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?


Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 21:19:33

I do reciprocate.. Invite her / find it in dds bag

TheSecondComing Sat 23-Mar-13 21:21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hermioneweasley Sat 23-Mar-13 21:23:50

Hmm, if Betty hasn't been ditched for a very good reason I think this is a lesson in hospitality for your dd - you can't accept it and then not return it.

I'd gently ask in the morning if there's a reason why she doesn't want Betty along. But go with her wishes.

i would ask dd why she doesn't want betty, and then depending on the reason decide. if for no good reason, then i'd say that as she had been to betty's it would be nice to invite betty back. otherwise say to mum, you're so sorry, it seems they've had a falling out and perhaps in a couple of months it will have blown over.

her mum sounds lovely. she sounds like she's genuinely puzzled and wants to know what's what. doesn't sound like she'll give you hell if her dd isn't invited.

Coconutty Sat 23-Mar-13 21:29:59

I always reciprocate tbh, so think you were wrong not to.

I think she will know full well that you do actually know who your 5 year old daughter invited, so will not expect to hear from you. Even if you do email her she'll know it's out of guilt so bit awkward all around now.

I would call her and invite her.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 21:31:43

Doesn't seem to be a reason for no Betty. She gave her a hug as they left the party today so obviously no fall out!
A bit of probing revealed the original reason Betty wasn't invited is that there is another Betty in the class who is dd's bff (family friend also). Dd didn't want bff Betty referred to as Betty Lastname confused, but now she says she just doesn't want Betty anyway. I'm leaning toward inviting her and claiming bff Betty got both invites....or would that look obvious?

In that case, I'd invite both Betty's. They're going to have this for many years to come, might as well get used to it now.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 21:43:24

Just say she should invite her as she has already been to Betty's party.
I don't like it when parents say " we only had those children because that's what dc wanted" ... Surely they need to learn manners and empathy?

Pancakeflipper Sat 23-Mar-13 21:48:05

I would just invite the other Betty if there's enough space/you can afford/cope with 1 extra.
Sounds like your daughter likes her and Betty could be back on the list next week.
I think it would cause more upset with no real reason than to not invite.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 23-Mar-13 21:49:18

Unless there was a real problem I would insist that dd invited Betty.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 21:53:17

Dd is being adamant no Betty. She says Betty ignores her a lot of the time so that seems to be the reason. I have told her we'll discuss it later but I may overrule her on this one. She says inviting Betty will spoil the whole party<drama queen>.
Okay, so the consensus is I "find" Betty's invite and hope dd doesn't say anything rude and honest...

Inertia Sat 23-Mar-13 21:57:48

I'd 'find' the invite and tell the mum there had been a mix up as there were two girls named Betty .

chickensaladagain Sat 23-Mar-13 21:59:38

you can't possibly invite every child that your dd has ever been to a birthday party of

some pepople have class parties, some have smaller affairs

however Betty's mum sounds like Betty talks about your dd a lot, and Betty is puzzled about not getting an invite so she did the sensible thing and asked

if you can stretch to one more then email her, ever so sorry, got the Bettys mixed up and yes her dd is invited

chickensaladagain Sat 23-Mar-13 22:01:31

ah, missed your most recent post

if you went to a dinner party, and you really didn't enjoy it -would you really invite the host back to your house out of courtesy?

if your dd doesn't want her don't invite, it's her party

idiot55 Sat 23-Mar-13 22:02:05

go with your ddaughters decision, Bettys mum was wrong to ask you.

As an adult you shouldf be able to invite who you like and bettys mum as an adult needs to accept that

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 23-Mar-13 22:02:25

as long as there had been no major falling out, i'd invite her
dd2 was 6 recently and TBH i did insist that she invited people whose hospitality she'd enjoyed, even though this meant leaving out some others she was equally friendly with.

squiddle Sat 23-Mar-13 22:04:08

I would do what your dd wants - and tell the mum you are v sorry but she's not invited. It's silly to make your dd miserable on her bday. My dd has not been invited to several parties of girls who came to hers. She is not bothered by this- it is completely normal at this age.

