To not want to invite this boy to my son's party?

(113 Posts)
ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:32:37

Mumsnet regular; name changed after a long break.

This is such a worry for me, I'm desperate to not do the wrong thing.

My son's 3rd birthday is a couple of weeks away, and I'm looking at sending the invites shortly. He goes to nursery and I'm inviting a couple of children from there, as well as some family children and some friends from baby groups we've kept in touch with; so a mixed group.

At nursery, there is a little boy whose mum I'm really friendly with and we get on well. However, over the past year it's become more apparent that the friendship between our sons is a little one sided. This other boy pushed my son around a bit; we had a couple of minor incidents. DS would come home and say 'X pushed me today' or 'X scratched me today' about once a week at one point. I raised it with the nursery, and they kept a closer eye on the situation and it subsided a bit. A few weeks later; DS came home with bruises and marks on his face. It turned out that this other boy had pushed him to the ground, and held him down whilst he bit and scratched his face. It was quite nasty and there was a puncture style wound under DS' eye from the other boys' teeth, which bruised and swelled sad

The situation was dealt with well by the nursery, although I was quite upset.

Now, we were invited to this boy's party a few weeks later. We did go (like I said; I'm friendly with the mum and didn't want to let her down), but her son still hit mine over the head with a toy repeatedly until I grabbed my boy away and we left shortly after.

I have cooled the friendship a little, if I'm honest. My son ends up getting hit by this other boy every time we meet, it seems.

Can I get away with not inviting this boy to my son's party? I don't want to come across as nasty! But it's my son's party, and DH is adamant that this other boy isn't coming and we need to protect our son from another child who has a tendency to bully other kids.

But how can I deal with this sensitively? What happens if the boy's mum asks me why her son isn't invited?

thanks in advance smile

HeySoulSister Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:14

He isn't a bully! he's 3!!

TheBuskersDog Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:29

If you are only asking a couple of children from nursery just ask your son who he wants, if she asks tell her he only had a couple of friends from nursery and that was who he chose.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 05-Sep-13 21:37:53

If you understand that his mother probably wont carry on the friendship i wouldnt invite him.If your kids arent friends will you still be or is it just because of the kids?

Nanny0gg Thu 05-Sep-13 21:39:50

You say the nursery dealt with the situation well. But how? Is the boy's mother aware of what he has done to your DS? How does she deal with him when he hits? Is it only your son that he hits?

(Sorry for the list of questions!)

CharityFunDay Thu 05-Sep-13 21:41:05

But how can I deal with this sensitively? What happens if the boy's mum asks me why her son isn't invited?

Tell her the truth -- her son attacks yours, and this is not acceptable.

Have you asked your son whether he wants this other kid at his party? I'd be guided by his answer to be honest.

Disclaimer: I am not a parent.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:41:55

limited that's the problem. I really, really like the mum as a person. I think she's nice, and I don't want to upset her.

It feels like my son is being bullied, actually. Perhaps it isn't the right thing to call it. But when my little boy came home with bite marks on his face and scratches on his head and neck, it sure felt like it.

lunar1 Thu 05-Sep-13 21:42:40

I don't think the nursery did handle it well, how long did it take to get him off your son with all those injuries. You have to put your ds before your friend on this one.

Crowler Thu 05-Sep-13 21:43:24

Not to fob off your concerns, I understand where you're coming from, but I think a lot of three year olds bang toys on other kids' heads.

I think if you want to maintain this friendship, you might want to reconsider. Who you invite to a three year old's party really comes down to more who you want there than who your kid does - as far as they're concerned, today's enemy is tomorrow's friend.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 05-Sep-13 21:43:46

Well unless you talk to her about his birthday actually,why will you have to approach it?you font actually have to explain why unless she asks.If she asks just say he could pick two more kids and he said the two he wants etc.You cant make kids like each other.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 05-Sep-13 21:43:52

I wouldn't invite him. It's not as if you're inviting everyone from nursery except for him.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:45:53

Nanny the parents are informed of issues like this; like we were informed of the biting/scratching etc, the other parents are informed to keep a track on behaviour and potential issues etc. They had a big talk on acceptable behaviour, and the other little boy was monitored by an extra key worker and he graduated to the next room up a few weeks later anyway. So perhaps he was bored. Maybe that's why he attacked. I'm not sure. Since he has moved rooms, there have been no more incidents.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 05-Sep-13 21:46:37

Well how about you meet the mum for a coffee or something but not at your childs party?If you think theres a risk that this child is seeing your child and thinking its acceptable to hurt him then act accordingly.Do they ever play nicely together?could they play nicely just in a pair?

