teachers handing out birthday invitations - should this be ok when all are not invited?

(97 Posts)
greener2 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:04:34

Hi,
as topic says really. My daughter is in reception class so i am new to the school thing but she has been really upset the last week. The teachers have a birthday chair in he classroom. When its someones birthday they come up and they hand out invitations to their party. Obviously the issue is not whether my dd is invited as its fine and i understand but the upset she has when she is 1. waiting to see if she is invited 2. subsequently isnt invited has to have the disappointment of this...

Am i ott in not being happy with this? I really feel for her poor thing. By the way she is suspected of haveing autism which the school are aware of and so things do affect her differently so please be kind when responding. Thanks

legalalien Wed 28-Nov-12 07:37:17

This year (small party, up till now has been whole class) I emailed the parents a few weeks in advance to get them to save the date, and asked them to let their children know at the start of the week of the party, to minimise the "who's invited" discussion at school. Worked well. In fact these days I think emailing invites is the way forward.

Visualarts Wed 28-Nov-12 07:39:14

sweetpea that is awful! (chair incident) On a total tangent, would that student be excluded as a result? Sorry, realise that's irrelevant to the thread, but am interested to know how a schol responds to that kind of thing.

IsabelleRinging Wed 28-Nov-12 07:45:46

The TA usually pops the invitations into book-bags with books before home-time in my school so it is not so obvious who has/hasn't got one.

SnowWide Wed 28-Nov-12 08:11:19

legalalien How do you have the email IDs of parents unless they are friends/acquaintances?

These birthday parties are fraught with politics. DD desnt want to invite one of her closest friends, they ve drifted apart. I know her mum. Awkward.

She also wants to invite one other girl,who is part of another bigger group. These girls' mums also stand around in a quiche big group everyday. How do I give an invite to just one withouot the other mums pursing their lips? Awkward.

To be frank, most children seem fine. Parents on the other hand, too much angst and hand wringing...

Yes, lets do away with parties, please....

legalalien Wed 28-Nov-12 08:31:04

We have an excel spreadsheet with the email addresses for the year group (and yes, everyone has consented to being included). Really useful it is too.

SnowWide Wed 28-Nov-12 08:55:07

Pch.. See the spreadsheet would be great. Cuts out all the playground palaver....

Plus, I could email and roast all the parents whose child dared displease my PFB! Heh, heh, heh...

<wonder if I could email that dishy looking dad on the school run>

DeWe Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:23

I think handing them out in the playground gives as many problems. You get children waving them around, asking each other if they've been invited. And the child who runs up to the birthday child asking for an invite and is told in blunt 6yo fashion that they haven't got one. Seen upset children on many occasions even with very careful handing out.

lingle Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:19

"I think it helps to teach children to deal with disappointment, they will then develop the skills to not be bothered by this. "

sweetpea, if a child has already started to develop those skills, then one disappointment amongst several successes may hone those skills further.

but vulnerable children won't develop those skills by rejection/humiliation.

OP I'm with you, (and clam) this is obnoxious. The only issue is that I think they won't take your feelings seriously - they will think it's a response to this party at this time and that you wouldn't be moaning if your child had been invited. The best thing you can do is complain after your child has received several party invitations in a row....

Hulababy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:44:14

mrz - I am thinking of the times it pops up on MN when it turns out only 2 or 3 children in a class haven't been invited and everyone else has. Or where all but 1 girl in invited, etc.

By teachers or TAs handing out the invites it would feel like they were condoning this.

I have no idea how the parents at our school manage it - but the teachers/TAs take no part in it.

Hulababy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:46:15

Like others - at DD's school we have contact details for everyone in the class - mobile/tel numbers and email addresses. Class rep organises it at start of each year.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:49:43

I once had very evil thoughts towards a parent who I thought had invited every child except one to her son's party. It turned out the mums were very good friends and the invitation had been handed to the mum over coffee earlier in the week ...the child hadn't been excluded so now I'm not so quick to jump to conclusions.

BranchingOut Wed 28-Nov-12 19:01:03

The thing is, people say 'just put them in book bags' as if this is a task with absolutely no impact on school time, but it can actually be quite time consuming to pull out the relevant 12, 15 or 20 book bags out of the set of 30, wrestle with the Velcro on each one, re-seal and replace. Five minutes that a teacher or TA could usefully be spending on another task.

Not to mention the children who carry around a term's worth of detritus in their bags, the parent who fails to see the invitation and the wrath of the party host when their child's friend fails to RSVP and comes to YOU to complain about it!