I don't get this reciprocating business. DD1 is in the older half of the year. Since her party she's been invited to others that weren't at hers. Are we supposed to be psychic? It doesn't seem to be a problem.

Maryz Sat 23-Mar-13 22:08:14

The thing is, the girls will be friends next week, invite or no invite.

But actually emailing the mum and saying "no, my dd doesn't want yours" is difficult.

I don't think the mum has done anything wrong, by the way - it sounds as though they were good friends until a few days ago, and your dd went to her party, so it is entirely possible that the invitation could have been lost, especially with two Betty's in the class.

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:11:31

I do get this reciprocating business.

Gwendoline - whilst I completely appreciate your situation you do see that yours isn't actually about reciprocation? And people understand that.

Conversely, my DD1 has an August birthday and the people to who's birthday parties she has been always get invited first.

It is plain good manners to return an invitation - whole class parties not withstanding (DD has only been invited to one and we turned down the invite).

And - to whoever said it - yes, if someone invited me to dinner and I didn't enjoy it I would still invite them back out of courtesy.

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:17:10

It is not possibly to always reciprocate if Ops dd had an invite to 22 parties this year she can reciprocate them all if her own party had limits.

Personally I would invite Betty now. I'm not sure I would have gone with the original ditching in the first place, but saying that its impossible to completely police the dcs invitation list all of the time.

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:20:07

Why would you accept 22 invites if you know you're only going to book a party for, say, 9 though?

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 22:20:11

In general I do agree with reciprocating, which is why I kept asking dd if she was sure. I also feel it is her choice, so left it and hoped Betty would maybe not hear about the party/mum would understand. I absolutely can't email back and say my dd doesn't want hers, so I do feel she's forced my hand but I understand why as I was surprised by dd's decision.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 22:23:38

If I was inviting 22 kids I would hate to think any would decline just because they were unable/unwilling to reciprocate. I would hope they would come if they wished to attend the party no strings attatched.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 22:25:24

Not inviting everyone when they are v young is ok, but it's not ok to leave out a close friend on the whim of the birthday child when they have been to the others party.

I remember one parent who was a very nice person, but I presume believed a lot in the autonomy of her children to make their own choices. I remember each year her dd would invite children she hardly knew and wasn't friendly with, while other children she had regular sleepovers and play sessions with weren't invited . to me that's crazy and makes them seem manipulative... They want to be in with a new set if you like and so invite them instead meanwhile everyone else gets hurt feelings and would never be allowed to leave out their friends in a similar way.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 22:25:36

I never reciprocated - if some people have mad large parties then there is no need for you to follow. The DCs just chose.
However, in this case you should have made it clear at the time- it is a bit late now- I would just invite.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 22:26:34

Not inviting everyone is ok but leaving closer friends out is not nice.

Maryz Sat 23-Mar-13 22:32:42

Yes, Sadday, there was a girl in dd's class who used to do that.

She used to go to every party she was invited to, go to sleepovers with the girls (there weren't many girls, so lots of the parties were "all the girls in the class" parties), but when her own party came around she would invite only a few "popular" girls - the ones who never invited her to their houses - and do something really expensive.

I used to feel very sorry for her because she was never invited back. It was obvious she wanted to be one of the in-crowd.

Whereas dd was happy to muddle along being part of the uncool majority.

Bluelightsandsirens Sat 23-Mar-13 22:33:35

I think nearly 6 is too young to expect DC to really know what they want in regards to invites etc.

I would invite Betty.

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:35:06

Really wrongside, you think that, if I throw a party for 22 that's because that's what I planned. Not because I would expect invites back. If dd does not get invited to someone's party then sobeit.

Dd had a party last weekend and invited a girl who had a party a few weeks ago and didnt invite dd.