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 05-Sep-13 21:46:39

I presume you have mentioned it to your friend?

Part of friendship is being able to mention things that are bothering you and surely she'd want to know if her son was showing signs of aggression so she could help him deal with these feelings he may be having?

Lilacroses Thu 05-Sep-13 21:47:47

I really don't think it's very nice for your child to have a child to his birthday party that constantly thumps him. If the other mother says something maybe you could say that they are not getting on very well at the moment. Presumably she knows about the biting incident at the nursery. It is hard though...things like this are very sensitive.

NicknameIncomplete Thu 05-Sep-13 21:47:48

I wouldnt invite this boy. Just tell the mum that it was a small gathering & not many people were there.

Do you think she will ask or even notice?

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 21:47:52

Yanbu don't invite this boy, your friends with his mum not him. Teir is only a couple going from nursery. It's your ds special day he should not have this boy there if he makes the op son scared and anxious. Op sad s is cooling the frienspdship anyway

Fourbears Thu 05-Sep-13 21:49:26

I wouldn't invite him. Why should you have to spend your child's party on edge and worried that this boy is going to start beating up yours? I'm presuming your friend knows about his behaviour? If so, she needs to start disclipling him otherwise there will be many parties he won't be invited to!

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 21:50:17

Yes just say tat tey are not getting on very well right now

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:50:22

crowler oh yes, I understand, and I'd be more likely to shrug it off as just 'kids being kids' if there hasn't been previous incidents. Perhaps I was being a little sensitive, and I obviously wasn't at the party until the end. Perhaps he did it to another kid as well.

bonzo77 Thu 05-Sep-13 21:52:43

I wouldn't invite him. Whoever said that banging other kids on the head with toys is normal for 3 year olds knows some funny 3 year olds. In DS1's class of 20 2-3 year olds last year there was 1 child who regularly hit others. That's not normal.

As to how nursery handled it... How did it get so far that the other child had time to hold your child down and assault him before staff noticed and separated them? The situation should never have gone as far as it did. And IME the staff will never tell the parents the names of the other child involved.

TweenageAngst Thu 05-Sep-13 21:53:00

A boy did this to my DS at a similar age. They are now best mates 10 years down the track.

So, at the other boy's party, you say he hit your DS repeatedly until YOU grabbed your DS away. Did your friend observe this and if so, did she react in any way at all?

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:54:35

aint actually, no I haven't. I'd feel like I was perhaps making a big deal out of nothing; perhaps my son is the only one this other boy has a problem with and this is just the way he deals with it.... I don't know, I don't want to come across as judgemental, and I'd hate the mum to take it badly, because I know she tries SO hard. I don't know. Am I being remiss, here?

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 21:54:58

What was your friend doing when he was banging your ds head with a toy, did she not intervene?

YANBU not to invite him. It's bound to be a bit awkward if she asks why he's not invited, but I would say that DS had chosen who he wanted to be there.

Having said that, I always asked the kids whose mothers I liked blush regardless of whether they were great friends with my dch! But I wouldn't ask this boy.

cees Thu 05-Sep-13 21:57:30

YANBU, I wouldn't invite this boy and if his mom asks then tell her the truth, her son hurts yours and you can't have him at the party because of that.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:59:20

Oh, I asked my son who did it and he told me bozo I then told the nursery that my son had told me X had done this and they confirmed it.

Those asking how it had gotten that far; apparently they were in the home corner (it's called something else these days but I can't remember what; you catch my drift though) and a child fell over and the staff member supervising the home corner went to that child to comfort them, and that's when it happened.

He isn't a bully, he's 3

Oh yes he damn well is shock

This isn't just playing young child fighting, it's nasty. And picking on one child how doesn't fight back...
Well if that isn't bullying, what is it?

one child who doesn;t fight back

Nanny0gg Thu 05-Sep-13 22:03:32

Does she need to know about the party?

I'd just keep it very quiet...

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:04:17

Also; the party incident: mum was filming the party and so couldn't grab. She did point though and gesture and another family member grabbed the little boy, but by that stage I'd already swooped and rescued DS from the situation.

I think that's why I'm at odds though; we were invited to her DS' party and I accepted. I didn't want to offend. I still don't. DH says that party invites aren't an exchange system; you don't get a one for one iyswim, but I feel like it looks rude if you don't.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:04:25

My DS hits bites and scratches and its hell. I feel isolated over it. He has hit bitten and scratched my best friends DS, we handle it together.

Can't you talk about it to your friend? If I took my DS to her party and he was bad I'd take him home. Would she?

