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About school birthday parties?

(175 Posts)
UnexpectedStepmum Wed 18-Sep-13 21:23:24

DD1 has just started school, and got her first birthday party invitation where the whole class is invited. DH and I have discussed this and agreed we want to limit the amount of party invitations we accept, for a range of reasons. We don't want to spend nearly every weekend going to a party as it eats into family time and stops them being special; there is always lots of rubbish food involved as well all the tat that comes back in party bags; and we don't want to get into competitive party giving (I have already heard one playground conversation about hiring venues, entertainers etc).

DH now thinks we should decline all school party invitations, and say that we don't do parties as we go away a lot. We will have a party for our DDs' birthdays which are around the same time, and invite DD1's good friends from nursery etc., plus anyone from school she seems particularly friendly with by then. Her school is a little way away from home and she didn't know anyone when she started there. I am concerned about whether this means she will miss out socially at school, and wonder if we should accept at least this one invitation and add this child to those who come to DD's party. DH suggested asking Mumsnetters for views - do you think we ABU to cut out all school birthday parties at least for this year? (We will still go to ones for friends she has known longer and is close to). Will she be missing out?

Chocotrekkie Wed 18-Sep-13 21:28:29

Does your child understand this - aged 4 or 5 mine were always coming out of school talking about xx birthday or xx was having a party.

There was a little girl in my dds class who wasn't allowed to go to parties for religious reasons - she used to get so upset. She is now home schooled and I believe this was one of the reasons behind it.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 18-Sep-13 21:29:14

Yes it seems like a bad idea to decline all parties. It will soon become known that she doesn't go to parties and nobody might want to come to hers! Also when the kids back at school talk about these parties won't she feel left out? Surely you can allow her to go to a few and not every single one but keeping her away from all sounds quite harsh. She needs to bond and interact with her school friends outside of school.

Nishky England Wed 18-Sep-13 21:30:07

I think she will be missing out, yes.

Yep, that'll really settle her into school well. Children love parties. I detest them but it's not about you, it's about her.

Good luck explaining it all to her when she realises that she's missing out for no good reason.

jellymaker Wed 18-Sep-13 21:31:28

I think you are being very presumptions about the number and type of parties that happen. My daughter has had only a smattering of invites in any given year. Yes there are some parents that do the whole class thing but they are not the norm in my school and most parents probably think they are mad because whole class parties are very hard work. You need to chill a bit and stop over egging a problem that doesn't exist. Accept the invite with good grace and be grateful. There might not be another invite all year.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 18-Sep-13 21:32:10

There's always lots of talk at school in the lead up to, and following parties. If your dd is able to understand why she's not going and is content with that go ahead, if not you may find you have a very unhappy little girl.

Why not just accept them if you've not already got plans? No-one's ever suggested that plans should be cancelled or changed for a party unless it is for one of ds's best friends.

treadheavily Wed 18-Sep-13 21:33:42

You ningnong. If you make it known you don't do parties, she will of course be marked out as different. And they won't go to her party.
Just politely decline one by one, and accept the ones for her good friends.

spookyskeleton Cote D'Ivoire Wed 18-Sep-13 21:34:15

Very harsh imo. She will be missing out by not being allowed to go. Kids love parties so why would you want to deprive her of fun??

They are generalky only 2 hours so I can't see how it would be drastically eating into family time also I am sure not every party will be a class party as not everyone will want/be able to afford it.

I think parties are a good way for the children to socialise and also for the parents to get to know one another. It would be a bit mean for you to turn down all party invitations for no good reason.

Lexiesinclair Wed 18-Sep-13 21:35:43

I think YABU. Children's parties can be a pain but they are an important part of their social development and I think reception class is a crucial time in terms of making friends.

You don't have to go to all of them, but for your DD's sake I would take her to at least some of them, especially if you plan on hosting your own for her later on.

UnexpectedStepmum Wed 18-Sep-13 21:36:17

The current invitation is to the whole class so yes I've heard several of them talking about it already. If we limited it rather than said none at all, and gave excuses rather than saying we don't go to any, would that be better? (We're seeing family that weekend).

p,s, both dd and ds only end up with a handful of parties to go and certainly dont have one every weekend

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Wed 18-Sep-13 21:36:41

I would suck it up and let her go. DS1 really found it helpful for making friends - and it allowed me to suss out the other mums and the kids, too.

Littlefish Wed 18-Sep-13 21:37:02

You will probably find that there are several parties in the Reception year, but that by Year 1, parties either divide on gender lines, or into smaller groups so there are far fewer. I think you should accept the invitations for this first year unless you have something else planned.

if you already have plans then decline the invitation but dont make it your mindset to decline every invitation or she will never get invited to any of them and will miss out.

UnexpectedStepmum Wed 18-Sep-13 21:38:15

Ningnong?? Ok, maybe.

Yama Netherlands Wed 18-Sep-13 21:38:59

I have found that many pupils in dd's class do not have parties. Others have only boys or only girls or only a small number of invitees.

I wouldn't be surprised if your dd only receives a few invitations now that she is in school.

Let her go.

PatriciaHolm Wed 18-Sep-13 21:39:09

By no means everyone will do all class parties. It might be this she only gets invited to a handful. Definitely accept this one, especially so early in the year, they will all be talking about it in the playground!

BrianTheMole Wed 18-Sep-13 21:39:29

Bad idea. Parties help the children bond outside of school and it gives you a chance to meet the other parents as well. Your dd will notice, even at 4, parties get talked about at school. And she'll wonder why she is being left out.

Lexiesinclair Wed 18-Sep-13 21:39:54

Why decide in advance how many you will go to? Why not just play by ear and go to the ones you can/your DD particularly wants to?

Like others have said, there might not been that many invitations anyway.

Meglet England Wed 18-Sep-13 21:40:35

IME reception year can be a party-fest. But it calms down the following year once they've established little friendship groups.

Those children, and parents, will be part of your lives for almost 7 years so IMO it is helpful to get to know them a bit.

I think she will be missing out, but maybe as she's only 4 or 5 she won't care too much.

However in 2 or 3 years time, when people have given up inviting her or know not to even bother, and she does understand and is left out of all the talk of parties how are you going to explain isolating her? In a few years, even a years time, will she be that close to her nursery friends or will new friendships have formed and she will want to invite those children to her party?

I think it's a bit rich to say oh DD doesn't do parties except her own and we expect you all to come along to that (an all that's involved with taking your child to a party).

I think you are considerably over-estimating how many invites she will receive and tbh being a bit selfish.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Wed 18-Sep-13 21:41:53

I dont understand any of your reasoning for not letting her go tbh. It is part of growing up and a chance to mix with other children outside of school.

Your dd will feel so left out when everyone is at school discussing the party that she was not allowed to go to.

What will you say to your dd about why she cant go?

WipsGlitter Wed 18-Sep-13 21:44:55

You won't spend every weekend going to parties,
They only last a few hours so plenty of time to do other family stuff.
Rubbish food and tat - seriously? You sound no fun at all, and very worthy and snooty.
Don't be "competitive", just have the party you want and let others do the same.

You say she has 'good friends' from nursery, you now need to move on and let her have 'good friends' from school as well.

I think she will miss out. I think your reasons for not wanting her to go are very strange.

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