Focusing on the reciprocating thing just makes it all a bit messy and political for children.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 22:35:30

Betty's party in October, which was also why I didn't push for a reciprocal invite as a lot can change friendship-wise in that time. Dd says Betty often ignores her and doesn't play with her and this is why she has "gone off" her. I don't think her feelings are likely to change. Betty seems popular so more likely she is busy with others than actually slighting dd, so I'm dubious of dd's belief that she would spoil the party! Dd is not what I would call easy-going, hence her stubbornly digging her heels in about Betty not coming. Maybe I should just invite and not tell dd? I think she has enough social grace not to say anything in front of her....

stella1w Sat 23-Mar-13 22:37:02

I did a whole class party recently im a church hall. X came. Y,s mum asked if my dd was going to x,s party in a couple of weeks., i said, no invite. She said that,s strange x,s mum had a whole stack of invites she was handing out and it,s going to be in a church hall. So i wondered if the invite had been lost and tactfully asked and was told, no, your dd is not invited as limited numbers so i let x choose. Now i get that not everyone does whole class parties and sometimes numbers are limited or the birthday girl wants to choose.. But personally i wouldn,t accept an invite i wasn,t prepared to reciprocate and if my kid had gone to certain kids parties, then i would make sure the party i organised could accommodate those kids.
Next year, i,ll do something smaller, but if dd likes someone enough to go to her party before then, then she likes them enough to reciprocate.

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:38:24

"Really wrongside, you think that, if I throw a party for 22 that's because that's what I planned. Not because I would expect invites back."

Sorry, I genuinely don't understand your question, Could you rephrase it please?

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:41:57

That you think That someone should not acceptinvites if I'm not able to reciprocate?

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:43:16

Sorry, in this scenario who is the 'someone' who shouldn't accept invites? Do you mean you/your child or another party?

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:47:06

Clearly children's parties as this is the subject. You asked up thread, why would any one accept 22 invites if you know you are only going to book a party of 9.

I ask if you really think that parents should not accept if they can't reciprocate?

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:49:20

"Clearly children's parties as this is the subject." confused

Moooving on...

Yes I think it's rude to accept hospitality that you have no intention of reciprocating, Plenty of people don't, that's their perrogative.

I do.

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:50:14


wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:51:22


So we're agreed grin

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:52:17

You are rude. Get over your self.

wrongsideoftheroad Sat 23-Mar-13 22:53:11

Just to be clear - should I get over myself, or someone else?

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 22:53:19

I hope you manage to work it out Op. but if you have room invite Betty smile

DeepRedBetty Sat 23-Mar-13 22:57:30

Simple rule for under 7's... invite whole class. Until end of Infants/Key Stage 1.

After that it starts being Swimming/Laserquest stuff where you can start using excuse of being Limited Numbers.

CandyCrushed Sat 23-Mar-13 23:00:37

I don't think it is rude for a child to go to someone's party but for them not to invite them to their own party ..... As long as it is a small party and as long as it is not thrown in the non invited DC's face IYSWIM.

I would let politely let Betty's mum know that Betty is not invited.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 23-Mar-13 23:01:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MirandaWest Sat 23-Mar-13 23:02:14

I would never invite the whole class. I don't want 30 children at a party and neither do DS or DD

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 23:02:21

Couldn't do whole class, just couldn't<shudders at idea>. I went with less than half or everyone rule so made sure it was less than half!
It is outside of house but I can squeeze one more in.

CandyCrushed Sat 23-Mar-13 23:02:34

I would also remind DD that she should not talk about the party in front of the other DCs at school as that is very rude.

Its such a minefield! I've stopped with the reciprocating; it always ended up with kids they no longer played with coming along, and limits on their actual friends.

I have a fairly good idea of who they are properly friends with; they always come, but when I did a class party last year, it was so ds had fun on that day with his class, not so that he could go to 30 parties this year.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 23:03:31

How many are invited?

ProphetOfDoom Sat 23-Mar-13 23:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 23:05:41

I don't think it will look too obvious if I invite her now. There are two Bettys and one is a family friend so I gave that invite direct to her mum. I would be quite feasible dd could have put the invite in the wrong Bettys bag (except it was me to put invites in bags but Betty's mum doesn't know that). I'm thinking she must really think there has been a mistake or she would not have mentioned it to me as it is a bit awkward and I don't know her well...

