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My Friend Dissed My Kid!

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Am I overreacting? The Friendship Court weighs in.

sad young boy

Carol from Texas writes: My friend Janice shocked me. She had a party for her son Derek's birthday last week, and didn't invite my son Ethan. Most of us aren't having parties for our kids at 10. Ethan got a trampoline in the backyard and had two friends sleep over. But Derek had 10 kids at the kids' favorite local restaurant for dinner. Ethan is on his soccer team and is in his religious school carpool. Often, Derek comes to my house after school because Janice won't be home in time, so he just leaves for religious school from here.

Derek probably said he didn't want to invite him (I know Ethan wouldn't want to invite Derek either), and Janice probably said that was okay. I just don't agree, and would never let Ethan (at this age) leave someone out. So now everyone's talking about the party in the carpool, and Ethan wasn't invited. The good news is that he doesn't care, but it's annoying me because we (Janice and I) have had conversations about this very thing!

Am I overreacting?

Leslie Adler: I can see from your title you think your friend dissed your kid. I would just ask you, did your friend diss you or your kid ... or both? And because this is such a good topic for The Friendship Court, I say I abstain from ruling and let momlogic's readers weigh in. So tell us, what do you think?

next: Feedback: Wild Thinged
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen October 25, 2009, 3:42 AM

Ok, so I’m confused. Didn’t Ethan’s mom say in the report that her son had 2 friends sleepover, well that sounds like a party to me…..was her friend’s son one of those boys who slept over, NO it wasn’t. So please quit your whining about your friend dissing someone when you did the same freaking thing. Oh I get it, because your son ONLY had 2 people over as opposed to 10 it doesn’t count, right? Good grief lady. My children have a limited number of children they are allowed to invite to there party and just because I’m friends with the mom(especially at 10) I’m not going to REQUIRE my children to invite them.

andrea October 25, 2009, 5:17 AM

yes you are overreacting. If the children aren’t even good friends then no he should not be forced to invite anyone to his party. Isn’t it HIS birthday?

Lyssa Jordan October 25, 2009, 9:40 AM

The writer made it clear that the children are fine with the situation. Her son doesn’t care he wasn’t invited and she knows the other child wouldn’t want her son there and vise-versa. She is over-reacting and needs to let it go. It’s not worth her health to stress over. If it bothers her that much, she should casually talk to her friend about how she feels and leave the children out of it. After all, at 10 the boy has a right to choose whom to invite. My 4 and 6 year olds get to choose.

nicole barr October 25, 2009, 10:08 AM

was it the kids choice who he chose to invite to the party? If so being angry with the mother isnt doing any good. I can remember times when I wasnt invited to birthday party when I was younger but I got over it unless the kid that had the party starts teasing your son about not being invited or the mother says something nasty about it then I would just let it go plus you said your son really doesnt care so if it doesnt bother him dont let it bother you kids will be kids

Caroline October 25, 2009, 10:34 AM

This is ridiculous. 10-year-olds are certainly old enough to choose the ten people they want at their party. It’s not like she invited the entire class, except for this woman’s son. The kids aren’t even friends! I don’t even know what to say. This is just petty and stupid.

Monica October 25, 2009, 12:41 PM

Yes, you are overreacting. It just seems to me that you feel more dissed than your kid does. If the two boys aren’t really friends then it doesn’t matter. A parent can’t make their child be friends with who they want them to be friends with. From the look of it the two of them aren’t friends. How would you feel if your mom tried to make you invite someone that you either didn’t like or aren’t friends with. The point is, let your child choose his own friends and let your friends child choose his own friends. Just because you and his mother are BFF’s doesn’t mean that they have to be too.

Emily October 25, 2009, 3:57 PM

Yup, an over-reaction. If your kid is ok with it, and wouldn’t want to be invited, then don’t stress.. It’s not like YOU would have been interested in going to a 10 year old party are you? at 10 years old then the boy was the one to decide on the guest list, not the mom anyway. If the boys mom was the one to decide on the guest list then she needs to loosen up on the apron strings some. lol. This is not an issue for your son, so it shouldn’t be an issue for you. :)

Elise October 25, 2009, 6:13 PM

I think that if it was a huge group and everyone else was invited then noone should have been left out.It’s not the same when you invite only two, and there was no indication that the two were from the carpool. What kind of message does it send that you are allowed to be cruel to one child, because that is what it was. And just because Ethan says he doesn’t care doesn’t indicate he means it. People protect themselves from cruelty even children. The mother of the birthday boy failed as a parent in teaching manners, and compassion. That a ten year old can decide who they want at a party doesn’t mean you are not supposed to be there as a parent to teach them when they are wrong. Maybe since they are ten we should also just let them decide when is bedtime, what to eat, whether to go the doctor or see a dentist and whether they should go to school or not as well. Heck, they can make all kinds of decisions for themselves and we don’t have to teach them anything, I mean they are all of ten and know everything. BTW this exact same situation happened to a friend of mine. The offending mother said that the children weren’t really friends anyway. The next day after the party the mother called my friend to get ready for a carpool. My friend told her they only carpool with friends so she waon her own.I say good for her. If it was me I would tell Dereck’s mom to carpool herself among other things.

Jen October 25, 2009, 11:16 PM

Elise, you said it more eloquently then I would.
To the moms that think she is overreacting, how would you feel if someone had a birthday party and invited everyone in their class except your child?

angela October 27, 2009, 4:30 PM

I think it’s time to let it go. Your feelings may have been hurt at first, but if your son is not angry or hurt you need to drop it. THis is a good opportunity to show him how NOT to hold a grudge. In the grand scheme of things, will this really make a dent in your child’s life?

mercaties October 29, 2009, 12:17 AM

Is he suppose to invite everyone? Now if they were best friends and together constantly you might want to find out if the other kid is upset about something your son did? But it sounds like they aren’t even that good of friends. As far the friends mom goes if you two were really that great of friends she would have made sure your son was included. I think you are putting more value on these friendships than what is actually there. Sorry.