He loves this boy by the way, it's not from dislike.

Xales Thu 05-Sep-13 22:04:45

Your DS deserves a party without being attacked.

Put your son first.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:06:19

nanny that's what I'd say... If it weren't for Facebook and word of mouth. If there isn't a photo, a public thank you, or an aside of 'I didn't see you at X 's party...' then ill be damned. Small town, y'see blush

AlwaysWashing Thu 05-Sep-13 22:07:03

You definitely shouldn't invite him, it's your boys birthday party for goodness sake. How would he feel and you feel if he get the crap bashed out of him at his birthday party? And no I'm not being ott. It's our job to protect thence, he's 3 not 13, he can't be expected to deal with that at 3.
I don't think it matters how nice his Mother is you need to explain it to her. She'll be unhappy/upset/embarrassed but as a Mum she should get it.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:07:08

Bonzo they DO do this, I've chatted with nursery staff and it happens. At three I hope he will be heading out of it as he's 2.5 now.

Three year olds are not bullies, but if the mother is not acting I can see your reticence. I would intervene and remove, if it ever got that bad.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:10:54

harold I appreciate you taking the time to comment, and I'm really sorry you're going through this with your DS. I'm grateful to see the other side. I'm not sure if she'd go all the way there just to drag her DS out of the party. She's on her own as well, so it's difficult.

HeySoulSister Thu 05-Sep-13 22:10:56

Op says he has a tendency to 'bully other kids' ... So it's not just the op's ds

Labelling a 3 year old as a bully is ridiculous!

lunar1 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:11:00

Why not talk to your friend, say you are having two celebrations for ds birthday. Have a tea party for just ds and this boy. Just be honest and tell her you want to separate the parties to see if you can resolve the problems( then watch them like a bloody hawk). She must know its not ok that your son is basically being bullied by hers.

LesserSpottedFuckwit Thu 05-Sep-13 22:11:07

He isn't a bully! he's 3!!

Yes he is. Being three or thirteen doesn't change that.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:11:54

Three year olds? Come on.

thedreamersmother Thu 05-Sep-13 22:17:42

YABU, as long as the mother is trying to deal with his behaviour. 3 year olds (especially newly 3 year olds) do things like this, it does not make them bad, or bullies. In 6 months it could well be your child behaving badly. One of mine was a biter, and it was isolating, but it was a phase that passed (with consistent correction). The 2.6 year old DD of my best friend attacks my 2 year old (and sometimes my older children) every time we meet - sometimes twice a week. And yes, it is awful for me to see my child hurt, but I know that my friend is trying, we watch like hawks so that it never gets too out of hand, and ultimately, despite this, the cildren are friends. If this little boy is not allowed to socialise he will not have the opportunity to learn.

HeySoulSister Thu 05-Sep-13 22:17:53

Yeah I know, 3!! Practically babies... Learning... Becoming socialised..... But no, no, he's a bully. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's a scheming 'bully'.... Got it all planned out he has!

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:18:49

'DH is adamant that this other boy isn't coming and we need to protect our son from another child who has a tendency to bully other kids.'

I meant other kids as in our son. It was perhaps a poor choice of phrase; I was just trying to give an impression of the conversation between my DH and I.

Another mum did say to me at the party in a jokey way as I separated the boys 'oh, I'm lucky it wasn't my son this time!' But I honestly can't say whether there was something in that, or if she was just trying to lighten the situation; hence I didn't include it in the OP.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:19:46

What was the mum doing when your DS was being hit on the head - I think that is the problem really.

I took DS to a party on the weekend and knew he was in the danger zone as he was tired, so I literally followed him around, he would have been able to hit.

It's awkward this isn't it, I know we still get asked because DS is a sweet boy and I do take action but he has hit friends children and its mortifying.

I think your of course within your rights not to ask him but it might affect the friendship, unless you want to talk to her about it and mention it?

I would have called you to apologise after the party re the toy.

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 22:21:41

In that case op I would not invite him, just tell her that you are having a small party and inviting Chidren your ds wants, at te moment tb two boys are not getting on. The dreamersmother, op ds party is not a social excrement, this boy has a chance to socialise at nursery!

lunar1 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:22:23

Arguing about if a three year old is capable of being a bully is really beside the point. The impact it has on the op's ds is that he is being hit and bit repeatedly by the same child. Her ds is being bullied and I don't see how anyone could say he isn't.

