to think that "two tier" birthday parties are mean?(285 Posts)
I have never had any parties for my children where a proportion of the invitees are invited for a sleepover, and the rest go home. My view has always been that these provoke bad feelings in the ones who have to go home, somehow thinking they are "second tier" friends.
My poor DS, it seems, has been invited to one of these parties and will be coming home when others at the party are transported back for a sleepover.
Your views on this? I understand that some parents want to do exactly what their children want, maybe can't fit all children in their home for a sleepover, etc. but AIBU to expect parents to do the adult thing and treat all partygoers the same on the day, and perhaps have a sleepover at a different time?
I'm not looking forward to seeing my DS after this party
I think it's a shit thing to do. I'd probably explain to my DC and let them make the decision, but I wouldn't want them to go
It is crap.
I understand why some kids have 2 parties - school friends and family, mum's family and dad's family but apart from Birthday child's sibling you wouldn't expect overlapping guest lists.
Glad to say I've never heard of such a system and I hope I don't encounter it. Sounds like hard work all round. One or the other would be my option.
I've not heard of this, my dc are probably a bit young.
I would do this if some of the guests were family friends, who had travelled a long way and wanted to stay over with their parents.
How many children are staying over VS how many are going home?
I think it's mean.
I understand some children have closer friends than others but I think personally I'd do the sleepover part on a different day as it's like saying the other 8 are staying but you go home becuase I don't like you as much
I think it's fine as long as the sleepover invitees are the minority.
My DD has been to lots of parties where this has been the form and quite often was not one of the 2 or3 asked to sleep over. It was not a problem.
I wouldn't give it a second thought! Couldn't invite more than 2 to our house for a sleepover because of space. If it was EVERY child APART from your Son that would be mean but if not I don't see a problem.
Ive done it before, I don't think it was shitty at all. 30 kids went to the party at soft play and ds's 4 best mates came back for a sleepover.
I remember this happening a lot when I was younger. Group of us attend the party/birthday meal/ bowling or whatever & then a couple going back for a sleepover. It was quite normal. Never caused any animosity. How old is he? Depending on age, he should understand that numbers are limited & not to take it personally (unless he's the only one not invited which is not on)
I've never heard of this. Sounds cruel. At least if you are doing it don't let the "first tier" friends tell the second tier ones it's happening.
Oh so he's good enough to get a gift from but not for a sleep over? It's like a reception onlyninvite to a wedding...
I have never heard of this, but is it really any different than adult bride and groom inviting some guests to the wedding breakfast and others just to,the evening do?
Totally normal and fine here. Most kids only have 1-3 guests for a sleepover, so the sleepover guests are only ever a minority. DD has been to plenty of parties where she isn't a sleepover guests, and a few where she is. She wouldn't expect to be invited to sleepover with anyone but a very close friend.
I think it definitely depends on the proportion of the total number invited - if only a small minority go to the sleepover - fine, if getting on for half - no. I think most kids have two or three "special" friends who they see more than others and this is just an extension of that.
I think if it is only 1 or 2 staying over, and they are clearly the best friends then that's OK.
What would not be OK would be 4 staying over and 3 going home.
Or 1 staying from a groups of 3 where they consider themselves equally friendly.
DS1 has been to one of these, but it was a pretty straightforward issue - it was one of the girls in his class, she had a day party running into the evening, a sort of "camping" style party with bonfire and marshmallows and so on, that she invited girls AND boys to, and then the sleepover was just with her 2 best girl friends. Boys didn't feel second tier but the reason for the split was clear and acceptable - I don't know how the non best girl friends felt though!
I think the problems truly arise when you think you are better friends with the party holder than you actually are - and the way you find out is to be given the shorter invitation, whether party or wedding or whatever.
If you know that you are not in the "inner circle" then you might just be happy to be invited along to celebrate at least part of the time with them - and if you're not, then you probably shouldn't go at all.
I'm a bit of a sucker for invitations though - not too fussed which bits I'm invited to, just happy to be invited at all (except when it's to the first and last bit but not the middle bit - that sucks quite a lot)
Parents that arrange these kinds of parties are dickheads.
If you were talking about a whole class party and then a sleepover for 2 or 3 best friends then I think that would be okay - it can be explained to the kids that no one's house is big enough for 30 children to sleep over so birthday child is just having their very best friends to stay.
