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Playground party invites

(246 Posts)
Shinyletsbebadguys Thu 28-Feb-19 09:07:17

Firstly I do accept maybe I'm being oversensitive about this and I have no intention of bothering the school with such minutaie (I don't rate ds1 teacher very highly but I do believe teachers work extremely hard and it's insane to ask them to police the playground politics)


Three times in the last three weeks , discounting half term , I've seen this but today was the most overt

Standing today waiting for the class door to open a mum handed her dd a pack of obvious party invites , she loudly said " go and give them to the lucky ones "

The little girl then went and gave her invites out to a few children then went to one little girl and went to hand an envelope then laughed and said "oh I forgot not you " ...the poor child she had played this trick on was crestfallen , The mother smiled and said " oh sorry not everyone can be chosen and lucky enough"

The little girl approached ds1 and I could see what was coming (please see explanation below and I have never seen her interact with ds1 so they are not friends ) I glared at the mother with an absolute death glare (after years of prison work in my early career my death glare is second to none ) and kept her eyes ...she wisely stepped in and told the little girl another invitee had arrived. I was so angry , Ds1 bless him is oblivious to things a lot and I doubt had seen the interaction or understood it really (He prefers to live in dinosaur land sometimes )

So I am not accused of drip feeding ds1 has extra needs and I fully recognise (not that I would ever ever indicate to him) he isn't the most popular boy in the class, he has struggled making friends and I know the other children find him odd and a bit unusual

He is lovely kind and funny and imaginative but I get the dynamics and I'm teaching him that he's wonderful as he is and doesn't have to be included in everything , it's not an entitlement and to believe in how wonderful he is and play with the friends he wants to play with.

I don't believe people should have to invite everyone in the class at all , I really believe child's choice but whilst this was particularly overt I have seen similar

Aibu in being annoyed that this dynamic is being encourage by some parents ? I guess I feel if ds1 was only inviting a few to the party I would ask him to be considerate on how he gave the invites out and I absolutely would not allow him to play such a trick on another child

It's hard to translate tone but the mother really had an exceptionally nasty tone and thoroughly enjoyed her dd being the purveyor of the special invites publicly excluding certain children.

Of course really what would I do about it ? Nothing is what , I'm not going to make a scene , it's not the little girls fault she's encouraged to behave like that , and it's not the schools problem ,so I will continue teaching ds1 that he is wonderful and lovely and doesn't need others approval but it did make me angry

I'm usually the furthest thing from PFB honestly but perhaps I am being silly being annoyed about this
It's not the biggest issue in the world , hell it's not even the biggest issue for me this hour but it does niggle a bit.

I'm genuinely curious as to perspectives , it's not about the lack of invite but more about the encouraging children to be so exclusive publicly and not just being a tiny bit considerate ?

perfectstorm Fri 01-Mar-19 22:31:24

My son's school had the rule that party invitations had to go in to school to be put in book bags. No exceptions.

It's a shame some utter twats of parents create work for already overstretched staff.

Bullying would have to involve force, intimidation and or coercion wouldn't it?

No of course not. Emotional bullying, for example via exclusion, or repeated vindictive name-calling, hiding possessions, etc etc etc is absolutely recognised as such. However to be bullying, it can't be a one-off, even if it's violent as an incident it can't be bullying - it's tackled differently. Bullying is a course of conduct from one person or a group, against a weaker or more vulnerable one. If a popular child is trying to make a less popular one miserable on a sustained basis, or trying to socially isolate them, and doing so over and over again, then that's bullying. They don't need to intimidate or coerce or hit to be a bully. Girls especially tend to be rather less direct with their methods.

Most schools have detailed policies on this now. school has a really excellent one - including what is not, in fact, bullying, though may be anti-social or unkind. Point 6 sets out:

