no need to have an empty headed bubble head tell me different. However, those same parents that utter those words can’t for one second tell me that they don’t/wouldn’t feel the same if their kid was just dumped on. So don’t pan handle that stuff to all these other parents. They DO have the right to be upset, it’s their child that is hurting. OMG, what an insensitive thing to say, ‘life isn’t fair’. No duh….

All you parents have the right to be upset if your child is hurting and crying their eyes out. I do have a hint (suggestion) for all of you. Forget the parties, stress and dirty looks - go for the birthday trip. Some where your child would like to go or something they would like to do that is within reason. And you all get to relax. We are talking about the next birthday trip - a fossil dig - How cool is that!

Loran April 28, 2009, 10:59 AM

I love that idea about the birthday trip. It is less stressful to plan a vacation then a birthday party. I talked this over with my husband and he absolutely loves the idea. Our daughter is going to be 8 years old and is into wolves. I did some research and found out that there is a wolf reserve in Michigan on one of the islands. It’s where people can go and study and watch these animals in their natural environment. How cool is that!!! It’s safe for the people and these animals. So with parental approval, we talked to her about it and she LOVED IT. We gave her a choice to go see the wolves or have a regular birthday party. Guess what her choice was - HOWLLLLLING!!! Bye Bye birthday party this year and all the stress that comes with it. I spoke to my sister about it as well and she is on board. She is having a birthday party for her son and was up set when he came home crying because some kids are going around school telling other kids not to come to his party. When she spoke with the parents of these kids the response she received was shocking. Those parents told her that kids will be kids and if her son was liked by other kids in the class then he should still have a nice turn out. Can you believe that. So she tells me that my nephew is into NASCAR and next year they will be doing the ‘birthday trip’ and taking him to the track. Maybe these kids birthday parties aren’t really for the kids any more, but more so for the adults and how popular their kids can be. Maybe it really has nothing to do about the popularity of the kids themselves, but the parents popularity instead. HOW SAD!

Angry Mom May 14, 2009, 12:10 PM

Well here we go and another year of not returning a birthday invite for my son. I guess it’s the economy or invite every how many kids depends on the childs age - who knows any more. My son’s birthday is in the middle of summer and when those invitations go out every kids shows up. However, when it’s the other kids birthday - well my son never seems to make the cut. These other kids know my son and play at school with him and their parents seen to have no problem with dropping there kid over to my house for a play date with my son. SO WHAT GIVES!!! I volunteer down at my son’s school and have some kids coming up and asking me if my son will have another birthday party this summer and can they come. I just want to say back to them ‘well I don’t know - my son never received an invite to your birthday party after you have been to his twice.’ But I don’t say anything - I just smile and say well I don’t know if we will have one this year - we haven’t talked about it yet. I really like the lady that wrote about the ‘birthday trip’. I think that we will NOT have a birthday party with a lot of unappreciated children and their parents and just go on a trip of his choice and interest. I guess those parents will have to find something else to do with their kids during the summer instead of dropping them off at my house. My son loves fishing and has never seen the ocean, so my husband and I are taking him to Florida and do some deep sea fishing. OH YEAH!!!!

just a mom May 14, 2009, 1:12 PM

Do you remember the kids that gave you hard time in junior high? What do you think happened to them when they grew up? Became better and kind?
Nope. They became parents that enjoy the same things by teaching them to their kids and observing your misery.

And yes, it is too early for the 2nd grade to learn that ‘life is not fair’. However I explained my kid back in the kindergarden that mean kids grow up and become mean parents and teach their kids the art of being mean.

Ohio Grandma May 15, 2009, 1:25 AM

It hurts if you are the only one, or one of two or three in the same class not invited. Have some compassion, and if you can “afford” to have all but one or two kids (usually at 7 or 8 they invite only the same gender) be a good sport and invite the last one or two. A couple more slices of cake means smaller pieces for the others. You can buy a cake mix at a discount store quite inexpensively. The kids don’t need to go home with a favor that costs a lot. Get a craft book at the library and have them make something.
While you’re there get a book with appropriate games/activites.
I am a grandma and former elementary teacher, and speak from experience and caring about the feelings of little people.

no more mrs. nice guy May 20, 2009, 1:55 PM

I am in total agreement with ‘fanceefree’ - ‘revised the truth’ - ‘Loran’ - ‘Angry Mom’ - ‘just a mom’ and ‘Ohio Grandma’. The excuses that parents make about reciprocating invitations to birthday parties is not only pathetic, but lame. All the rules to keep their kids parties small, but they seem to have no problem sending their kid to as many parties for other children in the class or neighborhood. If you can not truly afford large parties then you better think about cutting down how many parties your kid goes to in a year. Or you might come off looking like a mooch. We were in the situation of poor finances and couldn’t afford a large birthday party. So I told my kids that they should really think about who is inviting them and would they be upset if they didn’t get an invitation back from them. I made my kids choose carefully about whose parties they responded to and for the most part they did a great job. They only picked the kids that they play with often and it all worked out for the best. The kids even had a good time. There were girls and boys at the party and not just an ‘all girl party’. Which in my opinion is just another parent excuse of keeping it cheap. I also kept the cost down by doing a lot of the baking myself. And instead of pop we went with a mixture of frozen concentrated juices. WOW - the kids loved it. I think that for the most part it’s the parents trying to out do each other with the ‘wow’ factor. If you don’t have enough time to make crafts there is always the dollar store or catalog companies. I used the Oriental Trading Company and bought so much for so little. I even made up a bean bag tossing game. Just buy cheap discontinued fabric and a bag of dried beans and sew the squares yourself. For the rings we just used hula hoops. Don’t leave kids out because you want to go cheap buy purchasing expensive decorations, cake from a bakery or shopping at expensive toy/sports stores before you do some checking around. After all - THESE PARTIES ARE FOR THE KIDS AND NOT PARENTS OUT DOING EACH OTHER.