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 23:10:06

9 from class are invited. One of the girls had a party last month that dd wasn't invited to (and girl was not subtle with invites, then told dd she was invited just to come anyway!) so we had the "can't invite everyone" talk. Dd fine with it, which doesn't help with explaining to dd she should invite Betty so as not to hurt her feelings as it feels a bit like going against everything I said...

MrsSham Sat 23-Mar-13 23:11:32

I don't think it would be awkward and if it is questioned just say, look I'm really sorry. Dd chose invites and with hindsight I think that she was maybe a little hasty due to a little bit of friction. But as Betty is aware and you really don't want to leave her out it would benefit both girls if Betty came to help reinforce the friendship.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 23:12:43

Ok then leave it as long as as an adult you don't think your dd actually really likes this Betty and may want to get together ... Could be awkward if so.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 23:20:00

It happened to one of my dses once... He literally thought he was bf with a particular boy .really loved him. Other boy had been over to party and sleepovers etc. then other boy had party , invited all other boys in group but not ds. There are only 8 boys in class and six were going. Ds was gob smacked.. Turned out in the end there was no reason, just had to draw the conclusion that ds thought he was a much closer friend and valued his friendship a lot more than the other boy valued ds.
It was quite hurtful and turned out also other boy wanted to be friends with ds other close friend and become more in with the crowd,
Never been the same friendship since... If you disrespect and hurt people's feelings they will remember.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 23:21:49

Also mum has been very involved volunteering in classroom all year, and every "celebration" each child gets a little bag from Betty with a pencil, sweet and stickers inside. I really have to invite don't I?

TomArchersSausage Sat 23-Mar-13 23:21:54

If this is likely to turn tricky, invite her. 'Find' this missing invite invite and explain the 'you'll never guess what happened...two Betty's etc' version and just invite her. Ok it's a white lie but it'll spare everyones feelings and it'll no longer be on your mind.

Having said that I dont think it's necessary to reciprocate invitations for childrens parties every time. If that were so there'd be whole class parties for all eternity. Then whole office parties at work as an adultconfused You have to scale it back at some stage. Also I do believe in allowing dc to choose who to invite.

But this could get awkward and smoothing things over now will make for no awkwardness in the playground later. Although it's good to encourage children at this age to be a bit discreet about their parties, it's hit and miss when they're excited.

bobblehead Sat 23-Mar-13 23:24:03

Betty's mum is good friends with the mum of another girl who is invited which I'm assuming is how she knows. Don't know if Betty is even aware yet.

Saddayinspring Sat 23-Mar-13 23:27:32

Well are they actually friends in the same group? Will it be obvious? If so invite her . If there are lots of girls in the lass not invited and they are not friendly no need to invite.
I wouldn't e mail tho, just say nothing. Too awkward.

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 00:03:02

The class doesn't seem to have groups that I'm aware of. They all seem to play well together I think. Dd is quite quiet and tends to stick to bff Betty all the time. I think to not invite will just not be worth the years of awkwardness I'm going to go through with Betty's mum, even if she is ok with it. I will bribe dd into inviting if need be!

BackforGood Sun 24-Mar-13 00:05:00

Seriously, I think with the answer you gave, you created a situation where there needn't have been one. All you needed to say at the time was that you'd told your dd she could only have a small number, and then let her choose who that was to be - made some comment about how they change who their best friends are more often than their socks, and how you are sure they will be best buddies again by next week, and leave it at that.

Only on MN would people suggest you keep a tally of every child that invites your child to a party, and then somehow adjust your plans, ignore your finance and all other circumstances to invite each and every one of them back. hmm

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 00:16:20

I know I should have, I just didn't have the heartblush

Just to clarify, this Betty has never been her best friend (that is a different Betty!) dd just went to her party and mentioned her a few times. They've never had "playdates" or the like.

LittleEdie Sun 24-Mar-13 02:38:00

The other mother should be able to understand that kids change who they are friends with all the time and it's no big deal. So long as your daughter isn't taunting Betty I don't see the problem.

She buys each child a gift from her DD on all their birthdays?! Is she over invested in children's parties?

