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Accepting kids party invitations but not reciprocating

(262 Posts)
42andcounting Sat 20-May-17 08:44:56

DD(3) has recently started getting a lot of birthday party invitations from other children at nursery, mostly from children we don't know but she does IYSWIM. Some of them are quite expensive options like soft play parties. As it turns out, all but one so far have clashed with other things, so we have rsvp'd "no, but thank you very much for the invitation".

We are very unlikely to have this kind of 'extended friends' party when her birthday rolls around, partly due to cost and partly because we have a huge family so tend to have a party at home with family and close friends.

So, WIBU to accept invitations for her, knowing that we probably won't reciprocate? DD is sometimes a bit oblivious, on occasion doesn't even know who the party child is when I ask her, so probably wouldn't be that bothered if we declined, if that makes any difference.

CrazedZombie Sat 20-May-17 08:48:30

It's absolutely fine to accept an invitation and not reciprocate. You don't invite people so that your child is guaranteed a return invitation.

Astro55 Sat 20-May-17 08:49:23

You don't have to invite all the children who invited yours - it isn't compulsory

That changes slightly when they're older as closer friends get upset

Some parents - you'll see from here believe full class parties are the only option - we've only ever done a few friends - which change each year anyway -

Gunpowder Sat 20-May-17 08:49:39

IMO It's absolutely fine not to reciprocate at this age. Nursery friendships chop and change by the minutes and they are all going to school soon anyway. In DD's class some have had huge whole class parties, others three or four for tea and others nothing at all.

senua Sat 20-May-17 08:51:12

It's absolutely fine to accept an invitation and not reciprocate.

In what world?confused
Don't worry, OP. This problem won't last for long. People will get the message and stop inviting your DD.

WateryTart Sat 20-May-17 08:53:37

I think it's rude not to reciprocate in some way. Maybe a play date?

Bigbiscuits Sat 20-May-17 08:54:20

I think it's fine not reciprocate.

We had whole class parties til about year 3. I neither know nor care who didn't and who did not reciprocate ( and frankly am grateful to those who did not reciprocate as it's reduced the number of parties we went to).

FloatyCat Sat 20-May-17 08:55:25

I don't think it's fine to accept and not reciprocate. It will get noticed.
You need to decline if you don't want to reciprocate

Nordicwannabe Sat 20-May-17 08:55:33

It's absolutely fine not to reciprocate. Think about how you would feel if the situation were reversed: you would obviously like all the children who you have invited to come. For them not to come when they were able just because they can't reciprocate would be just confused

Gallavich Sat 20-May-17 08:56:05

It's really fine at that age. Nobody (who isn't petty) keeps a tally of who went to whose party and if someone wants to throw a whole class party that's their choice, doesn't mean everyone has to.

GahBuggerit Sat 20-May-17 08:56:48

Op decent people will understand this. Its not as if you'll be having parties and only inviting certain kids from the class so a sensible, thinking parent will get that you aren't having them, for whatever reason but I would assume cost, and absolutely not take that out on your DC. No one expects parents to struggle to pay for a party just to be able to reciprocate.

If they do then they probably aren't the sort of people to give a shiny shit about anyway, and their children will pick up on this unkindness too.

dementedpixie Sat 20-May-17 08:56:51

Of course it's ok to go and not reciprocate. Not everyone even has a big all class party.

toomuchtooold Sat 20-May-17 08:58:18

I think it's fine. It gets a bit more sensitive if some of the close friends coming to your DDs party are at nursery with her. But otherwise no. We started doing extended friends parties with our kids when they were 4 and we were probably the first, we only got reciprocal invitations from their friends who are a bit older (our kids are in kindergarten in Germany therefore mixed-age classes). Still perfectly happy to have their little friends there!

TheTurnOfTheScrew Sat 20-May-17 08:59:17

I am FINE with this. We've not done whole class parties, but have invited half, and I know lots of people who just have 4-5 round for tea. I'd far rather have a good turn out for my DC than have people decline for worrying about reciprocating.

Rainbowqueeen Sat 20-May-17 08:59:28

I would never have an issue with someone not reciprocating a party invite.

I have the kind of party that suits my family and other people have the kind of party that suits their family - isn't that how it works?! At the end of the day all I want is my child to be happy and enjoy her party, I don't keep tabs.

Play dates however are a different story!

dementedpixie Sat 20-May-17 09:00:21

At nursery I only invited ds nursery group (about 10 children). In the early primary years he/dd had full class parties in a hall so not pay per person. In older primary years it went to small groups again. I never kept a spreadsheet of who came and didn't invite the kids back and didn't really care either

Allyg1185 Sat 20-May-17 09:00:49

I think its fine not to reciprocate.

My son has been invited to 4 birthday parties since starting primary 1. 3 we managed 1 we didn't. We have had a softplay area party for my son when he turned 4 and I said then I would never do it again it was to stressful.

This year we are taking close family friends kids and two kids in the family to an outdoor farm place with bouncy pillows, zip slides, climbing equipment etc. Parents are coming along to. We take picnics and pay for the kids to get in.

Alot cheaper and alot less hassle

thepatchworkcat Sat 20-May-17 09:01:19

I think it's fine, especially at this age. We only invited a couple of nursery friends to my son's party as he only mentioned a couple of names consistently and we had lots of other people coming. He's then had some invitations from children we didn't invite. Friendships change. Not everyone does a big party. I'm certainly not offended that people came to ours and haven't reciprocated with a play date, it's not compulsory! People work etc.

MrsKCastle Sat 20-May-17 09:01:42

It's fine not to reciprocate. If I invite your child, it's because I want my own child to have lots of friends at their party. If you refuse the invitation, that's one less friend. If lots of people refuse, there's less chance that my child will have a lovely party.

GahBuggerit Sat 20-May-17 09:02:46

I think the same goes for playdates - I work ft so rarely reciprocate. The other mums understand this and don't take it out on my dc. When I declined an invite after a thread on here and said it was because I couldn't reciprocate the mum asked me what sort of dick I thought she was grin

Increasinglymiddleaged Sat 20-May-17 09:05:29

Of course it's fine not to reciprocate confused

DD is in reception and we had a class party, but tbh I wouldn't even cope if we had 25 return invitations gringrin. We had one because it seemed like a nice thing to do/ I work hadn't met a lot of the parents. There was certainly no expectation that everyone else would do the same. In fact if someone felt pressured to spend money they didn't have on inviting us back I'd be horrified, just like I don't expect people to spend money they don't have on presents. Just accept them or your DD will miss out.

GahBuggerit Sat 20-May-17 09:09:59

Christ I hope the people whose weddings I have been to arent expecting me to get married so I can invite them!

42andcounting Sat 20-May-17 09:13:26

Wow, I didn't expect so many replies! Thank you so much everybody smile. We have to get a wriggle on now to get out for the day, but I'll have a good read through when DD is in bed tonight and I get half an hour's quiet to read and absorb grin

Thanks so much smile

Astro55 Sat 20-May-17 09:14:20

Don't worry, OP. This problem won't last for long. People will get the message and stop inviting your DD.

There are some parents that do this - they usually aren't the Nivea of people and there children have the same attitude -

If you piss them off they avoid you and it saves you the bother

rightwhine Sat 20-May-17 09:15:59

Party = fine to not reciprocate
Play date = not fine to not reciprocate

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