Do I have to invite the child my son is scared of?

(271 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

Fireplaces Tue 07-Jan-14 19:34:23

Hi, hope you can help. DS will be 6 soon and is having a party at a local play barn centre.All autumn term, DS would come home and tell me almost every day about the behaviour of another boy in the class, let's call him Alex.

Alex's behaviour ranged from spitting at the teacher to just shouting out during reading time. But then became hurting other children eg pulling hair, hitting, pinching. The teacher said to me that Alex was volatile and that DS should take care when playing with him. At that stage DS was still happy to play with Alex.

Just before Christmas though, Alex came over to DS in the playground, pushed him over and then "pulled him along the ground til he cried". It was witnessed etc and put in the book etc.

My issue now is that DS wants to invite all 30 kids in his class to his party, but not Alex. He says it because he is afraid that Alex will hurt someone and spoil the party. He is also scared of Alex now.

I am very aware that you can't invite the whole class apart from one child, but what are my options? I am not worried about the 'tea' part as that's in a small room where I can keep an eye out, but the first hour is in a massive play barn is massive with lots of places that are hidden from immediate adult view eg high up tunnels, sensory room. And there will be one teenager plus me supervising.

Alex has not been diagnosed with any condition or special educational need. I am a bit at a loss of how to deal with it. If I tell DS we have to invite Alex, he won't want to have a party at all. Help!

TheNightIsDark Tue 07-Jan-14 19:36:19

Can he leave some others out too? How do you know Alex doesn't have a SN or something? Has that come from a teacher or is his mother aware of his behaviour and told you he doesn't?

Bloodyteenagers Tue 07-Jan-14 19:41:43

Well, for starters you need more people there. 2 people in charge of 30 is not enough.

I'd be very tempted to just invite all of the children except Alex. I know the general rule is whole class or less than half, which you could do. But I don't see why your DS should have who can come to his party dictated to him by one child who has previously hurt him.

lljkk Tue 07-Jan-14 19:43:48

I think for your own conscience you will only feel better if you insist to your DS that he needs to keep numbers down to about 20; this will save you a lot of money, and bother (30 excited 6yos to 2 adults is still too many for me).

All the class parties are bizarre around here,though, and our most recent experience with one quite awful.

RandomMess Tue 07-Jan-14 19:46:47

30 is way too many. Maximum of 20.

notasausage Tue 07-Jan-14 19:49:45

DD is in a composite class p1-3. We invited all the p1 kids and some p2 but missed out one P1 boy for the same reason as you describe. It was a difficult decision but I think one you have to make for the enjoyment of the rest of the kids. If his parents say anything you have a good reason behind your decision. I also think you have too few adults supervising. I would suggest at least double! We had 16 kids and they kept 4 of us occupied!

IsItMeOr Tue 07-Jan-14 19:51:22

Personally, I think it is understandable if you don't invite him.

One option could be to invite the child only if an adult comes with him to supervise him 1:1 throughout. Which could be a runner if you know the parents?

somewhereinessex Tue 07-Jan-14 19:59:39

We had a party (similar age group and whole class although only 18 in total) where there was a child who had a reputation for being rough and pushing kids over, including my DS. In the end it was self-policed by various parents (I think at least 10) who stayed and just kept a watchful eye on the child. His own father who also stayed, failed as usual to notice the various not very nice things that he did. On a happier note, 3 years on this child has vastly improved and his energy is now channelled into being great at sport and he's one of my DS's best friends.

LaundryLegoLunch Tue 07-Jan-14 20:02:20

I agree with pp that you need to reduce the overall numbers. We had 15 at my son's soft play 5th birthday party and 4 of us were kept really busy!

I also think there is no way on earth you should invite a child that your son is frightened of to his party. It should be a day of pure excitement not fear.

I would aim to invite 15-20 instead.

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 07-Jan-14 20:05:41

I think it would be pretty bad to only leave one child out. Do half the class. How do you know if he has SN or not?

SavoyCabbage Tue 07-Jan-14 20:08:11

I agree that 30 children is too many, especially in a soft play situation. I think you might be at risk of loosing the 'party' aspect of the occasion. For me, one of the most important parts of having a party is that my dc knows that they are having a party.

onwardsandsidewards Tue 07-Jan-14 20:11:14

If the boy had a diagnosed condition would you invite him? Just wondering how that is relevant. Not enough supervision for that many regardless. DS1 wasn't invited to a single party for two school years, we moved him to a ss. I told myself they didn't do whole class parties after YR but maybe they did.

Twighlightsparkle Tue 07-Jan-14 20:12:21

It's your child's party, he can invite who he wants.

If the parent takes offence, I'd be really surprised, surely thy will just assume others also aren't invited.

Hope he has a lovely time

lljkk Tue 07-Jan-14 20:12:44

Why is it so important whether he has SN or not? The bottom line is that he scares OP's DS so he doesn't want the lad there. SN or not is not the birthday boy's problem and shouldn't change whether to invite him or not.

If parents realise the boy can be handful & are approachable to supervise him then that could help a lot, but that rule applies regardless of whether the menacing child has SN or not. I just don't see how SN is relevant to OP's immediate dilemma.

It can be horrendous to be invited when not genuinely wanted. So I am struggling to get the morality of that supposed problem, too.

MildDrPepperAddiction Tue 07-Jan-14 20:18:27

My DS's feelings would take precedence in this instance. If he didn't want his bully at his party then he would not be invited.
If the other child or his parents are unhappy with this you could just explain how its your DS's birthday and you want his to enjoy it. You feel sorry Alex has been left out but you have no choice based on past behavior.

onwardsandsidewards Tue 07-Jan-14 20:18:58

It's the old when is inclusion not inclusion. Anyway, still think 29 with two adults is too many, but if you want the perspective of someone whose child was the uninvited child then it's shit. And I would have closely supervised. But tbh birthday invites were the last of our problems, could have just done with people being a bit more discreet about giving them out at times.

onwardsandsidewards Tue 07-Jan-14 20:19:55

Do we have to call 6 year old bullies? Does that help anyone?

onwardsandsidewards Tue 07-Jan-14 20:21:48

And menacing, really? This was my DS1, his behaviour was appalling and out of control at times, does calling him names help at all?

PortofinoRevisited Tue 07-Jan-14 20:23:39

5th birthday? 12 MAX! I never understand why anyone invites the whole class. It is too much really.

Bloodyteenagers Tue 07-Jan-14 20:27:17

It is shit when there is only one child not invited.
Even worse when the invites are done in such a way that it is blatantly obvious.
Then of course, the talk on the playground in the run up to the party and afterwards.
The endless questions from the missed out child.
Things start to quieten down again, and it starts again.
Vicious circle.
It's almost like the class is, what's the word, singling out the one child. But that's ok right..

BopToTheTop Tue 07-Jan-14 20:27:37

Invite whoever your son wishes to invite, even if that means the entire class minus Alex
Why should your son be scared/have a miserable time at his own party because of this boy

If your DS is scared of a child, then don't invite the child.

I agree that 30 with two adults is way too much. Get him to think about who he likes and gets on with best and invite them.

Kewcumber Tue 07-Jan-14 20:28:15

Isn't it easy to tell your son that he can't invite 29 and not 1, however horrible he is to your son, at 6 he can understand its not kind. Either 15 or 30 (ish) but who in their right mind takes 30 6 yr olds to a soft play party with 2 adults shock

Personally I wouldn't take 30 children to a soft play area whatever the adult ratio

Don't invite 30! I did and had to resort to blowing a whistle to calm the whole thing down blush I mainlined gin for a week afterwards to get over the trauma. <respect to reception teachers>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now