Having children over for tea/play is reciprocated without question. Parties you invite who your child likes and your budget allows. Trying to reciprocate leads to madness.

ll31 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:48:28

Think you should have invited kids whose party dd went toas matter of course, rude not to

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 16:54:11

It however isn't possible to do so if someone has 30 to the party and you never have more 10 max!

BackforGood Sun 24-Mar-13 17:41:56

ll31 try and seriously think of the logistics of what you are saying.
If your birthday is in June/July August, it would mean you - the birthday child - wouldn't get to choose who came to your birthday treat / tea / party shock. In what world would that be right ? confused.
Then what about the September child... do they have to "carry over" everyone from last year, or do they get the privilige of being the only child in their class who actually gets to invite just the children they are friendly with that month to their party ?
Some loons people choose to invite 30 ish children to their child's party, so your child would have been included even if they weren't a particularly close friend. Some loons actually enjoy hosting this kind of party. How is refusing to let your child go, because you know you have more sense will only be having a smaller 'do', actually benefitting anyone... your child, the birthday child, or the party host ???
Some people already have a good handful of children to cater for, before they get onto classmates (siblings, half or step siblings, maybe close cousins or similar) so they don't have the capacity to invite so many from school as other children do.
Your logic doesn't work in reality.

Tailtwister Sun 24-Mar-13 18:11:27

We had a whole class party for DS's 5th this year. We did it for several reasons.

1. DS couldn't decide who to have.
2. There were lots of parents I hadn't met due to us collecting at different times and it was a good way to meet them.
3. I hated the idea of leaving children out and just thought it was easier to invite everyone.

We had a few decline, but most accepted. I'm sure there will be a few parties of those who did attend which DS isn't invited to. That's fair enough, I didn't invite everyone simply to get reciprocal invitations. Next year he'll have something smaller when he starts to make particular friends.

Personally OP, I would just invite this girl unless you're DD is likely to comment that she wasn't invited in the first place or would exclude her at the party. It sounds as if the mum just wanted to check she hadn't missed the invitation.

Timetoask Sun 24-Mar-13 18:23:16

Personally, I always reciprocate. I would only consider not doing it if the numbers got out of hand.

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 19:27:25

Well, I emailed Betty's mum last night saying I'd checked the list and Betty was indeed on it so should have had an invite. I apologised for the mix up and for not being able to give an on-the-spot answer, but as dd had changed her mind a few times I wanted to be 100% sure. I hope it doesn't look too obvious.
Dd was not happy but I explained the reasons and bribed her with something cheapblush. She has been instructed not to mention it to anyone.
No reply from Betty's mum.

To all those who say they always reciprocate, what do you do if this is going against your childs wishes? It seems sad that they should invite someone they are no longer keen on at the expense of someone they may enjoy playing with now?

Saddayinspring Sun 24-Mar-13 19:38:06

If they have had a genuine falling out and their is mutual lack of friendship rather than just not top of the list I might not invite back, more often they just have other people they prefer to invite but I think it is something they should learn that if they were happy to accept the invite then they should reciprocate out of good manners.

MrsSham Sun 24-Mar-13 19:46:58

I think that is very good of you boblehead, but don't get to caught up in the reciprocating. Just let dd enjoy birthday celebrations.

Maryz Sun 24-Mar-13 19:47:58

I hope Betty's mum isn't a mumsnetter.

Guitargirl Sun 24-Mar-13 19:51:26

Well, you have invited Betty now but I do think it's unreasonable to expect your DD at her age to not open her mouth about it - whether you buy her something or not hmm.

Also, can you be sure that your DD is going to be nice to Betty at the party - given that she doesn't want her there. Betty might be better off having a nice weekend not going to the party!

DD was invited to a party last year where the birthday girl had obviously been told to invite her, when we arrived the birthday girl said 'I can't wait until my real friends get here' and was then mean to her for the whole party. Nice.

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 19:51:41

Unlikely Maryz as I don't live in UK....(may have to return if she turns out to be a closet mnetter though!!!)

