My child is the only child not invited to this party

(62 Posts)
Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 20:00:20

DS (11) is in year 6. He is one of 6 boys in his year at school (v small village school). One of the others, T, is having a birthday party soon. As background, my mum looks after my 2 DCs every day after school and T and his sister also go to her house after school until their parents get home (all kids are over age 8, the parents pay my mum for this).

So, T gives DS an invitation to his party today, which is actually an invitation to tea at his house AFTER the party activity, which is laser quest. T says to DS "I'm sorry but I can only have a certain number of people to laser quest so you can't come but to make up for it you can have 2 pieces of cake".

DS realises from classroom chat that all of the other boys in his year group HAVE been invited to the laser quest and he is the only one not invited.

I am livid. This is not the first occasion on which DS has been the only boy excluded from a party, which I think is completely unacceptable in such a small year group. He has generally been socially excluded at school and I have regular contact with the head teacher about it. It makes my heart ache for him because he just wants to be part of the gang, but he isn't.

On this occasion it feels particularly brutal as this child is in my mum's house with DS every day after school. Given that his parents are completely dependent on her for cheap childcare, I wouldn't have thought it would be that much of a stretch for them to just insist to T that DS must be invited.

I am fairly sure that what will happen when my mum conveys her displeasure to these parents is that they will then extend the invitation to DS. I don't know what to do then. Gut feel says that as T stated quite clearly to DS that he was not invited to the activity, DS should not go where he isn't welcome just because the parents later realise that they have shot themselves in the foot somewhat. On the other hand, DS is so desperate to be included that even though he recognises the truth of the situation, he would probably seize the chance anyway.

What would you do in this situation?

23balloons Thu 18-Oct-12 20:10:18

If they invite him and he really wants to go then let him. Unfortunately, Laser Quest is really expensive & I limited the number my ds could invite when he had a party. He left a boy out and I though it was unfair so I offered to pay for an extra place if he invited this particular boy but he was adamant he wouldn't invite him & if I paid for an extra place he would choose someone else. This is obviously a very awkward situation & I wouldn't allow my child to leave one child out of 6 out but some parents dont think of it like that. It happened to my ds once & the mother of the other boy was my best friend. I actually took it so personally I stopped speaking to her, when she wanted to know why she was really upset and hadn't even though anything about her son leaving my ds off his small party list. Some people just don't think about it the way others do.

I hope it sorts itself out. Sounds like you need more boys in your school!

budgieshell Thu 18-Oct-12 20:12:25

There is not a lot you can do. You can't insist on being invited. It is heart breaking to be the one left out. It seems like you are being sent a message, the question is why is there no invitation? He is being excluded for a reason.

So he is fine for their son to be around every afternoon when it suits them but not fine enough for a party invite, hmm on your behalf.

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 20:36:01

Thank you all. I think ABatinBunkFive has picked up my real point: I would be upset for DS just to be the only one excluded but the real issue is the fact that this kid spends 3 hours a day after school in my mum's house, his parents rely on my mum completely for childcare, and yet they think it acceptable to allow their son to leave my DS off the list. It's a group of 6 boys, not 10 or 15.

Incidentally when it was DS' party he had laser quest and we invited all the boys.

But presumably the boy invited who he wanted to? Without feeling obliged because of childcare - would you want him to? It seems like the parents are aware of the social implications and so have invited him afterwards for cake.
Actually that was what I PLANNED to say but just realised your ds is the only boy not invited. The childcare etc is a red herring, that in itself is totally not on.

Frontpaw Thu 18-Oct-12 20:44:22

I'd be sorely tempted to say 'goodbye childcare then' but of course you can't do that!

Because its such a small class, you can't really kick up a stink. I'd arrange something more intersting to do on the party day, so that he can't go anyway.

Does he get on with the other kids? Is it all school friends going, or are some of the places bagsied by cousins, kids or parents pals etc?

Brycie Thu 18-Oct-12 20:45:12

Oh I am so sorry for you and your son. Yes I would be livid. I'd never leave a child out in those circs - in fact the very fact he's at such a tiny school would make a minimally thoughtless person extend an invite. What a horrid mum. Don't buy him a present I hope.

MarianForrester Thu 18-Oct-12 20:46:58

I think it's absolutely horrible. They should have invited your boy, or maybe not had this type of party.

Don't know what to do though. This happened to my dd, but without the after party tea invitation; am still fuming, heart wrenches for her, cos I wouldn't do it.