6. What is Bullying?
6.1. Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying, particularly emotional bullying, can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or
the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, culture, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or special needs.
6.2 Some students are particularly vulnerable to bullying and may be severely affected by it, such as those with special educational needs or disabilities. Others may be particularly vulnerable because they are going through a personal or family crisis, or suffering from a health problem. Bullying is also more frequent amongst children who are carers or have been adopted. Some forms of bullying may be more prevalent for different genders – for example girls being pressured into sexting, and boys being subject to hazing (initiation type violence).
6.3 Under the Children Act 1989 a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’. Where this is the case, school staff follow Safeguarding procedures as outlined in the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy (2.1). It would be usual in such circumstances for all the children to be referred to the relevant agencies, and
treat both victim(s) and perpetrator(s) as at risk. Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue, the School may draw on a range of external services to support the student who is experiencing bullying, or to tackle any underlying issue which has
contributed to a child engaging in bullying.
6.4. Bullying is serious and the emotional aspects of all forms of bullying can cause psychological damage.
6.5 Bullying can be:
6.5.1 Emotional - being unfriendly, excluding repeatedly, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures);
6.5.2 Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence;
6.5.3 Racist - racial taunts, direct or indirect racist remarks, graffiti, gestures;
6.5.4 Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments;
6.5.5 Homophobic – direct or indirect remarks and/or actions because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality;
6.5.6 Verbal -name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, repeated teasing;
6.5.7 Cyber - all areas of internet misuse, such as:
 Email & internet chat room misuse
 Mobile threats by text messaging and calls
 Misuse of associated technology e.g. camera &video facilities and by using
the internet or phones to upset or threaten people, to post cruel messages, to send unpleasant photographs, to publish intimate or private details or images or to spread rumours
 Using cameras or video facilities inappropriately in order to intentionally harm, humiliate, embarrass or otherwise upset a person including sexting.

The next point, 7, discusses what isn't bullying. Also important, I think, as many parents assume any interpersonal conflict means their child is being bullied when it may be quite normal growing up stuff, and reasonable/coming from both sides.

I don't think what the OP describes is bullying, in isolation, just shitty behaviour. But I suspect a child whose mother is actively grooming her to enjoy hurting other people's feelings over her own greater social power is likely to bully, yes. And that says some pretty hideous things about that mother, as a human being, and a parent.

Tavannach Fri 01-Mar-19 22:34:56

What a ghastly stupid woman that mother is.

Tavannach Fri 01-Mar-19 22:36:54

Agree with positive that this is definitely bullying.
The school's anti-bullying policy will be on its website which might help when you're composing your email to the headteacher.

Tavannach Fri 01-Mar-19 22:38:20

PPs not positive.

Pashal2 Fri 01-Mar-19 22:42:24

Absolutely agree except how is this bullying? Mean, nasty, unkind yes. Bullying by definition involves force coercion and or intimidation. Please explain how this child had any of those things happen.

Cantusethatname Fri 01-Mar-19 22:48:10

The important part is the power imbalance between the party invite mum and the little kids in their classroom hoping to be invited.
You can also have bullying by exclusion.

The1andonly11 Fri 01-Mar-19 22:49:47

The mother is a total arse and is bringing her child up to be one too. I feel sorry for the poor kid, will end up with no friends. Keep bringing yours up in your lovely way. It's such a shame that we have to teach our children that most people are arseholes from such an early age.

Catsinthecupboard Fri 01-Mar-19 23:04:11

I would have taken her aside and explained in the nicest possible way that she's a nasty bullying woman and hurting children AND teaching her daughter to hurt others is low class and wrong.

I would also go to the head's office, explain very calmly that you're concerned for all children and suggest that a new policy be implemented: NO invitations handed out in school grounds.

Don't get personal, don't name names, just be a kind person bc that's who you are.

People raised like that girl don't become kind people. They only get worse and dc who are hurt by people like her remember it forever.

It's unconscionable for people to do this and if it happened to their " unlucky child" they would squeal like a sick pig.

Catsinthecupboard Fri 01-Mar-19 23:08:25

Pashal2, that is only a narrow part of the definition of "bullying."

I think that you need to look at the broad definition bc making children feel left out or making them purposely hurt is also bullying.

perfectstorm Fri 01-Mar-19 23:12:27

Bullying by definition involves force coercion and or intimidation.

I linked and quoted to a school policy stating that it doesn't. All schools now have them. The important part is the power imbalance, and the intent to distress, and that it's a sustained course of conduct.

In isolation, this is bad behaviour but not bullying, because it was a one-off as far as we know. If she does this sort of thing to the same child consistently, then yes, it's bullying. Socially isolating someone and making them feel small and inadequate, on a sustained basis, is bullying.

Your understanding of bullying is too limited. That's not the legal or school-provided definition, in isolation - clearly what you describe is bullying, but it's not all that can be. It's broader than that, as I quoted. Deliberately making someone feel excluded or calling names is bullying, if consistent, because you're trying to harm them emotionally by so doing.

perfectstorm Fri 01-Mar-19 23:20:07

From the school policy earlier:

6.5 Bullying can be:
6.5.1 Emotional - being unfriendly, excluding repeatedly, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures);
6.5.2 Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence;
6.5.3 Racist - racial taunts, direct or indirect racist remarks, graffiti, gestures;
6.5.4 Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments;
6.5.5 Homophobic – direct or indirect remarks and/or actions because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality;
6.5.6 Verbal -name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, repeated teasing;

They provide a lot more examples, for instance spite on social media.