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 22:23:09

Experiment doh

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:23:12

hey <shrug> chill out, ok? I'm not trying to offend anyone, and it feels like you're trying to get me to bite a bit here, but that's not going to happen. I've outlined the situation, you've made your point clear... I hear you. Ok? But your son didn't come home with puncture wounds and scratches on his head, face and neck. This wasn't a one off, either. My son worries about it. That isn't fair, either.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:23:18

The point really here is how to keep the friendship going with the mum whilst managing the DS.

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 22:24:21

It is already affecting te friendship as op has cooled off a bit

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:24:48

Ziggie it's not really your OP I was referring to BTW there have been lots of other posts re bully. Your just trying to work this out I know.

simpson Thu 05-Sep-13 22:25:47

I do think you need to chat to the other boys mum.

Have the nursery not told her what he is doing to another child at nursery? I would find it a bit odd if they weren't.

When DS was at nursery he got some sand thrown in his eyes (deliberately according to the nursery staff) who had a word with the boy in questions mother (had the potential to be v awkward as she was a good friend of mine and did not find out till after they had spoken to her) but she was great about it (the sand throwing incident was not the first).

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:28:35

If DS does something I have to sign a book. The shame!

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:30:02

If I'm offending anyone by using the term 'bully' then I can assure you that isn't what I intended; but the fact is, my son has come home on more than several occasions having been hurt by this other boy. Mostly just hitting, scratching and kicking, but culminating in the biting/scratching on the face. So, you'll forgive me for being upset.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:32:03

harold yes they have a form outlining the incident at our nursery too. You sound really nice and conscientious, tbh. I feel for you. X

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:36:56

It really is the pits! I know it's horrible when they get hit too though.

I know the danger signs, I recently didn't take him to a party as I knew it would be a very bad move but still went with my baby & the present.

I feel sorry for you it's a tough one.

knickernicker Thu 05-Sep-13 22:37:56

If you criticise the other boy to his mum or leave him out of the party, its a certainty that she'll take it way to avoid rocking the boat would be to not have a party at all. If you had a family tea, cake and presents, would
he even know he'd not had a party?

CeliaLytton Thu 05-Sep-13 22:38:50

YANBU to not invite this child. It would be a lovely gesture and would probably be a good thing in terms of demonstrating to the child how others behave but you have a right to put your son first at his birthday party. Make the decision, call it done and move on.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:45:01

I don't think it's mean not to invite him but ultimately if you want to stay close friends its not practical to keep them apart so id speak to the mum about how the situation should be handled.

ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 22:48:17

But knicker, why should my son not have a party because of this one boy? That doesn't seem fair either

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 05-Sep-13 22:50:09

I don't mean to mention it in a confrontational way. I'd just say for example if your friend if Joanne, "Look Joanne I don't want to make a big deal of it because it might just be childish banter but Connor has came home with bruises a few times that he says he has got from Jake. I was just mentioning it because I thought you should know and wasn't sure if perhaps he does this at home. It's lovely for our boys to be friends and I don't want this to get in the way of that." Or something to that affect.

I thankfully am at 5 month old stage so far so haven't had to cross these situations yet so I don't mean to come across as judgmental I just assumed that talking to the parent would be best, considering you've already mentioned it to nursery, as I am sure they have probably mentioned it to her and I am sure she'd wonder why you haven't mentioned it yourself if you see what I mean.

But only you know your friend. She might be a very nice person, but very defensive about her son so perhaps talking about it isn't necessarily the best option.

I didn't mean to come across as judgmental and realised it seemed to appear that way, so sorry for that.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:51:52

Ziggie I've even had a chat with DP!!

We have a group of really close friends we can talk to about DS and will feel happy to help intervene and tell us if any problem - we always get asked to these parties

If its a nursery friend I honestly wouldn't be gutted as I know it's a pain for people.

He's getting a lot better I wouldn't imagine this boy is going to be doing this for much longer (hopefully!)

It's very awkward I feel for you.

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:39

I agree ziggy why should your ds not have a party because of this boys behaviour! If you value this friendship sit down and tell her how you feel

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:57

I don't think it's fair for your son not to have a party because of one little boys bad behaviour it just seems counter productive and doesn't solve the issue in any way.

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:55:13

Yes must have a party!

HaroldLloyd Thu 05-Sep-13 22:57:22

The party I didn't go to was a pirate party with cutlasses issued. That was a biiiiiig mistake there were a lot of scraps. V. Glad DS at home!

knickernicker Thu 05-Sep-13 22:58:30

I wouldn't suggest you should penalise your son, just saying that if he would enjoy a family celebration as much as a party then you wouldn't lose a friendship over it.

knickernicker Thu 05-Sep-13 23:04:06

The issue can't be solved. The other boy is one of 2 things-a bully in the making or going through a phase. In both possible cases, there is little that can be gained by approaching the other mum than creating bad feeling.

pigletmania Thu 05-Sep-13 23:04:19

I think he wants to invite his friends though

jussey17 Thu 05-Sep-13 23:05:08

I have exactly the same problem. I like the mother but her dd is awful to my ds, he doesn't seem to mind but I do. Will be reading advice with interest.