Sadmom June 26, 2009, 9:16 AM

It’s heartbreaking. Get this one…my daughter has been friends with this set of twins for years. This year, they at school handing out invitations to a bunch of girls and not my daughter! She asks where her invite is and is told that she’s not invited! The worst part is that she still wants to play with these two girls! Kids are cruel, but does the mother have a heart? She knows they’re very close…play every day. There is no money issue. Makes me sick. I always make sure everyone is included.

Just a Mum August 11, 2009, 10:16 AM

Mums are Mums but also people. Some people are nice, some people are selfish sh*ts. It’s a rule for people, it’s a rule for Mums.

A hurt mom October 5, 2009, 7:57 PM

It happens to my 8 years old son just a few days ago when this boy invited almost the whole class except for a few including my son… I feel so bad when I see the hurt in my son’s eyes. It’s not about birthday party anymore, it’s about why he doesn’t like me….I used to invite my son’s whole class to his birthday party, after this incident, I learned that you don’t have to be nice to everyone. When someone hurt you like this, the way to get back is to not invite the same kid to my son’s birthday party this year.

Barbara Bethany March 2, 2010, 10:46 PM

Daniele is completely correct - you should do WHATEVER you have to do to get the money!

badmanners March 13, 2010, 11:08 AM

It is simply bad manners to not invite everyone in your child’s class when the children are very young, because the kids will talk. If you cannot afford to invite everyone — and really a party can be as expensive or as cheap as you want no matter how many you invite — have a family party. Blaming excluding others on the cost is unacceptable and sounds like a weak excuse. If the five extra cupcakes are going to send you into bankruptcy, you probably shouldn’t be having kids anyway.

Lisa March 30, 2010, 12:16 PM

It’s easy to say you can’t invite all of the children. But if your child was one of the kids who heard all about the party 7 wasn’t invited you may feel differently. Especially if your child is never or almost never invited. I definately say - invite the whole class - it’s excruciationg to be either the child or the parent of the child who doesn’t get invited. I know not everyone will do this - but if a few parents do invite all of the class - at least some kids who otherwise woulldn’t have been invited get to go!

jon divito April 3, 2010, 7:58 PM

I am a Dad of a child with pdd-nos. He is in first grade. He is a good kid but has some social issues. It really makes me angry that he doesn’t get invited to parties. We invite EVERY kid in class. It is rude and selfish of parents to not invite all children. It amazes me that parents can be so mean and heartless!

jon divito April 3, 2010, 7:59 PM

I am a Dad of a child with pdd-nos. He is in first grade. He is a good kid but has some social issues. It really makes me angry that he doesn’t get invited to parties. We invite EVERY kid in class. It is rude and selfish of parents to not invite all children. It amazes me that parents can be so mean and heartless!

mamanbleu April 19, 2010, 1:18 PM

It has been over a year since my 2nd grade son has been invited to ANY birthday party of classmates or other friends. His birthday parties range from 8-10 kids. The invites don’t seem to be reciprocated. He is starting to notice. What can I possibly do? This breaks my heart.

ABG May 11, 2010, 7:59 PM

simple solution if you cannot ” afford” to invite every child in your kids class to his/ her birthday party is to hold the party every other year!!!!!!!! I think it is insane to exclude young children. I do think though that by the time a child reaches the 4th or 5th grade it should be the time for them to learn how to deal with a little rejection…..

Jennifer E. May 25, 2010, 11:34 AM

I totally blame the mindless parents on this issue. When my child was in first and second grade the birthday parties (of who gets an invitation and who doesn’t) were used as a tool by kids to try and control or hurt the feelings of other kids. Check this situation out - ‘My child gets an invitation to attend a fellow classmates birthday party. Part of the treat given out to all the kids was a T-shirt that said, “I was invited to (b-day kids name) birthday party!” The next day at school the kids that went to that party were to wear that shirt. I told my child that you will not wear that shirt to school, because it is not right nor is it nice to brag to the kids that didn’t get an invitation to the party. Can you believe that? I thought the parent went a little to far. There were a lot of moms angry at the fact that their children saw the shirt and realized that they didn’t get an invite. So those moms had to deal with a crying kid. We now use the shirt to check the oil in our cars.

Here is something else that we noticed, was the ridiculous “all girl parties”. Yet, I see those same girls getting upset when they don’t get invited or reciprocated back to a boys birthday party. We sent the girls a strong message one year. My son invited every boy from 3 second grade classes to a ‘stag’ winter party. There was sledding, ice skating, fort building, snowball fights and plenty of popcorn and hot chocolate to go around. And then we had a bond fire. It was the talk in the school for a couple of weeks. I even had girls asking me ‘Why weren’t they invited?’ I just simply told them that my son had the right to have his all boy party just like ‘you girls’ and your all girl party. You can see the light bulb going on in their heads. My point is, shouldn’t the parents have explain this to their little princesses that excluding the boys from your b-day party could and would get you uninvited to theirs? Or how about this old saying, “What comes around goes around?!”

Cass June 5, 2010, 9:02 PM

Some of us can’t afford 20 to 30 children at a party.

Sorry your son missed out, they’ll be plenty of other parties he’ll get invited to I’m sure.

I doubt my kids will be friends with the whole class anyway, 5 friends and that’s it. Plus they have cousins as well.

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