Crystal October 29, 2009, 2:21 PM

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, if this is the same group of kids in the car pool - then everyone should have been invited, therefore no on left out. However, I do not believe in forced friendships or parents forcing them. My suggestion is let it be….but maybe re-think the car pool thing (if you can).

Lin October 30, 2009, 9:11 AM

I kinda get why you would be upset. You might feel like Janice thinks that its okay for Ethan to give up his personal time with you for Derek, for Derek to take up a spot in your car, but Ethan’s not worthy to be given an invite to Derek’s party.

Try this on and see if this sounds more accurate: Its okay for you to house and drive Derek but she can’t extend an invite to your son as a favor to you. (Heck, if they don’t get along as well as you seem to imply, Ethan might have said he didn’t want to go, and all she would be out is some time to be considerate, ink, a piece of paper and maybe some postage.) You may feel like your friendship is being abused, like she’s friends with you so Derek has a place to go after school and a ride to religious school. If this seems to be the case, talk to her again in those terms, reminding her she needs to do some giving to make this friendship work.

In regards to Ethan and Derek, why do they not get along? Is one mean/bossy to the other, or is it just a personality/interest conflict? If its the former, correct it, even if one of them gets upset (your house, your rules), and if Janise gets upset, remind her she placed him in loco parentis (“in place of the parent”, like when she drops him off at school, she gave you the right to act with her authority - telling a kid that s/he can’t do x, y, or z in my home is not against the law, and in fact she gave you permission to do just that). If the situation seems to be more of a personality conflict, talk to Ethan about how to deal with it, that no one gets along fabulously with every single person.

Anonymous October 30, 2009, 9:30 AM

Elise and Jen, I think its an over reaction because it was NOT the entire class invited, it was 10 kids. Lets give this lady the benefit of doubt here, suppose she had to limit to 10 for financial/logistical reasons(space, transportation, restaurant reservations, cost). She obviously would want the 10 most compatible kids. The mom in this inquiry said it best when she stated “Derek probably said he didn’t want to invite him (I know Ethan wouldn’t want to invite Derek either)”
If her son and this boy are not compatible whats the issue exactly? The carpool is irrelevant, as that is a functional service ppl partake in.. just like say coworkers commuting in the tri-state area may share a 30-45 min drive in the mornings to help save on gas and tolls but wouldnt really get together for outings outside of work..

my take: build a bridge mommies.. this is not life scarring issues here

patti November 8, 2009, 6:00 AM

While it may be annoying for you that your friend did not invite your kid, she did your kid a favor…NOTHING is more damaging to a child than being unwanted.
At least at your home, your son still feels wanted, he certainly would NOT at Derek’s. Ethan would have herd whispers such as ” I KNOW..but Mom said I HAD to invite him!” He would have felt left out of the inner circle.

AS November 9, 2009, 8:57 PM

This would all depend on how close the two adult friends are. Maybe a “heads up” on Derek not inviting Ethan would have been appreciated?. Like one mom said, no matter how close adults are, it doesn’t mean that we can push our children to be buddies. If it doesn’t bother your son, then you must drop it, and not make a bigger issue of the situation. It’s hard to remember sometimes that we still have that “girl” inside of us that gets feelings hurt, when it doesn’t even bother the “boys” :)

Elise November 24, 2009, 6:02 AM

To Anonymous-
Unfortunately you are very wrong in your calculations as to how a child feels and what is a residual issue. Having had children who were marginalized and bullied at school by those who were supposed to be their friends you can bet there are life long issues and effects involved. Carpooling is a major social outlet for our children and it has as many consequences as time on the playground, interactions in the cafeteria and who gets left out or attacked at dodgeball.
To invite everyone but one child is cruel, bullying, and shows a level of self-centered garbage so rampant in this generation. Not only would I not consider that woman a friend I would let her carpool on her own and take care of mine own child.

The sad thing about most of these posts is that it really shows that these moms do not get it. It is not a wonder that bullying is still a major problem in schools nationwide.

Deb November 24, 2009, 9:11 AM

I think it would actually be worse for Ethan to be invited to a party where he wasn’t really wanted. My son Devin was recently in this situation. He was invited (by his friend Anthony’s grandmother) to a sleepover. While Devin is good friends with Anthony, Anthony is a year older in school and a couple of Anthony’s friends from school were also invited.

At the sleepover, Devin was actively excluded by the older boys, and Anthony ended up saying, “I never invited him (Devin).” Now we’re hearing that the older kids are gossiping about Devin in school and his feelings are really hurt, and his friendship with Anthony is comporomised.

The bottom line is that, while it seems nice to invite everyone, it really doesn’t help a child to be invited to a party where the other kids (for whatever reason) don’t want him or her there.

amanda November 24, 2009, 1:06 PM

communication, communication, communication. if these kids carpool everyday it would have been great if the parents discussed the event prior to hurt feelings. something like, “ethan is having his party on friday- he only invited 10 boys from class- I want to make sure you guys feel ok about this”…etc. we can model for our kids how to treat each other respectfully in our communities…if you are carpooling together, you as a parent have the responsibility to make sure all kids in the car pool are feeling emotionally safe and considered even if all the kids are not best friends.I am sure the boy felt sad about it on some lost level…:-(

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