Nanny0gg Thu 05-Sep-13 23:06:19

A three year-old's party will surely have a lot of adults (including boy's mum) present.

Can't you make sure he's watched like a hawk (in the nicest possible way)?

Retroformica Thu 05-Sep-13 23:10:47

Invite the couple from nursery in a low key way.

You gave the boy a gift at his party in exchange for the invite. So you are equal, you don't owe the boy anything.

Thirdly, if the mother asks about the birthday say 'oo yes I told my son he could choose only 6 friends to invite. It was quite quiet'

Lastly, start seeing the mum out in he evenings. It's not fair in your son to keep pushing them together.

mymateloulou Thu 05-Sep-13 23:16:07

I wouldn't invite him. If you think the friend will know about the party, just pre-empt it by saying pls don't be offended, we're just having a really small party and could only invite small no. And you asked your DS to choose. She may be a little miffed but much better than telling her straight. I recall being mortified when my DS -age 4-pushed someone at school. He did it out of frustration but unfortunately hit the boys head on a bookcase. The parent went running to the Head. He wasn't naughty but just lagged behind some others in terms of emotional development. It's too easy for others to judge and think you're a bad parent if your child does something unacceptable. Some kids just take longer to find out what is unacceptable behaviour, despite parents best intentions! I'm sure she will already have enough stress of coping with him, without someone pointing it out to her! And of course it's not worth you being on edge and not enjoying the occasion if you invited him ! Good luck

LimitedEditionLady Thu 05-Sep-13 23:41:26

Theres a boy at my ds nursery who my ds would say such a boy hit me,they didnt tell me about it but my ds did.It is incredibly upsetting but I think to be friends with his mum you need some one on one time with them to see how they interact.If he hits a lot of kids and is going through a funny stage of this tbh i wouldnt want him hitting the other kids.I kniw it sounds harsh but i would think itd make you feel a bit guilty and will you not be a bit tense the whole time especially as your oh said not to invite him?

I think if you don't invite him, then you should level with your friend and tell her why. Any crap about just having a small party will come back to bite you on the ass, if you'll pardon the metaphor.

What does your DS say, by the way? Does he like the child or would he prefer not to have him at his party?

ziggiestardust Fri 06-Sep-13 09:12:18

Thanks for all the replies; I'm ever so grateful!!

I was edging towards having the party anyway, and not inviting the other boy if I'm honest. I will be on edge the entire time if he's there, and DH is firmly on the other side of the fence saying we need to protect DS on his birthday; so I doubt I'd have much support from him if I invited this boy.

I think perhaps I should come clean to her, but I'm just not really sure it's my place. Surely the nursery should've made her aware anyway that there's an issue, and telling her that's why I don't want to invite her DS is just going to make her feel shitty isn't it?

ziggiestardust Fri 06-Sep-13 09:16:04

I think what makes it harder is that DS doesn't hit back or defend himself. If he gave as good as he got; I'd be less bothered. I just don't think it enters into his head at the time, because he's busy trying to run away. Later on he'll say 'I should say stop/noX! When x pushes me.' But that will be a few hours down the line.

RoxyFox211 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:25:25

At this age I think yabu. When my dd was 2 & 1/2 she constantly accused this one little boy of pushing her over, in fact- (according to nursery and my own guesses) it happened once. But my dd was hooked on the idea. In fact they actually played a lot together in nursery, so there was no reason not to invite him. At this age kids bite, scratch and push to get their own way, obviously an issue that needs correcting, but its not because they like or dislike the other really.
It's your decision though.

Snatchoo Fri 06-Sep-13 09:26:39

I don't think you should invite the other boy, but I do think you should talk to his mum about the hitting.

Nursery do tell you when a child has been hit but they're not supposed to identify the child, and vice versa. She might not know it's always your son.

I had twin biters which wasn't nice, they did eventually grow out of it!

Snatchoo Fri 06-Sep-13 09:28:13

Roxy - come to think of it, there was one girl in pre-school that if DTS2 was to be believed, was pushing him over every day!

She did it once, if that. He never had any injuries though (aside from the skinned knees from running around of course!)