Brycie Thu 18-Oct-12 20:47:52

Actually if he does get a late invite and he does want to go, let him go and don't buy a present anyway. Very poor behaviour.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 18-Oct-12 20:48:05

I hate kids parties!!! Either everyone is invited, which costs a small fortune, or it's a selective list and someone is left out. Which is why I haven't decided yet whether DS is having a party this year or not.

OP, I'd try to separate out the fact that your mum provides (paid) childcare for T. That's a side issue really. The fact he's the only boy in class left out is really mean, but I don't think you can force children to want to be friends or invite certain children to their party, sorry.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 18-Oct-12 20:49:26

x post with Shriiieeek

Alfiepants Thu 18-Oct-12 20:53:18

I think it's disgusting. As adults you'd expect more sensitivity or at least an explanation if it were down to money only because its such a small class. I feel so badly for your son. I had ten years of the same thing at school and it has left me with terrible scars. Do you have to keep him at this school?

TheProvincialLady Thu 18-Oct-12 20:57:55

How mean and - if nothing else - stupid of the parents to allow this. What can you do though, except live with the knowledge that they are horrible people and be thankful that your son is moving to a bigger school next year where he will meet more people and make friends.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 18-Oct-12 20:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilyloo Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:09

I would arrange a day out for him and maybe take some none school friends.
I agree they should invite who they want but to leave one child out is horrible.

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 21:42:51

Thanks all. I'm not glad to hear similar things have happened to others but it makes it seem slightly less personal.

It's not a money thing. The family in question have plenty of money and the cost of one child at laser quest is only £8 extra.

I completely agree that you cannot force children to be friends and shouldn't necessarily feel compelled to invite whole class, but in this case the year group of boys is only 6 boys! Even if it were 10, I would not agree in leaving only one boy out.

When it was DD's birthday a few months ago, the daughter in this family accepted the invitation and a few days later told DD at school that she would come to the activity but then her mum would collect her early as she'd been invited to another party on the same day that she wanted to go to as well. I rang the mother to check this and expressed surprise that the invitation had been accepted if the child had another party to go to, whereupon the mother obviously realised what it looked like and said it was a mistake and of course her daughter would only attend DD's party after all.

I have grown to hate the way DS is always at best on the periphery at school and have chosen a secondary school for him that none of his current year group will go to, so he can have a completely fresh start. Unfortunately he has developed a self-image of being "the unpopular one" and so I am quite concerned that this will become self-fulfilling at secondary school. I just want to scoop him up and make him feel better but I can't.

Whoever said your schooldays are the best of your life was wrong!

marquesas Thu 18-Oct-12 21:48:55

Your poor son, it's awful when your children are left out isn't it.

Would your Mum be prepared to have a word with T's mum to see if she can find out why your son has been excluded without letting on that you know about it of course?

visualarts Thu 18-Oct-12 21:56:02

So ginda your ds actually invited the other boy to his laser quest party? Makes it even more of a blow. So sorry - horrible for your ds. On the wider issue of his being on the periphery, is it worth inviting the most likely boys round at the wekend to play - one at a time, to see if that helps promote friendships? Or maybe you've already tried that?
Are there any out of school things he could do - a sports club, music group? Maybe in next town along, to mix with non-school boys? It must be so difficult for you to see him feeling he's the unpopular one - and for him of course! So maybe meeting new people outside school would help?
Might teacher be able to help with the exclusion thing?
All my sympathies!

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 22:24:30

marquesas my mum rang this evening to say she had called the mother and the mother had said that it was a mistake. They had left it to the son to put the pre-printed) invitations into envelopes and give them to his friends. They had had 2 separate pieces of paper - one inviting to the house for tea and one inviting for the laser quest (why would they do this? In what universe??). Their son had obviously forgotten to put the second piece of paper in DS' envelope.

I said to my mum: all very well apart from the bit where the boy expressly said to DS on handing over the envelope "you can't come to laser quest"!

I knew the parents would come up with some BS excuse like this when they realised their childcare might be at stake. But I will now have to let DS go because of course he wants to.

visualarts, I have tried to get DS into other stuff outside school, but with minimal success for other reasons. His dad and I are divorced, dad lives miles away, insists on having the kids for 2 weekends out of every 3 from Fri-Sun, which means they are hardly ever at home at weekends to do stuff with friends/pursue activities. I have another thread on this topic at the moment as am gearing up for a battle with exH by telling him I want alternate weekends (which he will go apeshit about).

Brycie Thu 18-Oct-12 22:26:09

Great, let him go and don't buy a present. I'm so mean but they were so mean to your child. I hope your son enjoys it smile

Frontpaw Thu 18-Oct-12 22:29:33

Mind he doesn't shoot the mum in the arse with a laser. Accidentally.

