Party dilemma

(19 Posts)
dowhatnow Fri 15-Apr-16 09:46:27

DS aged 14 has been invited to a party. We have had lots of discussions about this boy who desperately wants to be my sons (and others) friend. My son is kind to him and feels sorry for him as he's always bringing in sweets to share in order to buy friends, but my son doesn't really want to hang out with him.

Last night he came to me and said he'd been invited to this childs party. He doesn't want to go but feels guilty because he doesn't think others will want to go either. My instant reaction was "Ah poor child" - Ds feels sorry for him too and I didn't help matters by also feeling sorry for him and making him feel guiltier for not wanting to go..

I said to do what he wanted. He shouldn't feel responsible for the kid as long as he was generally nice to him at school. He agreed but said "What if nobody goes?"

On the other hand, it's not fair for this childs parents to spend money on an expensive activity, albeit probably in order to facilitate their struggling childs friendship, when it wont actually help their friendship if my DS goes out of obligation.

AIBU in saying what i did?

PPie10 Fri 15-Apr-16 09:50:22

I think your son sound so thoughtful and kind. I would encourage him to go even though he shouldn't feel responsible for the other boy. It's just a kind thing to do.

AdrenalineFudge Fri 15-Apr-16 09:50:51

At 14 years of age I'd leave him to make up his own mind.

Has your son told you why this other boy is so unpopular?

OurBlanche Fri 15-Apr-16 09:53:08

Nope, not at all.

It is a life lesson many people need to learn: the balance between being able to make someone feel good about themselves : not doing so at too high a cost to yourself.

Your DS seems to have shouldered some responsibility for the other boy, not a bad thing in and of itself, but, if your DS is too much a people pleaser, a fixer, then he may tie himself in knots trying to please everybody.

As an ex pleaser/fixer I am biased, it took me years to extricate myself from my feelings of self loathing if I did not leap in and protect A N Other!

HereIAm20 Fri 15-Apr-16 10:17:05

If he is not going as long as he rsvps to say so then there is nothing wrong in going. However if he says he will go and then just doesn't turn up then that would not be very nice.

We had the same recently but spoke to a couple of other mums and we suggested that the boys all go together. they did and they actually had a good time. Is there another of DS's friends who would be nice enough to go with him?

Laidupwithabrokenleg Fri 15-Apr-16 11:57:36

Your son sounds lovely smile

Itsmine Fri 15-Apr-16 12:01:34

It's a party not a subscription to be his friend for life.

Yes he sounds thoughtful and no I don't encourage people pleasing behaviour but on this on occasion I can't see what harm can come from going to the poor kids party. <unless there's antisocial, bullying behaviour not yet mentioned>

KoalaDownUnder Fri 15-Apr-16 12:05:12

I think your son has good instincts.

Unless the kid is actively nasty, of course it's nice to go and celebrate his birthday with him.

jay55 Fri 15-Apr-16 12:09:58

If it's cinema/pizza type event it wouldn't be much effort to go, if it's more than that just say no. 14 is more than old enough to choose your friends and social life.

FauxFox Fri 15-Apr-16 12:12:12

Gosh that is a difficult one - your son sounds like a sweetheart.

If he knows the other people who are invited he could maybe talk to them and see if they will all agree to all go? After all it's a fun activity that is all paid for so not exactly a hardship and it would make the birthday child very happy.

I appreciate that at 14 going could be social suicide and frankly i'm surprised the parents are taking this tack at 14 years old.

My son has ASD and I always worry this might happen to him but he is extremely lucky to have a gorgeous and very sociable twin sister so their joint birthday invites always get a full house of acceptances. They are 11 and I realise this may not always be the case and I would hate to put kind kids like your DS in an awkward situation like this.

HowBadIsThisPlease Fri 15-Apr-16 12:55:12

"it's a party not a subscription to be his friend for life."

yes, this. It's one thing struggling socially generally, and another thing to have no one who will show up to to do something which is fun and expensive (and your parents are paying!) on your birthday. Just one person to go with on one day is a nice thing to do. I admire your son for thinking of it.

It doesn't solve all the boy's problems, but who said it would?

99percentchocolate Fri 15-Apr-16 13:05:36

What a lovely boy your son is, very thoughtful of him and you must be so proud.
I would let him make up his own mind but as Howbad said, it's different to have nobody who would even show up to an activity your parents are paying for.

TheVeganVagina Fri 15-Apr-16 13:13:54

Your son sounds very kind and i would be very proud of him. The world needs more kindness and i would nurture it.

Sweetandsour93 Fri 15-Apr-16 13:16:31

Obviously it's up to your son but you never know, he might end up having a really nice time.

dowhatnow Fri 15-Apr-16 16:14:42

I am proud of DS. Thanks smile It's just a shame for the boy and his parents who are obviously trying to help him.

I've just asked him if he's decided what he is doing yet. He says he thinks a couple of his mates have also been invited so he's happy to go if they do. He said he might invite one of them round beforehand so they can go together.

I don't encourage people pleasing behaviour but on this on occasion I can't see what harm can come from going to the poor kids party.
I think that was what I was worried about because I often feel sorry for DS tie himself up in knots feeling guilty as a matter of course either.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 15-Apr-16 16:20:31

He sounds like a lovely boy. I'd encourage him to be kind but not be 'hyper responsible'. And it's great that you're both aware of it now rather than as and when he starts dating.

dowhatnow Fri 15-Apr-16 16:21:26

Don't know what happened there

I often feel sorry for people then feel guilty if I can't/won't help. I don't want DS to tie himself up in knots feeling guilty as a matter of course either.

herecomethepotatoes Fri 15-Apr-16 16:57:01

Your son should go and should be encouraged by you. I suspect it will make a big difference to this other child.

If you're lucky enough to be invited, you should suck it up and go. The same goes for adulthood (it will serve your son a useful lesson) as I have a busy but shitty weekend ahead, networking with people who whilst aren't unpleasant, aren't people I'd ever chose to spend time with if based purely on enjoyment.

PoodlesOfFun Fri 15-Apr-16 17:03:48

You shouldn't make him, but if he chooses to go... I think that's really sweet. You made a goodun dowhatnow

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