Crowler Fri 06-Sep-13 09:30:43

As your kids get older, you'll find that the problematic child is a changeling, one day it's your kid, another day it's another kid. Maybe it won't change by the day, but it will by the month. Very few of them are actual bullies (I understand you're not labeling him as such).

If you don't invite this kid, the friendship with the mom will be off.

If your husband is anything like mine, he doesn't understand the delicate nature of friendships forged at the school gates. I wouldn't count on him to understand what's at stake (what is at stake? how good of friends are you?)

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 09:37:21

Yes they don't identify the victim to me, or tell the mum always which child it was.. She might be unaware of all the nursery incidents.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Fri 06-Sep-13 09:41:56

I'm a big fan of the truth I'm afraid. Regardless of the party I would approach the mum and say, "look, x seems to keep hurting DS- not sure why, can you have a word with him?, sorry."

When my kids were 3 and I caught them whacking other kids I dealt with it extremely firmly to stop it happening EVER again, and I apologised profusely to the other parent. But my children were repeatedly smacked nd punched and pushed over by other kids while their parents shrugged and said 'boys will be boys'. Discipline your kids!! If a 3 yr old gets away with it then he'll still be doing it at 10!

SleepyFish Fri 06-Sep-13 09:42:53

No way would i invite a child who physically attacks mine to his own birthday party. You don't owe the mother any explanation, it's unlikely she'll ask why and if she does then you simply say your child chose his own guests, no need for it to affect your friendship.
I save up all year to give DS a party and he gets to invite 12 children as that is all i can afford so you can always use that excuse if you don't want to tell her the truth. I've never had a mother ask me why their child wasn't invited and i'd think it a bit rude if they did ask tbh.
At 3 his friendships will change with the wind anyway.

"*is just going to make her feel shitty isn't it?*"

Less shitty, I would say, than telling her it was just a small gathering and then her finding out from Facebook or at the village shop that it was in fact a proper party and her DS wasn't invited. She'll be aware of the issues between the boys and will be able to see your POV, if she's any kind of friend worth having. I'd broach it by saying that you're really sorry, but in view of past events your DS has quite understandably said he doesn't want him to come to his party and you and DH both feel he shouldn't spend his party worrying about being attacked; and perhaps it's best to see each other without the boys for a while as it's probably something her DS will grow out of, etc etc.

Or could you perhaps compromise and invite her to the party on the proviso that she watch her son like a hawk and intervene at the first sign of trouble? Either way, I think you're going to have to talk to her about this if you want to keep the friendship.

Incidentally, after the unprovoked attack at her son's party, did she ring to check your son was OK? Because she will surely realise that that's why you left early and it would be a pink flag for me if she didn't follow it up.

LoreleisSecret Fri 06-Sep-13 09:47:29

I was in the same predicament as OP a few months ago, although my friends little boy was a personal friend and not a nursery friend.

First two hours of the party went fantastic until the little boy (tired?) sunk his teeth into another child's face (not the first time) and bit another's finger whilst my friend (obviously embarrassed) says to bitten child's mother "he never does that!" And pacified the biter with a pack of haribo confused

He had previously bitten my 11mo, the bitten child a few times but never my 3yo as i assume he knows 3yo would react.

The friendship came to a halt after this as i realised that Biters mother didnt care about endangering my or others children and i needed to protect them. We had a very good friendship before this but, i realised our parenting styles were completely out of sync and didnt want my children seeing biting being rewarded!

Hope your party goes well!

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Fri 06-Sep-13 09:48:27

Another point- some posters are saying that their children are exaggerating incidents at nursery ( x keeps pushing me over, when it only happened once). Who says it only happened once? Nursery? When I used to help out at nursery almost none of the pushing over/ punching incidents were reported to parents, and a lot of it was unnoticed by staff, even in a small well run nursery! So the child MIGHT be exaggerating. Or they might not.

LimitedEditionLady Fri 06-Sep-13 09:57:42

I think nursery told me every squabble id be sick of it,they only tell me if its recorded in the accident book..I know that they will have fall out.Dont all kids?thankfully we have only had one time when my ds was the pusher!I think if its a regular incident of causing hurt they need some proper one to one time of learning that its not acceptable.Id probably say leys do a play date with the two kids and monitor behaviour closely and intervene

SarahAndFuck Fri 06-Sep-13 10:05:28

I wouldn't invite him OP but I would be honest with her about why.

When DS started school last year he made a friend the same age. They are actually about a week apart in age and were almost three and a half when they started school.

I got friendly with the boys Mum so we spent a lot of time together and would go to each others houses some days after picking up the boys so they could have lunch together and play for a bit.

