Awkward party invite situation- wwyd?

(116 Posts)
bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 21:17:10

Dd2 will be 6 in a couple of weeks. She has invited around 8 children (from class of 22). We slipped invites into bags on Monday.

Dd chose all the guests. She's been talking about who she wants to come for weeks and it changed a fair bit week to week. One girl, I'll call her Betty, was pretty consistantly on it. Dd went to her party in October and she seemed to be one of the children mentioned a lot. Then as we were finalizing the list dd stopped mentioning her. I asked if she was invited, dd said not. No fall out or anything, just didn't want her there. I double checked before sending out the invites as I felt bad dd had been to her party, but dd was adamant Betty was not invited.
Today dd was it another girl's party, as was Betty. As we were leaving Betty's mum cornered me and very nicely said she'd heard dd was having a party, and she wasn't trying to make things awkward, but her mum had picked up Betty from school on the day of invites, so she wasn't sure if Betty should have one or not? She said its fine if not, she just didn't want to not reply if invite had been lost.
I couldn't face saying no, she's not invited, so just said, well dd did the list, I'm not 100% sure who she picked, I'll go home and check and email you if you should have one. Now I feel terrible!
So, should I A) email and say sorry, Betty is not invited B) not do anything or C) make dd invite Betty and email saying gosh, just found Betty's invite lying around, good thing you mentioned it!!!
Was I wrong not to reciprocate the invite in the first place?

TIA

bobblehead Mon 25-Mar-13 13:12:51

I would also be horrified if someone refused an invite because they didn't plan on inviting my child back. If dd has invited someone its because she wants them there, not because she wants a reciprocal invite!

20wkbaby Mon 25-Mar-13 13:37:54

Some of these 'rules' are so strange to me. DD's birthday is coming up and she is having a party with a guest list running to 30 (!). Was meant to be 25 but just couldn't leave anyone out.

Also how do we know if she is going to be invited to a party by someone she has not invited? Doesn't this mean children with later birthdays miss out or basically get no choice over who they invite?

CandyCrushed Mon 25-Mar-13 16:52:44

I think you have over thought this. From what Betty's Mum said to you she sounded very polite and genuine. I don't think she was angling for an invite or making a point. I think she just wanted to double check whether Betty had recieved an invite or not. It was pretty straightforward.

I hope everyone has a wonderful time at the party. smile

BackforGood Mon 25-Mar-13 18:51:27

LondonKitty that really is very strange logic.
When my dcs have had birthdays, they've invited the people they want to spend time with to their party (or trip out or whatever we've done that year). They couldn't give 2 hoots if then are then invited to that person's party later or not, but they would be quite sad if their invitee's parents stopped them from coming because they weren't thrwoing a big party for their child later that year. How sad sad.
They are not the sort of people who would invite someone because that gets them an invite back shock. Now, if you want to talk about being rude.....

LandofTute Mon 25-Mar-13 23:13:39

Yes good manners to reciprocate.

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 06:15:54

Children's parties should be quite simple. It may be good manners to reciprocate but if someone has hired a hall and had 30 children they can't expect all those parties in return- and I doubt they want their DCs party spoilt because 20 won't accept because they are not going to reciprocate!

MuchBrighterNow Tue 26-Mar-13 06:31:44

For fucks sake... since when did a 6 year old get the last word ? They get on sometimes , she went to her party .. reciprocate ... remind dc that more guests means more presents wink

Saddayinspring Tue 26-Mar-13 09:57:00

You don't invite expecting reciprocation next time, you invite and reasonably reciprocate whose part you have accepted that year and are still in the school / not had big fall out with.
It's not an absolute, more a consideration. And mainly reminding said child that just because they happen to like nelly a lot more than milky now they just went to Millie's last month and they should invite her back!
You lots, you're so ott (grin)

EuphemiaLennox Tue 26-Mar-13 10:33:38

6 ydar olds parties:
child gets to say who they want to invite and then told about the extras they'll also have to have-because they're your friend's kids/ neighbours/you went to theirs/it would seem very unkind to leave them out etc etc.

Kids don't give a toss about these other social niceties and inclusion, so you have to explain it.

If you only let the kids choose it'd be like> Lord of the Flies, where the weakest sink.

How many threads on MN about broken hearted kids left outagain?? Yet still people say, its up go the children. No, its up to empathetic socially aware adults to steer them.

OP I know this wasn't the situation for you, and I think you've done the right thing.

LandofTute Tue 26-Mar-13 10:51:32

No one expects everyone they invite to have a party in order to reciprocate if they weren't going to otherwise, nor does anyone expect people to be psychic and predict who will invite them so they can make sure they include them.