If it's more like 10 kids to the party and 5 of those sleeping over then that's a bit rubbish. Mostly because I can imagine the sleepover kids going on about it in excitement and making the others feel left out.
But I think all kids pretty much know that there are friends and then there are best friends. The people you like well enough, and the people you gravitate to every break and lunchtime. Unless your DS sees the birthday child as one of his absolute best friends, I think you should be able to explain it in such a way as to make him feel okay about it.
Never come across any of them. Sounds mean to me. You can come to the party but you've to go home so we can carry on partying without you?
If you have to have a sleepover with your besties BFF, then surely you do it on another day instead of straight after your party.
I don't see the issue. We all have best friends and just normal friends surely? Unfortunately, life is one big 'tier' system. I often as an adult will go out for a meal/have pre-drinks with my best friends then we meet a larger group elsewhere.
Hmm I think the problem here is that my son sees himself as first tier when clearly he is second tier. We shared a lift with someone who is first tier. I was told he wouldn't need a lift home from me, as he was going to the sleepover, which will possibly rub salt into the wound.
If its 10 friends at a party, 2 are sent home and the rest stay, that's mean.
If its 10 friends, and only 2 are sleeping over, that seems fine/normal to me.
I think it depends on the numbers. I went to one once where only two of about ten guests had to go home and the rest of us were told to keep it quiet. Even as a 10 year old I felt awful about it. If it had been reversed (two invited back) it wouldn't have seemed so harsh...
My view is that you need to get a grip, unless it's the unlikely scenario that the vast majority are staying and just your ds and another going home.
It wouldn't have occurred to me to have upwards of a dozen primary girls to sleepover, and likewise neither dd or I expected her to be invited to every sleep over. Ime the kids all know the sleepover is best friends only, and only get upset if their parents encourage them to feel they are entitled to go.
Oh wow, ElizabethShaw! That was quite the cross post lol!
Who has the energy for a party and a sleepover? One or the other seems to me a perfectly sufficient way of celebrating a birthday, not both.
Totally agree that this is not polite and as children copy our actions it does not encourage sensitive behaviour. The only exception would be children of 11 or so upwards where the party was mixed and only children wth the same gender as the party child slept over
There are also lots of other reasons why they wouldn't be invited to the sleepover, not just how close of a friend they see them as.
For example, my son is close friends with a child who has additional needs. I know I couldn't meet those needs so I wouldn't invite him to sleep over. The parent knows this and accepts it. She often doesn't even get a 2nd tier invite which I find much worse.
Never heard of this but it's an awful thing to do! How rude and sends a message to the children it's ok to treat people like this.
They probably wouldn't treat adults like this, so why children? Rude, rude, rude.
Very dependant on numbers and the circumstances of the chosen.
Why does your DS feel he should be first tier? If he's been on lots of sleepovers there before I'd say you have a point.
This happened to my DD when she was 9. All the girls stayed to the sleepover (about 8 or 9 of them) but two were sent home, one of whom was DD. To make it worse we had no idea it was a two-tyier party, and only realised when I dropped her at the party and everyone else was going in with pillows and suitcases. It was one of the meanest things I have seen. And then DD had to listen to them all raving about the sleepover on Monday morning. It would have been better not to have invited her. I still have to smile through gritted teeth when I see the mother concerned.
Why is it rude ?
Surely her child would be just as gutted if there was no party and also no invite to the sleepover?
My DD almost fell victim to one of these.
First tier groups went and did an activity and then came back to the house where more guest came for a movie and cake
DD was invited to the second bit and didn't know anything about the activity until birthday girl started talking about on the way to school that day. We're close friends with the family and I drive the kids to school.
As it happened someone couldn't go to the activity so DD got a last minute invite.
I was pretty pissed at the whole thing. I thought it was very rude and I was sorry afterwards that I didn't say something to the mum when the last minute invite came.
Dd went to a party like this last year. Half invited for the sleepover and half not. All the children invited for just the party declined. The girl ended up having hardly any friends at her party unfortunately for her. In the end, I think three friends went from dds school including dd. Lesson learned. From this, I deduce it should be all or none or done on a different day.
Similar to the OP, my DD was invited to a party and I offered to give her friend a lift too - friend was invited to the sleepover so had to take her and sleeping bag etc, and just bring DD home on her own!