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 22:31:48

grin frontpaw!

It might be a genuine mistake, you know how gormless year 6 boys can be.

DS2 was one of only 2 left out of a party - he didn't seem that concerned, I think I was more concerned (wondering what on earth he'd done to be left out!) but they then seemed to make up and he was invited. He can't go anyway. :rolls eyes:

I do whole class, no-one left out, or very small select group. Anything else is too difficult.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 18-Oct-12 22:36:06

Brycie, that is mean! Surely either he accepts the invitation with good grace and goes with a present etc, or the invitation is politely declined?

OP, I don't think that these parents should feel beholden to your mum for providing childcare, it doesn't seem very healthy (I'm not saying that they have behaved well by initially "forgetting" the invitation). And I'm a bit sad at the other posters who have suggested that your mum should stop providing childcare for them in some kind of revenge for the party snub.

Brycie Thu 18-Oct-12 22:39:13

Yes, I was horribly mean, I'm so sorry. But I do agree with frontpaw grin

Beamur Thu 18-Oct-12 22:40:52

I am angry on your behalf.
You know the 'mistake' with the invitation is bullshit. But, I'd say let your son go and try and be gracious about it. (You so have the moral highground!)
I say this with some passion as am currently dealing with my own feelings of righteous indignation about my own DD being left out of a party at her school too! Her class is equally tiny and as far as I can work out, all the other girls in her year (all 3 of them!) have been invited and she hasn't. I could (and have) felt really pissed off, yet can't be too annoyed as I'd already arranged a party myself on the same evening and had already invited the other 3 girls...

takeonboard Thu 18-Oct-12 22:44:15

It is really bad on the parents part to allow their son to leave 1 person out, they are responsible for ensuring he does the right thing at this age.

You have definitely made the right decision in sending him to a different secondary, for exactly the same reasons my DS went to a secondary school where he knew no one a year ago. He was nervous about being unpopular too and has really blossomed - it was the best decision we ever made. Roll on next September for your DS smile

Ginda Thu 18-Oct-12 23:04:51

Thanks takeonboard, that's really encouraging to hear. I am so looking forward to a new start and hopefully some more friendly children for him to get to know.

I am letting him go to the party but will be with a cheaper present than would otherwise have been...

visualarts Fri 19-Oct-12 07:12:55

Oh yes, i can see that would make regular weekend activities or clubs difficult ginda. And im guessing there is nothing really suitable on weekday evenings? is there a scouts or similar (not too) close by that he could try - they seem to be weekdays rather than weekend?
Would it be worth speaking to the teacher about the 'periphery' issue? They have ways and means of encouraging particular friendships, like putting people in pairs and so on. Anyway, glad he has the lq invite and hpe he enjoys the party!

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 08:01:47

Maybe the present can be something like some bongos, a digereedoo or trumpet? Or 'slime' - do they do Moonsand for that age?

beachyhead Fri 19-Oct-12 08:09:52

Frontpaw, excellent ideas there.....Bow and arrow might go down well....

Cahoots Fri 19-Oct-12 12:08:04

Perhaps your DS could give this as a present smile

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 12:09:45
pictish Fri 19-Oct-12 12:18:51

Oh OP there are few things that make my heart splash into my stomach on here than reading posts about children being singled out to be left out of party invites. It is shitty shitty shit shit, and parents who do this, or allow their child to do it should have rotten fruit thrown at them in the town square.

Also hate the why-should-my-child-invite-someone-he-doesn't-like argument. I'll tell you why - because to not invite one child makes you a fucking bastard, and it really is that simple. We should be teaching our children kindness and fairness, and leaving one kid out is the polar opposite of those things. Any parent who supports this kind of nastiness is a fud. GRRR!

drjohnsonscat Fri 19-Oct-12 12:21:41

That's bad. I'm so sorry. You can't exclude just one. You invite all. Or organise a smaller thing that excludes a few so it's not so pointed.

Can't believe they could be so rubbish for the sake of £8. The only thing I can think of is that your concerns about your son being socially excluded are very apparent to you but not to them. I'm sure your own perception of your son is correct but maybe they are a bit oblivious and didn't really think about it because he doesn't strike them that way so it was a random selection rather than it being your son again who is the one left out? Clutching at straws here. It's still a totally crap thing to do.

People are totally rubbish aren't they.

Ginda Fri 19-Oct-12 13:06:52

Well, today the dad has spoken to my mum. Apparently the exclusion was due to the logistics of getting all the kids to the laser quest in the family cars. However, he did not offer the option of "could you possibly drop [DS] off and collect him as we don't have room in the car?". I don't know what my mum said to him but I then got a text from the mother saying she was very upset by all the fuss and had been in tears over it and no hurt had been meant.

