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WIBU to my 5 yr old son over party invite and trick or treating clash

(54 Posts)
RachelWatts Fri 31-Oct-14 18:08:42

The village where we live has done organised trick or treating around the shops for the last 2 years. We couldn't go last year as we were visiting family, but told DS1 that we would take him if they did it again.

One of his classmates invited him to a birthday party, the timing of which clashed completely with the organised trick or treating.

When we got the invitation I sat him down and explained about the clash and asked which he'd rather go to.

He chose the party so we RSVPd, and chose and wrapped a present.

This morning we were with some other friends who were talking about the trick or treating, and DS1 suddenly felt he'd be missing out, and changed his mind.

I told him tough, it's rude to cancel going to a party just because you'd rather do something else, and dragged him to the party, although I couldn't persuade him to put a costume on.

He had a thoroughly miserable time, and engineered a disagreement with his best friend so he could ask to go.

The friends who'd talked up the trick or treating felt bad for making him feel left out, so called round with their parents and took him round our estate for 20 minutes, and shared the sweets they'd collected at the shops with him.

WIBU to make him go to the party when he said he'd rather do something else? He didn't enjoy himself and possibly fell out with his best friend, and if he'd decided to tantrum instead of sulk he could have spoiled the party for the rest of his classmates instead of just one of them.

Cantbelievethisishappening Fri 31-Oct-14 18:10:45

He is five. He will get over it.

Pancakeflipper Fri 31-Oct-14 18:13:19

No, I don't think you were. I think it's part of life.
You say yes to an invite so you go, you don't swap and change just cos another more attractive option came along... Hope he gets the hang of that in later life and doesn't sulk about it !

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 31-Oct-14 18:16:04

Of course you weren't U. It would have been extremely rude to not turn up to the invitation you'd already accepted. I'm going to a massive Hallowe'en party tonight, would much rather be going to the quiet dinner with four girlfriends I was invited to a week later, but I'd already said yes to the party so that's that!

Although I am not 5 so won't have a tantrum and fall out with the party host grin

RachelWatts Fri 31-Oct-14 18:23:59

Fortunately it wasn't the party host he fell out with! At least he didn't spoil the party for the birthday boy...

I now have a very upset little boy as his friends told him what a great time they had and they had more sweets than him.

PurpleSwift Fri 31-Oct-14 18:26:27


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 31-Oct-14 18:28:48

Aw bless him. That's a rough day when you're 5.

WooWooOwl Fri 31-Oct-14 18:29:32


Sometimes children will get upset in the course of learning life's lessons, but you did the right thing by letting him know it would have been rude not to go to the party.

Leeds2 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:29:34


I wouldn't have let him go trick or treating for 20 mins either, if I'm honest.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 31-Oct-14 18:38:35

You gave him the choice, he chose the party. He needs to learn that when you accept an invitation you can't pull out if something else comes up, it is not fair on the birthday child and it's rude to ditch your friends.
So no you were not being unreasonable to make him go, but given his behaviour at the party I would not have allowed the trip out with the other friends afterwards. I would not want my child to think I would reward tantrums with sweets, but that's a personal judgement call.

OwlinaTree Fri 31-Oct-14 18:48:42

It's a tough lesson for a 5 year old! I would say you know your child and so therefore YANBU to teach him these manners.

It is probably hard for him though to choose between the abstract t or t and the invitation in his hands at that moment.

Timetoask Fri 31-Oct-14 19:00:41

You did the right thing, the lesson is that you don't let people down.
Maybe you could put it into perspective for him by asking him how would he feel if children he was expecting for his own party didn't turn up because they decided to go to a different party?

RachelWatts Fri 31-Oct-14 19:05:51

The trick or treating afterwards was a compromise agreement - if he went to the party my friends would take him round our neighbours. We unfortunately didn't cover good behaviour in our agreement, so he'd kept to the letter, if not the spirit, of what we'd discussed.

In other words, he'd agreed to show up at the party, join in a party game and have some party food, all of which he did.

Given his personality and how he reacts when he thinks he's been treated unfairly, I couldn't go back on the deal we had made.

Floggingmolly Fri 31-Oct-14 19:34:22

His friends are telling him what a great time they had... Why exactly is that so tough on him? He's been to a party; they haven't... If you'd locked him in his room to do his homework, now; that would have been tough on him confused

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 31-Oct-14 19:35:13

Is bad behaviour never a deal breaker in your house?