I don't think she was too disappointed but I did wish I hadn't offered to take the other child as that would have made it less obvious I didn't know until the other parent had taken me up on the offer, though!
That's really bad. The only time I did this was where 2 friends couldn't come as one was allergic to horses and the other didn't want to be the only boy. So they came to the after activity party and I took dd and the 2 friends bowling on dds actual birthday.
Why is it rude? Because it's so obviously 'classifying' people as a and b list. oK of course some friends are going to be closer friendships than others but to split a party like this is really crass and bad manners.
Dd suggested this one year. I said it was rude and we wouldn't be doing that.
My child turned out to be B list.
Found out accidentally that the other 2 in the friendship group of 4 were staying at the birthday child's house for a sleepover. There had been a party with more children first.
My child took it well but as the 4 of them have been close friends for a while I did think it was a bit mean knowing that the dynamic was not all it seemed.
Everyone or no one ( unless you have to keep a straggler to help a parent out etc).
Yep sounds mean. It makes the kids who are shipped off (and not invited to the sleepover) seem less important.
Don't like it.
Do people really do this op? How horrid.
How is little Grace meant to understand why James gets to stay for a sleepover yet she doesn't?
Extremely cruel IMO- that sort of shit can take a long time for the kid to forget.
If you can't have everyone stay, none at all should be sleeping over.
It's only "fine" if you don't give a shit how the second tier friends are going to feel when it's time for them to go home.
Personally, I think it's an incredibly shitty thing to do. If you want a sleepover on the same day and can only invite four to the sleepover, then you only have four to the party.
Either that or you do the things as completely separate events on separate occasions.
Kids have enough friendship issues without rubbing it in their faces.
Never experienced it, but what a shitty thing to do! By the end of the night all the birthday boy and the chosen ones are going to be talking about is the sleepover and uninvited kids will leave the party feeling bad. Sleepovers are important, sometimes much more important than the party, to kids at this age - cannot comprehend how any parent would do this to children when they can easily just have a sleepover another night!
I am glad my DD never experienced this (at least to the best of her/my knowledge!).
I wouldn't host such an event either.
We had one last year 10 went to the cinema/MacDonalds, one came home with us for a sleepover. I don't think the other 9 felt bad.
I have 2 scenarios up for debate.
Scenario 1: Child has a party for approx. 15 classmates plus his 2 siblings. Birthday boy then has 4 or 5 boys back after party for pizza and sleepover. All other 10 boys know what is going on as it is discussed at school and during party.
Scenario 2: Birthday boy has a big party and invites 15-20 boys. He then has one of the boys back for dinner and sleepover. Boy is an only child with no cousins his own age and likes to have his very best friend to stay after his party.
I know which one doesn't quite sit right with me.
I think it's awful. Happened to my DD a few times. She thought she was the birthday girls best friend, but clearly wasn't as she wasn't invited to the sleepover afterwards. Those that were invited to the sleepover made sure everyone knew, so lots of kids went home upset. Its just such a mean thing to do.
Children shoul;d not be so fragile that they cannot cope with the fact that a child has a few close friends and lots of less close friends. Honestly no wonder kids nowadays have so little resilience
I don't think it's that a big a deal and I think adults are being a bit weird about it!
It does depend on numbers, though.
Personally, I'd prefer to teach my kids to be thankful for a party invitation, and to enjoy what was on offer, rather than sulk about other parts of it!
The problem is birthday child A has a party for 10 dc. (letter are how close their friendships are). They have B, C and D back for a sleep over, E nearly made the sleepover but not quite because A is getting on better with D this week. E is upset. F is very close with B,C and D and friends with A but not as close, A doesn't like F and has been boasting/rubbing his nose in it all night that he is having a sleepover with B,C,D but he cant come. I and J don't care as they aren't close anyway.
Children go home with varying levels of upset, disappointed and wonder why they weren't good enough.
No reason whatsoever to do this to children. They aren't adults who can rationalise these feelings easily. The only parent I can imagine doing this to other children would be one who cannot see beyond their own PFB and would be raging if it happened to their child.
When ds had has his birthdays all come back for a sleepover if he is having one. The most was 10. It was a nightmare, they took over the living room with a mixture of 3 mattresses, 3 airbeds and 2 sofas and didn't get to sleep until 5am, but everyone was included and all had fun.
