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To not want to invite this boy to my son's party?

(113 Posts)
ziggiestardust Thu 05-Sep-13 21:32:37

Mumsnet regular; name changed after a long break.

This is such a worry for me, I'm desperate to not do the wrong thing.

My son's 3rd birthday is a couple of weeks away, and I'm looking at sending the invites shortly. He goes to nursery and I'm inviting a couple of children from there, as well as some family children and some friends from baby groups we've kept in touch with; so a mixed group.

At nursery, there is a little boy whose mum I'm really friendly with and we get on well. However, over the past year it's become more apparent that the friendship between our sons is a little one sided. This other boy pushed my son around a bit; we had a couple of minor incidents. DS would come home and say 'X pushed me today' or 'X scratched me today' about once a week at one point. I raised it with the nursery, and they kept a closer eye on the situation and it subsided a bit. A few weeks later; DS came home with bruises and marks on his face. It turned out that this other boy had pushed him to the ground, and held him down whilst he bit and scratched his face. It was quite nasty and there was a puncture style wound under DS' eye from the other boys' teeth, which bruised and swelled sad

The situation was dealt with well by the nursery, although I was quite upset.

Now, we were invited to this boy's party a few weeks later. We did go (like I said; I'm friendly with the mum and didn't want to let her down), but her son still hit mine over the head with a toy repeatedly until I grabbed my boy away and we left shortly after.

I have cooled the friendship a little, if I'm honest. My son ends up getting hit by this other boy every time we meet, it seems.

Can I get away with not inviting this boy to my son's party? I don't want to come across as nasty! But it's my son's party, and DH is adamant that this other boy isn't coming and we need to protect our son from another child who has a tendency to bully other kids.

But how can I deal with this sensitively? What happens if the boy's mum asks me why her son isn't invited?

thanks in advance smile

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 06-Sep-13 23:29:23

I can only speak for myself, but I did broach the subject with my friend and she couldn't see how intentionally mean her DS's behaviour was when he was younger & she still can't now.

There is rough and tumble in boys, and they do hurt each other. The difference comes when there's a feeling one boy is deliberately picking on another.

So now I choose to protect my son rather than interfere with her choices about bringing up hers.

pigletmania Fri 06-Sep-13 13:47:21

That's a good idea harri smile

Oblomov Fri 06-Sep-13 12:28:41

Threads like this, I do find very hard to read. Because people are just very different. So unlike me.

I really didn't like the way Op described things. And when she said that she used the word bully, because she was trying to explain to us, the conversation that she had had with her dh, that just made it ten times WORSE.
Both my boys have been hurt, bitten on the face etc. I was most upset. And the nursery DID deal with it well. But I never thought that person was a bully. I viewed it totally differently to OP.

And I would have done something about it before.
I can not comprehend why Op has not spoken to this woman.

Just a " I'm so sorry friend, but I haven't been in touch much recently, because when the boys were playing , my ds kept getting hurt.
And I know you wouldn't want that either. Maybe we should just give them a break from eachother for a while"

Or some such, gentle, but very telling way of telling her that you can't have your son being hurt.
Grow a spine. Do something about it. And then there won't be a problem, will there?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 06-Sep-13 12:07:57

Yanbu. I would not be tolerating my child being hit at their own birthday party. If the mother asks why her child is not invited, just be honest. Say you don't want your dc being hit and pushed.

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 06-Sep-13 12:01:42

My youngest had a 'friend' who was a bully from a young age. It wasn't just the normal rough and tumble you get from boys (and I have 3 boys), you could actually see this boy think about hurting another boy before he did it. It was just a fleeting expression on his face, but I was shocked when I saw it. The mum never did anything about his behaviour

So I did pull away from that friendship. My son is in the same school now, but is the year below. The boy is still a bully and badly behaved (aged 10),and the mum still can't see it. I would still avoid my son going on a play date if I wasn't there to look out for him. I'm not normally precious about my no 4

Just keep it straightforward and if she finds out just say it was only a few kids- couldn't have everyone. You don't have to.

saggyhairyarse Fri 06-Sep-13 11:55:23

I wouldn't invite the child to the party. I don't think the Mum will ask why her son cant go but if she does, tell her the truth 'We couldn't invite everybody and DS chose the friends he wanted to come'.

