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Is it sexist not to invite boys to a birthday party?

(24 Posts)
junipergen Fri 10-Jun-11 18:23:00

My son is five and is in a very small rural school. He has mostly girls as friends and is a kind, popular and funny boy who plays well at school. Several of his friends have had birthday party's but not invited him and only had girls present. My son is hurt and doesn't really understand. I think for this age group it is too young for parents to decide to exclude children on the basis of gender, especially if they are friends too. What does anyone else think?

valiumredhead Fri 10-Jun-11 18:25:51

You just need to teach your boy that not everyone is invited to every party.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jun-11 18:25:58

Yes - at this age, all DDs class did mixed parties. It wasn't till juniors that some of them started to do single sex parties - either as an easy way to limit numbers without favouritism or because the activity was 'girlie' or 'boyish'.

chirpchirp Fri 10-Jun-11 18:26:25

That's odd, I think if they are friends gender doesn't really come into it at this age or any other.

lazylula Fri 10-Jun-11 18:26:55

I wouldn't say it was sexist tbh, maybe the children have decided who they want to invite. Ds1 plays mainly with girls and has been invited to 3 girl's parties.

ashamedandconfused Fri 10-Jun-11 18:27:43

what valium said, though tis hard if he has invited them and all his main friends are girls

troisgarcons Fri 10-Jun-11 18:28:15

Quite often my 10yo is the only boy invited to girls parties. He's either going to be gay or a lothario!

worraliberty Fri 10-Jun-11 18:29:32

No it's not sexist. The kids are only five for goodness sake...they'll invite who they want to.

DoingTheBestICan Fri 10-Jun-11 18:30:56

In my ds' school a lot of the girls have had pamper parties & only invited the girls to it,& then these same parents got all arsey because their little princesses werent invited to the boys parties.

My ds is 5 soon & we are having a whole class party,imo they are too young to be not inviting boys/girls.

I am figuring maybe next yr or the yr after the parties will get smaller & the birthday person will invite a small handful of their friends.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jun-11 18:32:22

> The kids are only five for goodness sake...they'll invite who they want to.

At 5, isn't it generally the parents who do the inviting? Sounds to me like the other mums just assumed that their girl's friends were girls.

JamieAgain Fri 10-Jun-11 18:33:31

I think it can happen because the parents worry about only having one boy, in other word, it isn't necessarily the child's choice, but social engineering by the parents. Simpler to only have one sex. That is unfair if a child is mainly friends with the opposite sex

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jun-11 18:33:52

Hopefully the 'pamper parties' don't start till juniors though... 5 year olds want a nice village hall romp or playbarn.

SardineQueen Fri 10-Jun-11 18:34:21

It seems a shame if it is the case that the parents want to do "gendered" parties even if the children are friends with the opposite sex. Which must be the case surely if most of his female friends have had "all girl" parties even though one of their best friends is a boy IYSWIM.

Very sad

SardineQueen Fri 10-Jun-11 18:35:21

I mean why on earth at 5 would you split activities between those suitable for girls (boys can't come) and those suitable for boys (girls can't come).

This has really annoyed me actually!

BaibaLiepa Fri 10-Jun-11 18:45:07

Ds1 was the only boy in his Reception year of 12, and they used to have all girl parties. I used to hate it when they all came out of school excited about the party they were going to.

It used to be excused with "ah it's a princess party, so I don't suppose he would have wanted to come"...

stealthsquiggle Fri 10-Jun-11 18:47:30

It has been quite common in DS's year as well (smallish year - 12 in YR rising to 22 by Y3) and DS gets very indignant - particularly as boy-hosted 'whole class' parties seemed to be very common whereas a lot of the girls would have 'girls only'

It's one way of reducing the numbers, I suppose - but you can do selective parties without doing it on the basis of gender.

It annoys me too - I would never have let DS invite only boys at that age, and now he is old enough to choose his own invitees I am very glad that he generally chooses a mixture. DD(4.5) is currently campaigning for a very 'girly' next party, but I will be modifying those requests to make it appeal to boys as well (she does have lots of friends who are boys, she just wants to inflict a pink party on them!).

chicletteeth Fri 10-Jun-11 18:52:46

Agree with valium
This is a problem in my boy's class and whilst he is fine with it (actually got sick of the number of parties in reception year) some parents and children react badly to it.

DontCallMeBaby Fri 10-Jun-11 18:54:16

DD has decided for herself (with a little guidance and sanity checking from us) who to invite to parties since her 5th. There were no boys at her 5th (cinema plus lunch), probably because we only invited five children and it was the girls who made the cut. There were boys at her 6th and 7th (bowling and swimming respectively) because she wanted to invite them. The only way I would get involved in whether or not she invited boys would be that I would steer her away from inviting only one boy (vindicated by the utter DELIGHT demonstrated by a boy at the last party she attended when another boy finally turned up!) Although I'd act differently if she were in a small class with only one boy, as above.

PaisleyLeaf Fri 10-Jun-11 18:58:57

There was another thread about the same sort of thing recently:

halcyondays Fri 10-Jun-11 19:07:49

My dd is 5 and we just asked her who she wanted to invite from the class and it was a mix of girls and boys, she's been to a couple of other parties which also had a mix. I think at this age children would be more likely to choose for themselves who to invite, maybe I'm wrong?

exoticfruits Fri 10-Jun-11 19:09:58

Mine just had a completely free choice at that age-with only a small number-it was completely up to them.

skyatnight Fri 10-Jun-11 19:15:40

I think it often is just as a way to reduce the numbers.

If I have arranged a birthday party for dd, now 6, I have usually invited all the class. Sometimes, I would have preferred to invite three-quarters of the class, maybe boys and girls, and exclude those who she is not close to, but I then feel it is mean not to invite everyone.

Dd went to the cinema for her last birthday and we invited only girls to keep the number low because it was without parents coming along and, anyway, would otherwise have been too expensive. I felt I should invite all the girls from the class so that none of them would feel left out, even though Dd is not close to all of them. I don't know why I feel such obligations but I remember what it felt like when I was at school and wasn't invited, so....
Maybe if I hadn't felt obliged to invite all the girls, there would have been an opportunity to invite the one or two boys dd is friends with.

I agree it is not fair that your ds is left out. It's not right and it is very likely
that it is the parents', albeit arbitrary, decision, not the birthday girl's.

There is time enough as they get older for them to have single-gender parties. And it is really nice in those first few years at school when they all play together.

I want to suggest that you perhaps have a word with some of the girls' parents but I am not sure how you could do that without it being awkward?!

diddl Fri 10-Jun-11 19:16:35

When mine were five they invited who they wanted and I would have thought that your son´s friends are doing the same.

Perhaps though they wanted an all girls party.

chipmonkey Fri 10-Jun-11 19:17:34

This used to drive me nuts! Ds1 was the only boy in his nursery class and never got invited to any of the girls' parties. He used to be so sad about it.sad

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