Feels a lot like a mountain out of a molehill, but I still think that if transport was the issue then that could very easily have been dealt with by simply saying so at the time of the invitation. That's what I would have done anyway.

drjohnsonscat, good point about the parents not being aware of DS feeling excluded at school. That's fair. However, I still can't get past the whole taking all the kids except for one thing. It just seems so pointed, even if for a "good" reason like transport. Choose another activity, or rope in another mum to help with the transport. Not such a big deal, surely?

Ginda Fri 19-Oct-12 13:08:04

DS has decided that his birthday celebration is going to be him and 3 friends going to the cinema and then to Shakeaway and home for tea! Only one of the friends will be from school so no one needs to feel left out.

Oh dear, I thought last night it probably had been a mistake, but it seems not sad

pictish Fri 19-Oct-12 13:10:01

Hmmm well if I had that transport 'dilemma' I'd do two runs. So they can still fuck off like the pair of shits that they are!

Ginda Fri 19-Oct-12 14:03:01

I love Mumsnet.

Being very British, I had started composing a text response to the mother beginning "I am sorry you have been in tears this morning", but having found some sympathy on MN, I thought better of it and just pointed out that it was regrettable that DS was the ONLY child not to be invited. She hasn't replied.

drjohnsonscat Fri 19-Oct-12 14:12:11

Ginda, how dare she be in tears, silly mare. She's the one who did the hurting not the one who was hurt. She needs to get a grip angry

Sorry, I'm aware that I'm not helping!

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 14:12:38

If she had been sorry, then as soon as she twigged, she't be on the phone all grovelly and apologetic.

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 14:14:09

Besides you don't need to supply transport unless your venue is waaaaay out of town and you are very generous (like a friend of DS whose parents laid on a fleet of taxis to take the kids off for their child's party treat).

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 14:14:39

I'd live to hear the reply. Maybe she's started her own thread...

Frontpaw Fri 19-Oct-12 14:14:55

'Live' 'love' iPad

HoleyGhost Fri 19-Oct-12 14:27:06

The mother's text was passive aggressive. You can see where this is coming from. If it is any reassurance I was always excluded when I was that age. I was unpopular as a child but have had no difficulty making friends as an adult.

I think that popularity is over rated, but friends of a similar age are important - is there anything your ds could do in the evenings during the week to get to know more children his own age?

Hullygully Fri 19-Oct-12 14:30:13

RUDE

TheProvincialLady Fri 19-Oct-12 14:36:01

The mother was in tears? Yes, at being caught out behaving like a bitch and lying about it, and feeling sorry for herself. She should have thought about the hurt she was causing to a child and then maybe her precious feelings would be intact. "No hurt intended" is not an excuse for having upset someone through thoughtlessness. If she was sorry she would have said so. I am quite hardline about no one being entitled to a party invitation, but knowingly excluding one boy out of a group of six is just mean unless there is bullying etc involved.

MrClaypole Fri 19-Oct-12 14:41:00

Please do not give 2 shits about the mother being in tears.

And do NOT TEXT HER BACK offering sympathy!

It is a situation of her own making and she should feel crap about leaving a child out then LYING to cover it up.

janek Fri 19-Oct-12 14:42:43

Can i just reassure that your son is not the 'unpopular' one because he is on the periphery of 6 boys. That's not a big enough pool to begin with. Secondary school will be a whole other ball game - tutor group, different sets for maths/english/whatever, everyone around at lunchtime, the world will be his oyster!

HoleyGhost Fri 19-Oct-12 14:43:12

These details are recognisable. What are the chances that one of the parents involved will read this? grin

If you are lurking, lying crying woman, explain yourself.

Ginda Fri 19-Oct-12 15:11:14

Holeyghost yes, the details are recognisable and I don't really mind about that.

Before the children of this family started going to my mum's after school, the parents mentioned to me in passing one day that they had asked my mum if she would do this. They wanted to know what I thought. I could see exactly this sort of situation arising one day, and so I said to them in express terms which left no room for doubt that I did not want their children to go to my mum's as a regular arrangement.

I subsequently texted the mother to ask what had been decided between them and my mum and she ignored my texts. I later heard from my DCs that the arrangement had begun (my mum doesn't think I need to be told about what else she does while the DCs are there, so didn't tell me).

I think this sort of speaks for itself.

I still haven't had any reply to my text so obviously she doesn't give a toss about DS feeling so obviously rejected.