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 19:54:42

Dd's personality is such that I suspect she will a) not say anything and b) be nice to betty at the party. From what I gather any ill-feeling towards Betty is due to dd wanting to play/chat more and Betty not always reciprocating.
The most I see dd saying would be something along the lines of "I forfot to give you an invite" not "my mum made me invite you".

Maryz Sun 24-Mar-13 19:55:31


It's awkward, this friendship stuff. But one thing you can guarantee is that if you fall out with the mother, the children will instantly (and embarrassingly) become inseparable. I've learned that the hard way, and now take great care not to fall out with anyone.

It's a bit like telling your best friend what you think of her ex after they break up - they inevitably get back together and mutually hate you grin

wannaBe Sun 24-Mar-13 20:08:12

Thank christ my ds is now ten and we're past all this presumed whole class party/must-recipricate-all-invites party politics. grin fwiw I only had one class party - when ds was four - for his preschool class, never again. It's madness. As for recipricating every invite, that just isn't practical if there are a lot of parties in your area, and at the time it's not possible to know which invites you would recipricate and which you wouldn't, etc etc etc.

And tbh I think it's a bit off to ask whether your child should have had an invite. If child doesn't receive an invite then you assume they've not been invited.

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 20:34:20

Next year it'll be "choose one special friend..." cheaper and less potential for disaster! Or does that mean dd can only go to one party next year?wink

Floggingmolly Sun 24-Mar-13 20:48:36

I only reciprocate if the kids are happy about it; I don't force the issue if there's been any falling out since the last party.
Apparently I'm in the extreme minority - but I let my kids have the ultimate say in their own guest lists.

Floggingmolly Sun 24-Mar-13 20:59:02

I agree WannaBe, no invite means you're not invited.
There was a very surreal scene at a recent party my 8 year old went to; one boy's mum had received a text about the party details, addressed to for example Susan, inviting her son Simon to the party. Mum receiving text is actually called Jayne and her boy is called James.
First text was immediately followed up with another saying "oops, wrong number, that text was obviously for Susan.
The mum receiving the texts, both the one inviting another boy and the kiss off one actually showed up for the party, appearing quite unfazed at not appearing on the pre paid guest list.

Floggingmolly Sun 24-Mar-13 21:00:09

God, sorry for burbling on, that probably only made sense to me blush

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 24-Mar-13 21:15:27

The other Mum didn't do anything wrong at all - it was a reasonable question given the circumstances and she said 'absolutely no bother if not, just checking'.

It would have been easy to have emailed her saying 'Sorry, DD & Betty seem to have had some minor fall out and as DD was only allowed to choose 6 children she didn't invite Betty sad However, kids being kids they'll probably be friends again by next week so maybe we could do something over the holidays. KR OP'

I reckon Bettys mum knows darn well betty want invited! How can you not know who your five year old wrote invitations to? There is zero chance of me allowing ds to write and hand out invitations without close supervision! I need a list to keep track of replies, and we'd have the class teacher, the class bear, a couple of random kids and maybe his best friend turn up!

TreadOnTheCracks Sun 24-Mar-13 22:16:03

I always recripcate, well actually invite all the girls in DDs class.

But I think it's up to your DD. UNLESS there are only 9 girls and just Betty is left out? Or perhaps only 2 or 3 left out.

DD has been the only girl out of 11 not invited, the girl who's party it was had been to everyone of DDs parties. Me, sour? not much

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 22:43:28

I did write the invites, but dd had been reeling off names of who she was inviting for the past month or so, and this kept changing! (Betty had made the cut at one point....). Had one of the the other girl's mums asked me the same question I may well have not been able to answer on the spot as not totally sure without checking the list (I tick off name when I get an rsvp). I knew full well about Betty as I wasn't sure about the whole reciprocating bit and do know the mum to say hello to.
I hope it doesn't look obvious, but she did ask...what did she expect? No=hurt feelings and awkwardness, yes=invite and I'm guessing she'd prefer the latter!

bobblehead Sun 24-Mar-13 22:44:30

At least 4 other girls are not invited

LittleEdie Mon 25-Mar-13 02:04:39

What ChippingIn said.

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.

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

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?).

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!)

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.

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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