I found that letters only ever reliably reached home when they were placed in a child's hands just before home time.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 19:16:40

I wish my class could be relied upon to ensure letters placed in their hands as they exit the classroom having already collected school bags and wearing their coat made it as far as the playground

Fidget275 Thu 29-Nov-12 16:29:43

I always get the child to hand them out at the start of the day when all children are engaged in some kind of activity (year 1) They don't even notice then. It is sad, especially where you have a class when its always the same children being left out!

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Fri 30-Nov-12 19:04:21

Sorry haven't read all threads!

What an awfully tactless and mean thing to do to the little ones who are left out!

Yes life can be disappointing, but I think it's actually cruel to do this to a 4 year old. Parties really are a massive deal at that young and tender age.

My DS teacher discreetly puts invites in to the children's bags.

Changing the subject slightly: my son is in Year 1. There are only nine children in his year, but believe it or not, sometimes one or two can be left out. I hasten to add, not by me, I invite all of them.

All primary school parents recently received a general newsletter, and it mentioned that when organising parties, parents should avoid leaving out one or two children (can't remember exact wording). I thought this was a great sentiment, but conversley, the school will not give out a list of all class members!

Legalalien - Think that's a great way of doing it.

sweetpea31 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:35:37

Visual, said child was suspended for the incident. Said child reacts this way at every single no or disappointment. It is one who has had money thrown into the pot left right n centre, good at sports so never turned down for the teams, is able so never really struggled at work. Parents overcompensate for working by buying material things every week they go shopping etc.
This week the child has not coped with getting the part wanted in the Xmas performance, not being able to play hockey due to behaviour and someone using something he wanted to use for his craft work. All resulting in violence/destruction/shouting/abuse.
lingle - if children are explained to then they are not humiliated, children need to learn pretty early on that money can be scarce and things like parties etc cost an awful lot. Even with our little children we explain very simply and that it doesn't mean they are not their friends or don't like them but they invited the people they play with the most etc.

wigglywoowoo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:06:57

I think it is very tricky to get this just right. I felt a bit guility when I sent DD's (YR1) invites in as I knew that we'd only invited two thirds of the class and yes I could have got DD to hand them out but this would have been at school too. They all talk about parties and who is invited before and after the event so even if the invites are sent out privately, it still gets discussed and that child knows that they have missed out.

The worst bit for me was a mother who had told me previously that her DD said she didn't have any friends. My DD had this little girl on her birthday list, I mentioned the party details to this mother and that i'd be giving the invitations to the teacher. She told me not to send the invite to her DD as she said it was too much hassle to take her. sad

acsec Fri 30-Nov-12 23:10:11

I ask parents to give out invites themselves - if they really can't then I just quietly pop them in the children's bookbags whilst they are at lunch so as not to upset anyone.

MidoriKobayashi Mon 03-Dec-12 12:43:03

I'm no longer a teacher but when I was teaching I didn't give out invites but would allow the children to put them in trays at playtime/ during the register while everyone else was doing early morning work. I didn't ask who was/ was not invited and (like letters from school) envelopes were not to be opened until children had asked the adult collecting them from school. At my last school TA time was timetabled down to the minute for specific interventions/ guided reading/ working with a group so there was no time for another adult to do this. Book bags came in once per week, books and homework were changed and bags were given back out all on the same day - there's no way I would have had time to go through and put in party invites as well as responding to parental comments in reading journals and checking children had chosen an appropriate book! As some children are dropped off and picked up from before/ after-school clubs every day, their parents don't often see the other parents and they're likely not to have contact details for them so by refusing to allow children to give out party invitations I would effectively exclude them from inviting some children. I was never given any guidance from the school about party invitations and think that if you are concerned it might be worth having a chat with the head and asking about a system of sharing email addresses through PTA and avoiding invites coming in to school altogether as was mentioned earlier on the thread.

Aboutlastnight Mon 03-Dec-12 12:54:27

I gave DD2 invitations to hand out for her party and not all children were invitedz

We can't afford/ don't have the room to take the entire class.
But she isn't invited to all parties either. That's just life I'm afraid.

VenetiaLanyon Mon 03-Dec-12 14:18:40

My DD's school has a policy that you're only allowed to give out invitations at school if the whole class is invited. Very sensible.

Jestrin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:31:46

Going back to the beginning of the thread I think ultimately the point is that the way the invitations are handed out is far too OTT whichever year group the class is. They should just be given to the teacher/TA to put in book bags if the parent is unable to hand out themselves. And no, not all children get invited but this way is more discreet.

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