If you're consistently trying to upset a more vulnerable child, you're a bully. You don't have to threaten or coerce or intimidate. You just have to try to hurt in a clearly apparent and sustained way.

Most schools now have official policies on bullying. In this country, I think they're actually mandatory. If you're curious about the full definition, which does seem new to you, then I'd suggest you investigate those in schools near you?

lovelybutdead Fri 01-Mar-19 23:39:35

Violet Beauregarde and her mother at it again!

manicmij Fri 01-Mar-19 23:40:34

That is horrible to say the least. Encouraging a child to hand out invites whilst commenting who was lucky and who was not. Think your son was lucky in avoiding a party organised by such a horrible person. Why can't invites be give out directly to parents/carers at end of day or even a phone call to issue invite with a follow up note of time,place. YANBU.

TakeNoSHt Sat 02-Mar-19 00:39:09

The daughter is going to grow up to be a charming member of society just like her mother 😡 your son is the lucky one not to be attending the little bully's party.

Talkingfrog Sat 02-Mar-19 00:46:59

Yanbu. It sounds like both you and your son are lovely.
My daughter's s school only allow the teacher to give out invites if they are to the whole class. Others can be given out on the yard if discreet. When we last did a big party I needed dd to show me who some of the children were. (I am hopeless at remembering names with faces). They were then given out when parents or children were on their own, or in a group if going to the whole group.
In yr 2, when I raised mentioned something else at parents evening the teacher was aware that the girls were sometimes using the power of being able to tell others that they couldn't come to their party, in an unkind way. She sat all the girls down together and did a talk on how to behave kindly and what was not acceptable. I think the boys also had a similar, but slightly different talk to cover the issues between them.
For the last 2 years she has had parties of 8 and 6, with most of them being family and non school friends. There may be a few more school friends this time. I am not friends on FB with all of the mums, but invites will be given out discretely, (where possible I will give direct to the parents before the children come out of the door).
I would have a word to the teacher. If the child acted that way without hesitation, and was actively encouraged to by the mum, she may well bully in school too.
It can be hard for teachers to see everything, but if they are warned, they may be able to keep a closer eye on how the child behaves (especially to the other little girl and your son).

Damsel Sat 02-Mar-19 07:32:05

Genuinely shocked to read this OP. Well done on your death stare.

This is bullying. Pure & simple. If it was happening in a workplace, HR would have to take immediate action.

I would go to either the teacher or Head about it. If the school has a policy of allowing party invites to be distributed within school grounds (& many don’t allow it), they have a responsibility to deal with issues like this that arise as a result.

I can’t imagine how vile this girl & her Mum are in private if they think this is acceptable behaviour in public. She is probably the type to invite certain children just so she can belittle them at the party in front of others.

It is sad for the girl being raised with these values & at some point she’ll bully the wrong person & wont understand why there are consequences.

Do you know if there have been any issues within class about this girl?

CatkinToadflax Sat 02-Mar-19 12:29:46

There was a similar mother and daughter at DS's primary school. The daughter would turn up to every single all-class party, yet only invited "the popular girls" to her own (whilst making a big thing of it). The mum and dad got married when the DD was in the infants and had the biggest, showiest wedding imaginable - white horses with pink feathered headdresses, mahoosive frothy dresses for the mum and the eleventy billion bridesmaids etc. They made a huge thing of which families were invited to the wedding and which weren't. There was actually a 'wedding divide' in the infants playground for several months! shock

Daisymaybe60 Sat 02-Mar-19 14:28:55

I see times haven’t changed then. smile 30 years ago DS had a party at home for his 5th or 6th birthday. We invited (discreetly!) all the boys in his class and one or two of the girls. The mother of a girl who wasn’t invited materialised at our door like Sleeping Beauty’s bad fairy as the party ended and handed out invitations to her daughter’s party the next month. Every child except DS got one.

MissEliza Sun 03-Mar-19 16:00:32

Daisy that's crazy. Actually no it's nasty and vindictive.

BlackberryandNettle Sun 03-Mar-19 16:51:20

Yanbu at all. The mother sounds like a total twat. Be relieved that your son/ you won't have to interact with her!!

lilacrosa Sun 03-Mar-19 19:02:09

That poor little girl - who would do that to someone? We have a similar mum in my D’s' school who likes to tell everyone how popular her children are and let you know how many parties they have been invited to (when she knows full well my DS hasn't been). She even orchestrates play dates around the time of children's birthdays to ensure she secures an invite for her kids - sending the mums texts such as 'ohh my DS LOVES your DS he does not stop talking about them!'. A good few of us have cottoned on now but for a while she just used to make us all feel really shit.

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