Thanks for the nice comments about popularity. I was also the unpopular one at primary school but secondary school was much happier. I really hope it goes the same way for DS.

GummiberryJuice Fri 19-Oct-12 15:33:22

So first the son forgot to place invite in the envelopehmm, then oh it was to do with transport

I had this last year with my dd she was leftout of a party invite, the mother herself asked the other mothers, dd never mentioned it to me, it was the other mothers who rang me in disgust that my dd had been left out, again a very small class and one other girll had been left out but as she was new to the class my dd felt the slight more. I think the transport excuse was used.

TBH I ignored it, and smiled and chatted with the mum and made a point of taking all the children for pizza and the cinema on my dds birthday as there were only 7 of them. She is now at a secondary school that none of her other classmates went to and loves it, as someone else said roll on next year for your ds!

I have since moved my other dcs to a bigger school and they are so much happier with loads of friends to choose from!

HoleyGhost Fri 19-Oct-12 15:48:49

I am pretty certain that I have been more successful (academically, professionally) than the classmates who excluded and even bullied me. I would have thought that I would have been an obvious target in secondary school, as I had also internalised my role as the scapegoat, but I made friends easily and was happy there.

From the time I left primary school, I never saw that kind of behaviour again until recently, when I encountered it from other mothers. I have since heard that the ringleader mother was a school bully herself. She is clearly harking back to her glory days as Queen Bee, playing power games and enjoying her power to make others miserable.

Brycie Fri 19-Oct-12 18:25:01

Pictish: "Also hate the why-should-my-child-invite-someone-he-doesn't-like argument. I'll tell you why - because to not invite one child makes you a fucking bastard, and it really is that simple. We should be teaching our children kindness and fairness, and leaving one kid out is the polar opposite of those things."

I think this is great, and you are right.

Holeyghost - echoing with me!

Brycie Fri 19-Oct-12 18:25:43

By which I mean to say Holey you're articulating things I think sometimes.

Campari Sun 28-Oct-12 14:11:53

Do the two boys normally get on well together? Or do you have any suspicions that this other boy just doesnt want him to be in with the group?

Lets face it, you cant expect everyone to be the best of mates.

dalek Tue 30-Oct-12 00:55:44

This happened to my dd all the time at primary school - not the only one in the class but the only one out of the group she considered to be her friends. She is now in year 8 and has a lovely group of friends.

I got very upset by it and have had many sleepless nights and tears over it. Dd on the other hand was very grown up about it and made out not to care. But i do know that although It might not matter in the long run it does hurt.

I hope your son is ok and I wish you well for the future. I hope the other mother IS crying and feeling bad - childish I know but there you go!

Strawhatpirate Tue 30-Oct-12 01:23:50

I think its really weird when parents enable their dcs to behave dickishly. Do they want their dcs to grow up to be inconsiderate twats or something? because that is what is definately going to happen. Never mind OP fuck the stupid parents and fuck there childcare!
Ds will storm secondary school I'm sure!

ll31 Sat 03-Nov-12 19:21:08

Think they were being unreasonable, but you also. Their having childcare with your mother is surely their business not yours. Also your reaction wHen they spoke to you about using your mothers childcate was strange. Finally your reaction to them about your dd s party sounds rude. Maybe they were trying to avoid you, not your ds as you seem quite strident in your prev dealings with them

foxy6 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:58:33

i feel so sorry for you son. kids and there parents who should know better can be so cruel. i had a similar problem with my ds2 when he was id yr 6 he only has 2 real friends and the 3 of them were inseparable. for his birthday that year he had a sleep over and only invited the 2 friends, well a few weeks before he had a fall out with one of them and didn't talk for about a week, they made up and both mothers assured me in the morning that there boys would be over in the night. well neither turned up and ds was in tears ( this is a boy who never shows emotion, so he must have felt bad). we managed to get hold of one of the boys mothers who said her son wasn't aloud to sleep due to bad behaviour ( he had thrown something at her) but he could come until 9 pm, so he did. we couldn't get hold of the other boy. the next day his mother said as my ds had told her son that if he couldn't come to the party he wouldn't be able to sleep? ( there never was a party just the two of them for a sleepover). my ds tried to keep his friendship going and believing there excuses until 2 weeks later we found out that they had there own sleepover that night at the second boys house after the one boy left at 9. i was fuming and expressed this to both mothers about how bad there behaviour was in letting this happen how spiteful and nasty it was to a 11yr old boy that both his best friends treat him like this on his birthday. well ds had nothing to so with them much after this and was a bit of a loner and i did worry about comp, but he made new friends, better friends and hopefully your ds will so the same.

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