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?


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

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.

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

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 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.

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

and I agree with what EuphemiaLennox posted above

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.

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.

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)

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

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!

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

Yes good manners to reciprocate.

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.....

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

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?

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!

bobblehead Mon 25-Mar-13 13:10:06

Actually I wish Betty's mum had emailed me to ask then I wouldn't have been on the spot and the dd's wouldn't have been around. She hasn't replied which makes me worry it was too obvious I was after-inviting. But if she expected the answer to be no why ask? I think she asked as she was so sure Betty should have an invite that it was worth putting me on the spot, which means she would have been hurt/confused if I said no dd didn't want Betty there.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 25-Mar-13 07:30:16

I thought Betty's mother left the door wide open to be able to say, without any hard feelings, that Betty wasn't invited to the party.

Exact reciprocation is madness, but it's worth double checking whether the initial invite list omits anyone obvious - last year I started by being strict with DS about only inviting 6 to his party. Turned out the reason he was dithering about the list was that he has 7 very good friends at school and whose parties he had been to... (I upped the quota and made a mental note to pay a bit more attention to this stuff in future!)

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 25-Mar-13 06:54:48

So LondonKitty. You are saying that because this year, I'm not throwing a party, as I can't afford to do one every year for the DC's (we do parties on set birthdays), that I shouldn't accept any party invites for my DC's?

Not even their best friend?

All I am doing for my DS2's birthday this year is taking him on a day trip with his brother.

So that means he has to turn down party invites all year, and upset his friends that really want him there?

It's a good job the parents of my DS2's friends don't think like that, and understand that I can't afford a party this year, but still want my DS2 to attend their parties.

Seems do far away from RL to me!

Chubfuddler Mon 25-Mar-13 06:54:06

Doesn't make the standard advice correct. If your child comes home and says so and so hasn't invited me to their party, you say never mind can't do everything. Not grill the party parent.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 25-Mar-13 06:00:46

I don't think her mum is barking, I have a very strong feeling she is a mnetter, her questions is the advice I've seen on every thread about someone's dc not being invited to a party.

LondonKitty Mon 25-Mar-13 05:24:39

She's not an adult, she's five. It is your guest list really.

I don't think at 5 it can really be entirely her choice. If she gets invited to a party, you as her parent have to decide whether she is going (if you chose, then taking her preferences on board). Same with planning the list of proposed guests.

I agree it is good manners to reciprocate. If you don't want to invite someone back, then you should not accept their invitation in the first place.

Chubfuddler Mon 25-Mar-13 04:58:27

Betty's mum sounds barking. I mean who gets this invested in six year olds birthday parties?

Never mind, too late now, but FWIW it sounds as if your dd had good reason not to want Betty there, and you've over ruled her to keep the other mother sweet (she hands out little favour bags to buy friends for her daughter at Xmas/Easter etc - WTF?).

bobblehead Mon 25-Mar-13 04:16:16

It is all about our adult perceptions of what is appropriate. I doubt Betty is even aware of the party. If she is and is disappointed, she would get over it. I feel obliged to invite so as not to offend Betty's mum or create awkwardness.
Both my dd's have asked "wasn't that rude of Betty's mum to ask?" Dd really doesn't want Betty there, for whatever reason and now I do feel bad I didn't just say "sorry, she's not invited" to her mum. But at the same time that would be a very hard thing to do, with her dd stood right there hugging minesad

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 25-Mar-13 03:11:49

So you are saying that if a child's parents can't afford to throw them a party, then that child should be told that they can't go to ANY of their classmates parties because "We can't afford to reciprocate".



Sometimes I can afford to throw whole class parties. I don't expect to get 31 invites back.

Sometimes I can only afford a party for, say, 8. Does that mean that at the start of the year, I have to decide which 8 out of 31 invites I have to accept on my DC's behalf?

Sometimes I can't afford a party at all. Does that mean that if my child gets 31 invites, I have to turn all 31 down?

I think that's plainly NUTS. Sorry.

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