In my experience as a mum of primary children though, if someone attends a party of say a girl and then has a party soon afterwards where they invite lots of girls from the class, but not the child whose party they went to last month, then the kid will be upset and the mum will be annoyed. That's just how it is. I've seen it a few times. If people don't mind upsetting the kid and pissing off the mum then it's no problem.

LandofTute Tue 26-Mar-13 10:58:52

and I agree with what EuphemiaLennox posted above

Stinkypoos Thu 11-Apr-13 11:14:07

How did the party go in the end? I've been really curious. I've found it a real minefield with children's parties.

We've been having party problems for the last 3 years now. We have a young daughter who is very shy. We asked what she wanted and she wanted just a few friends around (and not a party in the local hall which we tried to push on her), so that first proper party at home was when all the problems started.

I'd previously discussed hiring the local hall, with a friend who has much older children (4 years older upwards) as her youngest son had a party there a few weeks before - which my daughter wasn't invited to and I never expected her to be.

My friend is already a Grandmother with 2 young grandchildren who I've seen a couple of times. I am friends with the Granny, my daughter is not close friends with the older boy or babies although she knows his name. When I told the Granny that we were just having a small party at home she was very disappointed and kept trying to persuade us to change our minds as her family were looking forward to it (children, Grandchildren, Daughter in law etc). I felt pressurized and put on the spot. In the end I said it was my daughter's birthday, she wanted a small party at home with just a few close friends and that's what she was having.

We have a small house and garden so could not invite too many, we invited 6. We had to inform 1 parent that the invitation was for her stepdaughter only and not for her two older sons that my daughter barely knows. I was told they wouldn't mind a Princess Party and if they couldn't go then the step daughter couldn't go as all the children get treated equally. My daughter really wanted the step daughter to go but I felt bullied and said no.

Another close friend with a younger daughter was expecting an invite but my daughter really doesn't like her daughter. We cannot do play dates as they do not play nicely. Her daughter has to have everything my daughter is playing with and then has huge tantrums if she doesn't get her own way. They are not the same ages and its my friendship with the mum. She was offended that her daughter wasn't invited.

So that's Birthday party number 1.

Stinkypoos Thu 11-Apr-13 11:55:39

Birthday party 2 initially involved twin boys and a joint party with my daughter at a village hall.

I was thinking advantages -1. save money, 2. save time - shared work organizing it 3. lots of space, 4. House and contents are safe
but the reality was my daughter didn't want a shared party with boys, she wanted her own party and just a few friends at the house.

We had very different ideas about how the party should be organized and it seemed as if I was expected to do the lions share of the work as I have more spare time whilst the other mum was willing to pay extra as she wanted a more expensive type of party. it seemed unequal and my daughter wasn't expected to invite as many friends.

In the end I backed out with a bit of ill feeling but relieved to have escaped something that was beginning to feel very stressful but retaining the friendship.

The party at home was great but I upset a close friend's child when I told her to stop touching/trying to open the birthday presents and come and join the party and then to leave the cake alone please. My friend felt I'd overstepped the mark and shouted at her child and scared her but I'd asked quietly the first few times.

Stinkypoos Thu 11-Apr-13 12:37:41

Birthday Party 3 - At the village hall.

My daughter had been to a great party with loads of kids there and she wanted the same with a disco. We spent loads, invited nearly everyone and the dj kept them all entertained. it was a fantastic time and the kids really enjoyed it.

We will hopefully try to do more large parties in future just so we can invite almost everyone and not get any grief from parents who have massive issues if their kids aren't popular and invited to everything or my friends who think I must invite their children/toddlers/babies/grandchildren as we are friends.

It is such a relief my daughter now wants larger parties and will go along with our plan!

It is also a relief to finally get this out of my system. I have been seething secretly for 3 years

Floggingmolly Thu 11-Apr-13 18:19:04

You shouldn't have to have huge parties because people have issues if their kids aren't popular and invited to everything, Stinky.
Those issues are theirs, not yours. Imagine having two older boys foisted on you for a Princess Party shock. Why do you feel you have to accommodate that sort of lunacy?
That's why, reenactment of lord of the flies or not, my kids choose their own guest lists.

Fudgemallowdelight Thu 11-Apr-13 20:06:15

I think it depends on the type of party you want.
If you want a princess party for girls, of course fine not to invite boys. No one is going to mind.
If you want a party just for kids in your child's class. Fine not to invite people not in the class.
If your child wants a small party with closest friends only. Fine not to invite kids she isn't close to.
If your child is inviting 12 girls out of the class, but not the girl in the class whose party she went to earlier that month = A bit rude. IMO

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