And every single time we did, her son would hurt mine. Hitting him with toys, jabbing him with a plastic plate, stabbing him in the face with a fork, locking him in the kitchen by closing the baby gate they used for the dog, locking him in a bedroom to stop him going to the toilet.

DS started to refuse to play upstairs with him because he was hurting him every time they were out of our sight.

And this boy started to say things like "if you come upstairs I've got some sweeties up there" so DS would go and then be straight back down because there weren't any sweets but this boy had tried to hurt him again.

The time he stabbed DS with the fork and DS started crying, he started to shout "silence!" at him over and over so everyone thought DS was crying because his friend was shouting. It wasn't until later that we realised he had actually physically hurt him.

I think that even at age three, this shows some sort of awareness that he knew what he was doing and some level of planning to do it. Most of what happened was out of sight of any adults and to try and trick DS into going upstairs so he could hit him without being seen is just too much to put down to his age and not knowing any better. His age doesn't matter because he did know what he was doing and was obviously old enough to try and be clever about it to avoid being seeing.

When I realised the extent of it all we stopped accepting invites to their house and stopped inviting them to ours. He may grow out of it, I hope he does, but I wasn't prepared to let DS be his punchbag until that happened, especially as his mother used to all but ignore it or give him a token "no, that's naughty, say sorry" but then comfort him because he was upset she had said no to him.

mumthetaxidriver Fri 06-Sep-13 10:07:40

What a difficult situation. Has your friend never mentioned the problem she has with her son hitting etc? When my DD went through a hitting phase at about 3 ( now a perfectly fine 15 yr old!) I was devastated when nursery told me he had hurt one of his friends. I watched him like a hawk when we went to groups or socialized with other children. I also talked to my friends about it which really helped - especially as it showed we were not ignoring the problem. It sounds like your friend has witnessed it herself - maybe you could meet for coffee without the children and see if you can bring the conversation around to his behaviour - if it is so bad she may well be desperate to talk about it. I know how much I appreciated talking to other ( non judgemental) mums.

mumthetaxidriver Fri 06-Sep-13 10:12:50

DS not DD

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:18:36

I think the problems arise when the mums don't handle it as people expect. If my DS was around someone's house and he started hitting he would be taken home - and has been. If people feel confident your handling it and not letting it escalate then they are usually ok.

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:21:02

I agree with talking too, I say to people I've had issues with hitting and please if they see anything tell me or I give permission to deal with it in a pre agreed way if I'm making coffee etc.

He very rarely gets a hit in now.

Chelvis Fri 06-Sep-13 10:21:36

I wouldn't invite him, it would ruin the party for your DS if he's scared of this boy. I'd send a message to your friend, something a bit blunt, but not too harsh, like 'Please don't be offended that I haven't invited X - he and DS don't seem to be getting along at the moment, so I thought it might be better for them to have some time apart. I'm sure once X is over the biting phase they'll be best of friends again! It'd be great to catch up with you soon, maybe the two of us could go for a coffee next week?'

fluffyraggies Fri 06-Sep-13 10:23:29

Is it really possible that friend has no idea her DS is rough with other kids?

Is she a bit head in the sand about her DS, or is it that your parenting styles just very different and she is a 'boys will be boys, let them thrash it out' kind of parent?

I've read the thread OP and just cant get any feel of what this friend thinks of her sons behaviour - or would think if she knew about it. If we knew this it would be easier to advise. If you're such good friends with her you must have an inkling about how she'd react.

On the face of what we know i think the boy should not be invited to the party.

It seems the mother has no idea that you have an issue with her son, either because no-one's pointed it out or because she refuses to see it, and unless there's time to bring it up with her before the party and make sure it doesn't happen again then it's not fair to your boy.

Your son is more important than a school gate friendship.

fluffyraggies Fri 06-Sep-13 10:24:34

harold i think your attitude is exemplary smile

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:25:26

I'd just say, 'x his having a party but we're really limited on numbers so just inviting a couple of his best nursery friends and family etc.' then maybe suggest a meet up in the park or something to mark your DSs birthday with them and that way it won't be so intense and you'll be able to intervene easily if an in extent does occur.

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:25:56


HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:29:08

Harri that's a great idea!

You know what? If you invite that boy to your sons party, you are telling your son that this boy is more important than him

That is how you come across.

Please stop being pathetic toeing your hands over this. Grow a spine and be there for YOUR child!

jessieagain Fri 06-Sep-13 10:34:54

Of course yanbu.