It's made even worse these days when all the children get to the sleepover they send Instagram messages to those not invited (who felt they should have been as thought they were best friends with birthday girl) , telling them what a fantastic time they are having and saying nasty comments like "why aren't you here, oh I forgot you weren't invited". It's parents making bullying ok.
I don't understand why parents don't understand how wrong it is. It's like having a birthday meal out with friends from work, and afterwards the chosen few friends are invited somewhere else. It's just rude.
Only if you choose to see it as a slight! I'd rather not see the worst in every situation.
I don't think it's mean at all. Growing up i was very rarely even allowed 2 friends staying over on the same night, the rules were usually just one, apart from special occasion like birthdays i could have 2.
This typically meant that, since there were 3 of us all living in the same street, Friend A of which never hosted the sleepover (her parents had 2 children a good few years older than her, would leave her home alone despite only being around 7, expecting other parents in the street to step up if there was an accident but never telling anyone they weren't home, they clearly didn't want to parent her themselves and were more happy/prefered for her to not be home at the weekend let alone have friends over too) we would all usually spend 1 night a weekend at Friend B's house. In fact, Friend A spent both nights every weekend at Friend B's house, even when i didn't. Quite honestly i preferred to stay at home than someone elses house, even that close to home.
Some parents don't like lots of children, some have very small houses. I went to a sleepover at 15 where there were 3 of us and the girl whose house we were at, it was very cramped with not enough room for us all. Kids eat alot, they get loud in big groups, they can be hard to control.
A party that is inclusive of a bigger number of less "close" friends is great, but theres nothing wrong, mean or excluding to have just a few over for a sleepover too. I don't agree it should be on a separate night either, its a birthday treat, it makes sense to be on the birthday. Its not a snub not to be invited, not everyone can go, and any well rounded kid would understand that and how some friends are closer than others.
Yes but when children think they are one of the close friends, if not the closest and are not invited, then bullied all night on Instagram by those who did go....it's extremely mean.
But, Tabby, the alternative would be to have a sleepover with the small group and not invite the other children at all. If the child isn't going to be invited to the sleepover with party, they wouldn't be invited to the stand-alone sleepover either.
I agree that children should learn to be resilient but there are plenty of opportunities for this in day to day life; a birthday party shouldn't be an occasion where a stiff upper lip is needed!
The scenario where some children are 'B' list is particularly harsh.
To those that think it's OK, would you treat your own friends like this?
Broom, the alternative could be to just have a party...or if you want to do a sleepover, make sure you check with your child who their actual closest friends are.
Madmags...not projecting...that's what happens.
I hate sleepovers, never ever ever having them, my two are rubbish sleepers at the best of times lol x
Why not have the sleepover at a different time to the party?
This is to make life easier for the parents - having it all on the same day. Without regard to the feelings of the children.
I have never let my dc have birthday sleepovers for this reason
plus party means hyper kids, sleepover means hyper kids, party and sleepover means hyper kids squared . They can have sleepovers other weekends but not with their birthday party.
I would totally treat my friends like that. I might meet someone for a quiet drink or meal before meeting up with a bigger group, or go with the DC to a BBQ but leave in the evening when the childfree people get to stay, or meet up for a quick drink with a friend who has been spending the weekend visiting a closer friend in the same city, or going to the evening reception of a wedding, or attending the wedding but not being a bridesmaid, or go to a concert where I meet up with friends who've spent the afternoon doing stuff together. It's really not a big deal.
I could just have a party, but given the choice between a birthday party or a sleepover, DD would choose a sleepover, and would have a tiny birthday party as part of a sleepover with her maximum of 3 sleepover guests.
Of course it's not bad - sleepovers with over a certain number of kids are a recipe for disaster and the mums/dads in question are entitled to decide how many they can or want to cope with!
The alternative would be just to invite 2 kids to the child party and then the other 10 would miss out.
I disapprove in principle, but in practice it has never caused a problem. Often the party child will invite 2 best friends to stay, and my children will already know and not be the least bit bothered. They have always been quite practical about it, while I am thinking: "Shouldn't your feelings be hurt by this??"
Dd had this and half went home. It was supposed to be half going home but with dropouts only dd and one friend were at the party who weren't invited for the evening. It's not something I'd do but luckily dd didn't seem to care that she was B listed as she's quite resilient.
The Instagram stuff seems very specific. Surely that doesn't happen with every single sleepover ever?!