Also, do teach your child how to stand up for themselves. Tell him to shout very loudly "STOP, YOU ARE HURTING ME" to gain an adults atention and to push the other child away.

My DS has been picked on for years, he is a rule follower and always followed the instructions of the school and told an adult but until he actually defended himself it never stopped.

ziggiestardust Fri 06-Sep-13 11:32:24

Thankyou for all the responses; I agree that we should be meeting up without the boys. It is difficult though, seeing as she has other children too and is currently on her own.

She does handle the situation; but only at a fairly late point (I feel) and the little boy doesn't really listen anyway.

I think she has a higher tolerance for aggressive behaviour than I do, really. I think she just thinks its 'kids being kids'.

Because this little boy has moved up to the next room in nursery; my DS doesn't mention him much anymore, and they don't come into contact as much as they did. This was going to be my reason for not inviting him to the party, because they don't spend time together anymore, rather than bringing up the aggression thing. Purely because I don't want to seem like I'm judging her; she's doing a really difficult job on her own and I don't want to make her feel bad about it.

Cuddlydragon Fri 06-Sep-13 10:45:48

I think if you're little one is worried about this boy then that would be the decision made for me. No little boy should be worried on his birthday. It's up to you if you feel the need to explain to the mum.

JerseySpud Fri 06-Sep-13 10:41:25

He is a bully. Just do not invite him and if the mother asks why tell her the truth that your DS doesnt want him there.

Junebugjr Fri 06-Sep-13 10:40:53

What sharri15 said.
I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Just say he's having a few best friends and family, and leave it at that. You really can't have your ds frightened and anxious during his own birthday party. You can still socialise with your friend but in an appropriate setting where you can more closely watch the boys together. By next year his phase of hitting etc could be over, and they could be best pals, 3 year old change like the wind.
My oldest friends ds is 5, and can be quite nasty to my 2yr old dd, whos also quite fiery so gives as good as she gets unfortunately, so we just don't invite him over anymore, it's not worth the screaming. Me and my friend still have a good friendship though.

jessieagain Fri 06-Sep-13 10:34:54

Of course yanbu.

I definitely wouldn't invite him. And I would make lots of polite/friendly excuses to avoid spending anytime with them.

QuintessentialOldDear Fri 06-Sep-13 10:33:03

You know what? If you invite that boy to your sons party, you are telling your son that this boy is more important than him

That is how you come across.

Please stop being pathetic toeing your hands over this. Grow a spine and be there for YOUR child!

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:29:08

Harri that's a great idea!

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:25:56


SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:25:26

I'd just say, 'x his having a party but we're really limited on numbers so just inviting a couple of his best nursery friends and family etc.' then maybe suggest a meet up in the park or something to mark your DSs birthday with them and that way it won't be so intense and you'll be able to intervene easily if an in extent does occur.

fluffyraggies Fri 06-Sep-13 10:24:34

harold i think your attitude is exemplary smile

fluffyraggies Fri 06-Sep-13 10:23:29

Is it really possible that friend has no idea her DS is rough with other kids?

Is she a bit head in the sand about her DS, or is it that your parenting styles just very different and she is a 'boys will be boys, let them thrash it out' kind of parent?

I've read the thread OP and just cant get any feel of what this friend thinks of her sons behaviour - or would think if she knew about it. If we knew this it would be easier to advise. If you're such good friends with her you must have an inkling about how she'd react.

On the face of what we know i think the boy should not be invited to the party.

It seems the mother has no idea that you have an issue with her son, either because no-one's pointed it out or because she refuses to see it, and unless there's time to bring it up with her before the party and make sure it doesn't happen again then it's not fair to your boy.

Your son is more important than a school gate friendship.

