to be annoyed by my friend's turning down invite?(18 Posts)
DC is having a b'day party soon. We have invited one of DC's best friends who is no longer at the same school as DC.
Am also good friend with the mother. When told about party the mother accepted the invitation and they seemed to look forward to it. Now they have received the actual invite the mum has sent me an email saying the party would be too stressful for her DC and that with the child being stressed she would feel stressed and therefore she hoped we would understand that they didn't want to come and we could celebrate DC's b'day another time. We are talking about a party at our house with 5 other children, all aged 6, same age as her DC. It's not some big all out party with 20 children from another group where her DC would know no one at all. Her DC would not really know the other children but there are only 5 of them, and I've told the mum she can stay if she feels her DC would prefer it. Her DC is generally quite a confident child and when her and my DC play together her DC is the one who takes the lead and tells my DC what to do, in a nice way, but she has never struck me as the totally nervous kind.
Am trying not to be too miffed about this but deep down feel it's all a bit silly. My DC goes to parties where she doesn't always know everyone and she just has to learn to get on with it. Can't really understand why someone would come up with this excuse?
It does sound a bit silly I agree. But I would shrug it off. No skin off your nose. Perhaps the other child is stressed about it?
Maybe the other child just doesn't want to go.
My dd would have been ok. Not desperately fine, but ok, and would have loosened up by the end of the party.
Ds1 would have been incredibly stressed and distressed. He finds friendships and socialising in a group hard enough when he is with children he knows quite well. But a group of 5 other boys/girls who he doesn't know? No way. All very well to say learn to get on with it. But that is much easier said than done and, frankly, I see little merit in the most part of throwing him in the deep end. It may never be really his thing - and to be honest I'm not sure how delighted I would be as an adult attending a party with only one person I know. I'd do it, sure, and would probably have an ok time. But I'm an adult, with adult confidence and years of experience. I'd rather ds1 gets there under his own steam gradually. Which I'm sure he will. Pushing him into an uncomfortable social situation actually has the opposite effect - it emphasises how distressing he finds it and it puts him off for the next time.
Ds2 is a budding social butterfly. He'd be right in there regardless.
I believe the reason they've given. My 5yo was the odd-one-out child at a recent party and clung to me the whole time, didn't enjoy it at all, it was a waste of time and money her being there.
With hindsight we had a party for DC1 last year where we invited a few children that were not school/class friends and one or two did sit on the side and cry (and a couple of other supremely confident/thick-skinned children joined in).
I'm not sure I would accept an invitation for my child in this situation again as they genuinely do find it too stressful.
If all the other children know each other from school, maybe her child is worried about feeling left out and doesn't want to go.
I'm not sure why you're feeling slighted by this. Your dc will still have a nice time with friends from school, and if you are friends with the other child's mum as well as the two of them being friends, it will be nice to do a more intimate 'playdate' type celebration surely. Don't sweat this type of stuff! I know it's hard, but you can't take the minutiae of children's friendship goings on personally.
OK - thanks - useful perspectives. Just think that at this rate they just won't see each other much anymore, which is kind of sad. The other child's birthday is coming up and the mother said she would be organising 2 parties, one for school friends, one for other friends. Trouble is my DC knows no other children than her DC in either group so if I turn that down on the same grounds then the friendship will just fizzle out. But hey ... not to worry!
I don't think I'd want to go to a party or any social gathering, when I'd only know one person to be honest and I'm not 6.
Friendships change over time though, all of them, between people of all ages.
My dd had a very sweet little friend in preschool, and dh and i and this little boy's parents all get on really well. They ended up at different schools, and obviously, we all see less of each other, but we do try and get together and spend quality time catching up - we've been camping, we have a lot of picnics in summer, we try and do something at christmas, the grown ups'll have the odd childfree catch up in the pub etc etc. It's not the same as it was, but that's ok.
My DD did the same thing for her 5th party - invited one of her best friends "A" who was at a different school. All the other friends were from her school, but several of them had been to nursery with "A" (so only a short while since she'd seen them).
"A" came, and if I'm honest, it wasn't a success. The children who knew each other from school clung together. DD, partly at my asking, tried to include the new girl but it was obvious she was very much outside of the group and it was miserable for her. This was a confident child too.
I think it's good the mum has thought it through and is being honest - and she's suggesting she sees you another time. Can't see why you are annoyed really.
I think it's genuine on her part I don't think she's making it up (surely you would come up with something much better)
I invited my friends 3 dc to our last at home party (they attend a different school) and they spent the entire time all huddled around their mums legs in the kitchen, it was a waste of time them being there tbh.
My ds gets stressed at parties. He has glue ear and finds the noise and the excitement really difficult. he can handle it now at 6yo, but in year R I used to explain and ask if I could come late (he could handle about half an hour). However I've seen people on here taking offense* when someone's asked that, so maybe this mother felt you would.
* No one in RL ever took offense, and when he was invited the next year they asked if he needed to come later.
I can understand a child being fairly confident when relaxed and comfortable, playing with children they know very well, but the exact opposite in a group where they would only know the host.
I'm still like that now. I'd rather have a tooth out than walk into a room where I don't know anyone. Good job I don't have the option, or I'd be toothless by now!
Maybe the mum has had this kind of situation before with her dc? I know from experience it's not very relaxing for anyone, if there is an unhappy or clingy dc at a party, who doesn't feel able to join in.
The fact that the invitation was accepted at first, probably indicates your friend's initial intention for her dc to come to the party. I imagine there's been some subsequent discussion with dc in which they have said they don't want to go. What's a parent to do? Have also found myself in that situation in the past!
I wouldn't see it as a slight. It's just that children start having their own opinions about where they go, and who with, and parents are wise to try and rise above it. Your friend's dc probably still want to be friends with your dc, just doesn't want to be the 'odd one out' in this situation.
If your dc does get a reciprocal invitation, don't turn it down 'tit for tat'.
Your dc might not actually mind not knowing anyone. Apparently that can happen.
Depends on the child. One of mine would have been making herself ill with the thought of the stress, the other wouldn't give it a second thought. So I can understand why she's cancelled. You though, would surely only cancel if your child didn't want to go to their party. Not just tit for tat?
"The other child's birthday is coming up and the mother said she would be organising 2 parties, one for school friends, one for other friends"
Sounds like it could be the mum making this more of an issue. Does a 5 year old really ask for 2 parties because they are worried about mixing their friends?
No tit for tat going on- won't cancel if my child wants to go - though mine doesn't seem to cotton on she won't know anyone until she gets to those parties. So she's happy to go but then goes into stare/shy mode when she gets there and doesn't do much, meaning I have a fair amount of experience of clingy child at parties... However, calling that stressful seems to make it into a huge issue.
I also think it means things get incredibly compartmentalized. Children acquire friends in different environments so you could easily end up with 4 parties or more if you want to make sure everyone is happy and not stressed. Anyway enough of party politics ... Thanks for your responses.
If she moved school maybe she isn't happy at her new place and the mum doesn't want to unsettle her?
Or maybe she has made new friends and doesn't want to go?
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