The compromise was a good idea initially, however the behaviour would have made me re-think it, and give him plenty of warnings ( e.g - if you don't stop sulking by the count of 3 there will be no trick or treating later) and if he had continued to play up, follow through with that.
My DS is 4 and knows that bad behaviour is always a deal breaker, I won't reward tantrums with sweets and fun trips. But being helpful, friendly and kind will always be rewarded with treats / fun / his choice of film on movie night etc.

I think you need to look at how you compromise with him to be honest, he needs you to set the boundaries for him and stick to them. He needs to know he can not just throw a tantrum and still get everything he wants. He will thank you for it in the long run, as throwing tantrums at parties and picking fights will result in him losing friends, which most children would hate.
And as a parent of course you can go back on a deal like that if his behaviour could have ruined another childs party.

LilyPotter Fri 31-Oct-14 19:53:41

"Given his personality and how he reacts when he thinks he's been treated unfairly, I couldn't go back on the deal we had made."

shock Er, yes you could. And if you are tiptoeing around his moods now, at 5, then you're in for a rough ride when he's 15.

Who's in charge here?

BlueberryWafer Fri 31-Oct-14 19:57:27

Ywnbu - you did the right thing.

LilyPotter Fri 31-Oct-14 19:58:27

And anyway, why is he upset, if he got his own way, left the party early and then met up with his trick-or-treating friends? Because they got more sweets than he did? hmm

Summerisle1 Fri 31-Oct-14 20:13:16

No, YWNBU. Learning to choose between two conflicting invitations is a valuable life lesson. But equally, he still needs to learn how to behave gracefully at the chosen event.

Given his behaviour, I might well have refused permission for him to go out trick or treating since the lesson he's learned today is that is it just fine to be an ungracious guest since you still get rewarded by getting to do both things. Good behaviour really ought to be a given. Not something that has to be added to the terms of any agreement.

RachelWatts Fri 31-Oct-14 20:19:31

He missed the organised trick or treating round the shops in the village. He got to knock on about 3 doors and be offered sweets he doesn't like (not many houses go in for trick or treating as they know all the shops do it for an hour and for some reason everyone round here offers Haribo which DS1 hates)

So he didn't get to do what he wanted at all - he got a very crap imitation of it.

LilyPotter Fri 31-Oct-14 20:30:56

"be offered sweets he didn't like?"


LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 31-Oct-14 20:33:52

He chose to miss the trick or treating in favour of going to the party. His decision.
He then starts an argument, in order to leave.
You then let him go trick or treating with his friends too - whether there was decent sweets on offer (which actually you sound quite rude about - they were given to your child for free, at a cost to those people who were generous enough to give them out!) or not is irrelevant.
The lesson you are teaching your son is that no matter how he behaves you will always stick to the agreement, and that doesn't sound like a good set of boundaries to set.
Your son should be thankful he got invited to the party, and should be grateful for what he was given whilst trick or treating.
He did not get a crap imitation of anything, he got to go to the party he chose to go to - the only thing that ruined it was his own sulking!
He then got to go trick or treating as agreed.

Why are you making excuses for him now?

Lucylouby Fri 31-Oct-14 20:38:04

We hosted a party for dd2 a few weeks ago and had two pull out at the last minute. It was really frustrating. We still had to pay for the children who didn't attend, so £20 wasted. Your son chose to go the party, so that's what he did. You did the right think to take him so he knows you can't just back out at the last minute because you get a better offer.

OiGiveItBack Fri 31-Oct-14 20:45:21

I think you did the right thing. Maybe you can discuss it with him in a few days. He is only five and I think it's understandable that he didn't know what he wanted. You just need to use it as a learning experience.

Next time he gets two invites you will know to be really clear with him over his options and the consequences. Perhaps you can get him to do something positive to make things ok with the friend he argued with. Maybe a card or a little gift of chocolate?

I hope he is feeling ok now.

lomega Fri 31-Oct-14 20:47:47

No YANBU. This is a life lesson for him, right here. Yes he's only 5 but it's not too early to instill some manners. If you commit to doing something with someone specifically then that takes precedence, sorry! To this day it bugs me when people cancel or don't turn up to things (unless they are ill or had family emergency etc...)

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