There is often several threads on here from people saying they are miffed or upset they weren't invited to something when they thought they were in the inner circle....so how do you think it makes kids feel?
It's one thing if a friend says I'm only allowed to invite two people to sleep over and you came last time for example...but entirely another thing if the child not going didn't even know there was an after party sleepover and then sees a few friends going back to said sleepover after the party (ie it's all a surprise), and the friends getting invited weren't even part of the close friendship group.
Madmags...it happens most of the time round here, especially with year 6, 7 or 8 girls.
We're just planning this for DD's birthday and I hadn't realised it could be a problem. She has two really close friends but is part of a bigger group of 10-12. All of those will be coming to the main event with the two close friends coming home for the night. DD and these two have regular sleepovers so I hadn't even thought about it causing a problem.
That sounds like a pretty specific situation, Tabby, and one which I've never encountered. I live in an area where most people don't have a lot of space in their homes, and in Y4-6, girls' birthday parties seem to consist of a fun activity for the wider friendship group with 1-3 of the closest friends staying afterwards.
Madmags...they post pictures of themselves having a wonderful time and send them to those not invited. They also do all that " We are bff's forever" rubbish, or "us two /three always have the best fun". Very hurtful stuff.
Broomstick....but what if the inner friendship group consists of more than 1-3? How do you think that makes the fourth person feel? Or you think there are only two close friends, but in fact there are three?
I think I did this nearly every year in junior school, and so did most of my friends. 15 or so to an "activity" and then 1 or 2 back for a sleepover. I was never upset by not being invited to sleep over, and as far as I know nobody else was either.
I've never heard of it happening Tabby. It might not be as common as you think.
pen you're fine. My dc have been b-listed at lots of parties and it's never bothered them.
Madmags..never heard of what happening? Instagram? Oh my, it's all over the internet, Instagram bullying.
YANBU. It's mean and rude. It says 'I like you enough to get a present from you and spend a few hours with you but I don't like you enough to spend any longer with you.' It's a terrible message to send children both as the person going home and teaching the birthday child that this is an OK way to treat people.
No, I mean I've never heard of Instagram bullying specifically from sleepovers. Not in my circle or amongst my kids friends!
Or it says "I'd like you to come to my party, which costs money, but for valid reasons, you can't sleep over on this occasion."
If there are 4 close friends then the child would probably invite one or two or not have a sleepover, because 5 children is more of a gang of friends than an intimate group, and the whole dynamic would be quite different. DS tends towards that looser larger group friendship and doesn't really have best friends as such, but his group don't have sleepovers yet.
Pen, I think it can be a little different in some circumstances such as the majority going home and breaking no friendship groups up (like splitting up a group of 5 friends and sending two or three home). However I have never done this as I just don't think it teaches a good lesson. I would have it spilt over two weekends - one big party or trip out then the sleepover the following weekend but don't make it a birthday one.
Madmags...do you monitor your child's Instagram at all, if they have one? This happened a lot to my child a few years ago. Once they all get Instagram and friendship groups change, they use it to bully each other, especially if they have been invited to stuff that other people haven't. Girls especially. Can't say I know if boys do it or not, but girls definately do. It's just like when adults get upset when someone puts a picture up on Facebook of them having a great time, and they weren't invited.
They may have moved on to Snapchat now, if they don't use Instagram as much...
It's bad manners to do it at the same party as kids put a lot of emphasis on sleepovers and often go on about it during the day, it's down to the parents to manage this.
My dds are now 17 and 14, but I remember those occasional 2-tier parties. Whether or not they are "mean" depends on how many are invited to the party and how many to the sleepover and on where your dc considers herself to be clearly in either camp. It's hurtful if she is borderline but not invited to stay. But I can also understand why a bday kid would want a 2-tier party. Your dc can "boycott" the party, but personally I would just go because even if I am not her bff, she is still my friend, no? Like I always say my kids, "Pride is an overrated emotion"
No madmags..it is not specific to me. It happens all over, lots of mums talk about it. It's common bullying. We are not the only family it happens to. I get that you don't believe it, that's up to you, but it does happen..lots. You haven't answered if you monitor your child's internet / Instagram usage? Perhaps you don't know about it going on because you don't monitor what's going on under the radar. Little girls can get very nasty with comments on Instagram and Snapchat.
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