Chelvis Fri 06-Sep-13 10:21:36

I wouldn't invite him, it would ruin the party for your DS if he's scared of this boy. I'd send a message to your friend, something a bit blunt, but not too harsh, like 'Please don't be offended that I haven't invited X - he and DS don't seem to be getting along at the moment, so I thought it might be better for them to have some time apart. I'm sure once X is over the biting phase they'll be best of friends again! It'd be great to catch up with you soon, maybe the two of us could go for a coffee next week?'

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:21:02

I agree with talking too, I say to people I've had issues with hitting and please if they see anything tell me or I give permission to deal with it in a pre agreed way if I'm making coffee etc.

He very rarely gets a hit in now.

HaroldLloyd Fri 06-Sep-13 10:18:36

I think the problems arise when the mums don't handle it as people expect. If my DS was around someone's house and he started hitting he would be taken home - and has been. If people feel confident your handling it and not letting it escalate then they are usually ok.

mumthetaxidriver Fri 06-Sep-13 10:12:50

DS not DD

mumthetaxidriver Fri 06-Sep-13 10:07:40

What a difficult situation. Has your friend never mentioned the problem she has with her son hitting etc? When my DD went through a hitting phase at about 3 ( now a perfectly fine 15 yr old!) I was devastated when nursery told me he had hurt one of his friends. I watched him like a hawk when we went to groups or socialized with other children. I also talked to my friends about it which really helped - especially as it showed we were not ignoring the problem. It sounds like your friend has witnessed it herself - maybe you could meet for coffee without the children and see if you can bring the conversation around to his behaviour - if it is so bad she may well be desperate to talk about it. I know how much I appreciated talking to other ( non judgemental) mums.

SarahAndFuck Fri 06-Sep-13 10:05:28

I wouldn't invite him OP but I would be honest with her about why.

When DS started school last year he made a friend the same age. They are actually about a week apart in age and were almost three and a half when they started school.

I got friendly with the boys Mum so we spent a lot of time together and would go to each others houses some days after picking up the boys so they could have lunch together and play for a bit.

And every single time we did, her son would hurt mine. Hitting him with toys, jabbing him with a plastic plate, stabbing him in the face with a fork, locking him in the kitchen by closing the baby gate they used for the dog, locking him in a bedroom to stop him going to the toilet.

DS started to refuse to play upstairs with him because he was hurting him every time they were out of our sight.

And this boy started to say things like "if you come upstairs I've got some sweeties up there" so DS would go and then be straight back down because there weren't any sweets but this boy had tried to hurt him again.

The time he stabbed DS with the fork and DS started crying, he started to shout "silence!" at him over and over so everyone thought DS was crying because his friend was shouting. It wasn't until later that we realised he had actually physically hurt him.

I think that even at age three, this shows some sort of awareness that he knew what he was doing and some level of planning to do it. Most of what happened was out of sight of any adults and to try and trick DS into going upstairs so he could hit him without being seen is just too much to put down to his age and not knowing any better. His age doesn't matter because he did know what he was doing and was obviously old enough to try and be clever about it to avoid being seeing.

When I realised the extent of it all we stopped accepting invites to their house and stopped inviting them to ours. He may grow out of it, I hope he does, but I wasn't prepared to let DS be his punchbag until that happened, especially as his mother used to all but ignore it or give him a token "no, that's naughty, say sorry" but then comfort him because he was upset she had said no to him.

LimitedEditionLady Fri 06-Sep-13 09:57:42

I think nursery told me every squabble id be sick of it,they only tell me if its recorded in the accident book..I know that they will have fall out.Dont all kids?thankfully we have only had one time when my ds was the pusher!I think if its a regular incident of causing hurt they need some proper one to one time of learning that its not acceptable.Id probably say leys do a play date with the two kids and monitor behaviour closely and intervene

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Fri 06-Sep-13 09:48:27

Another point- some posters are saying that their children are exaggerating incidents at nursery ( x keeps pushing me over, when it only happened once). Who says it only happened once? Nursery? When I used to help out at nursery almost none of the pushing over/ punching incidents were reported to parents, and a lot of it was unnoticed by staff, even in a small well run nursery! So the child MIGHT be exaggerating. Or they might not.

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