I definitely wouldn't invite him. And I would make lots of polite/friendly excuses to avoid spending anytime with them.

Junebugjr Fri 06-Sep-13 10:40:53

What sharri15 said.
I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Just say he's having a few best friends and family, and leave it at that. You really can't have your ds frightened and anxious during his own birthday party. You can still socialise with your friend but in an appropriate setting where you can more closely watch the boys together. By next year his phase of hitting etc could be over, and they could be best pals, 3 year old change like the wind.
My oldest friends ds is 5, and can be quite nasty to my 2yr old dd, whos also quite fiery so gives as good as she gets unfortunately, so we just don't invite him over anymore, it's not worth the screaming. Me and my friend still have a good friendship though.

JerseySpud Fri 06-Sep-13 10:41:25

He is a bully. Just do not invite him and if the mother asks why tell her the truth that your DS doesnt want him there.

Cuddlydragon Fri 06-Sep-13 10:45:48

I think if you're little one is worried about this boy then that would be the decision made for me. No little boy should be worried on his birthday. It's up to you if you feel the need to explain to the mum.

ziggiestardust Fri 06-Sep-13 11:32:24

Thankyou for all the responses; I agree that we should be meeting up without the boys. It is difficult though, seeing as she has other children too and is currently on her own.

She does handle the situation; but only at a fairly late point (I feel) and the little boy doesn't really listen anyway.

I think she has a higher tolerance for aggressive behaviour than I do, really. I think she just thinks its 'kids being kids'.

Because this little boy has moved up to the next room in nursery; my DS doesn't mention him much anymore, and they don't come into contact as much as they did. This was going to be my reason for not inviting him to the party, because they don't spend time together anymore, rather than bringing up the aggression thing. Purely because I don't want to seem like I'm judging her; she's doing a really difficult job on her own and I don't want to make her feel bad about it.

saggyhairyarse Fri 06-Sep-13 11:55:23

I wouldn't invite the child to the party. I don't think the Mum will ask why her son cant go but if she does, tell her the truth 'We couldn't invite everybody and DS chose the friends he wanted to come'.

Also, do teach your child how to stand up for themselves. Tell him to shout very loudly "STOP, YOU ARE HURTING ME" to gain an adults atention and to push the other child away.

My DS has been picked on for years, he is a rule follower and always followed the instructions of the school and told an adult but until he actually defended himself it never stopped.

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 06-Sep-13 12:01:42

My youngest had a 'friend' who was a bully from a young age. It wasn't just the normal rough and tumble you get from boys (and I have 3 boys), you could actually see this boy think about hurting another boy before he did it. It was just a fleeting expression on his face, but I was shocked when I saw it. The mum never did anything about his behaviour

So I did pull away from that friendship. My son is in the same school now, but is the year below. The boy is still a bully and badly behaved (aged 10),and the mum still can't see it. I would still avoid my son going on a play date if I wasn't there to look out for him. I'm not normally precious about my no 4

Just keep it straightforward and if she finds out just say it was only a few kids- couldn't have everyone. You don't have to.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 06-Sep-13 12:07:57

Yanbu. I would not be tolerating my child being hit at their own birthday party. If the mother asks why her child is not invited, just be honest. Say you don't want your dc being hit and pushed.

Oblomov Fri 06-Sep-13 12:28:41

Threads like this, I do find very hard to read. Because people are just very different. So unlike me.

I really didn't like the way Op described things. And when she said that she used the word bully, because she was trying to explain to us, the conversation that she had had with her dh, that just made it ten times WORSE.
Both my boys have been hurt, bitten on the face etc. I was most upset. And the nursery DID deal with it well. But I never thought that person was a bully. I viewed it totally differently to OP.

And I would have done something about it before.
I can not comprehend why Op has not spoken to this woman.

Just a " I'm so sorry friend, but I haven't been in touch much recently, because when the boys were playing , my ds kept getting hurt.
And I know you wouldn't want that either. Maybe we should just give them a break from eachother for a while"

Or some such, gentle, but very telling way of telling her that you can't have your son being hurt.
Grow a spine. Do something about it. And then there won't be a problem, will there?

pigletmania Fri 06-Sep-13 13:47:21

That's a good idea harri smile

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 06-Sep-13 23:29:23

I can only speak for myself, but I did broach the subject with my friend and she couldn't see how intentionally mean her DS's behaviour was when he was younger & she still can't now.

There is rough and tumble in boys, and they do hurt each other. The difference comes when there's a feeling one boy is deliberately picking on another.

So now I choose to protect my son rather than interfere with her choices about bringing up hers.

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