Mortified - should we leave?(102 Posts)
My 2.5 year old was invited to his first party buba boy at nursery who has turned 3. I was so excited for him to go, but we are there right now. An hour in and an still hour to go. He is behaving terribly!
Won't play with anyone, won't sit at the table to eat, won't talk, won't engage at all. Won't even take his cardigan off and it's boiling. He can be quite a shy child, and takes time to warm up. But this is more than shyness, he is being rude with it.
WIBU to just pretend he is feeling unwell, make our excuses and leave?
There are only 10 kids, including him. So can't even hide in the crowd. I so wanted him to have a good time and I feel he is spoiling it for everyone.
Does your son deserve to enjoy himself too? is his attendance only meant to please the birthday boy? If yes, stay.
Otherwise why put your child in a situation for 2 hours where he is clearly not enjoying it and it is completely unnecessary.
My eldest Dd8 found birthday parties really hard until about 2 years ago. I have spent many a two hour party with her sat on my lap refusing to join in and only leaving me to sit down and eat. For her it was shyness and a sensory issue as she hates loud noises (loud music/children screaming). I’ve always just tried to go with it; encourage her to play but there with cuddles if that is what she wants.
He’s 2.5, I’m not sure you can really call that rude. Sounds like shyness/being overwhelmed. Compassion and kindness are surely the way forward? Leave the judging of your little one to others?
At such a young age, I wouldn't be worried or try and read anything into it (it was only as it went on, I could see that she just wasn't sociable like the others) - and certainly wouldn't be offended; two and half year olds aren't exactly renowned for their natural tact and diplomacy.
My youngest would socialise/talk to all the other kids at nursery, but if we met them anywhere else, she refused to have anything to do with them - and not just at two and a half, this continued throughout junior school and there were only two kids she would acknowledge once she went to senior school.
I got the impression that she either felt they weren't in the 'right' place or she got along with them at school/nursery because she had to, but didn't see why she had to be nice to them outside
I also suspect she didn't really like them all that much in the end.
If she had kicked off, I would have suggested that it was a bit much for her and thank you for the invitation but I think we should probably go home - but, just as yours did, she normally warmed up a little by the end.
Don't beat yourself up about it. Six months is a hell of a chunk of a preschooler's life - the difference between two and a half and three is massive.
I understand as it happened with my dd a lot. Yes of course it’s normal in that everyone can relate to a greater or lesser extent. But when you’re child is very obviously refusing to participate, it can be feel awkward.
Sometimes dd would warm up, particularly after food. If she found it really uncomfortable, I would make our excuses. People were always fine with that.
Flaverings, I think it's meant to be 'by a boy'!
Hes still really young I think between the fever brewing (we never see it till later so don't feel bad) new surroundings and feeling a little overwhelmed he was doing what 2 year olds do.
I used to get really anxious taking dd anywhere but now you can't shut her up. It gets easier.
My friends DD did this at her own parties for years, she was fine at other people’s but couldn’t cope with her own. The expectation, the attention - by the time she was 6(her last party) she was asking people, no actually she was demanding people to leave. Her lovely mum was mortified!
She’s just turned 21 and is sociable and gorgeous. DW - there’s no right or wrong in these things, if it happens again then just do what feels ok for you and most comfortable for your son.
I remember getting stressed out at my eldest daughter at parties for the same reasons. She is beautifully behaved, but still not terribly sociable (nearly 18 now).
I can understand your embarrassment but a toddler doesn’t understand social rules so can’t be ‘rude’. To me, your job here is to focus on what you can do to help him feel more comfortable. Other parents will understand.
Even at this young age a child needs choices.Having the cardigan on and feeling hot is important in teaching him when he is too hot or too cold.parents just doing it teaches him nothing.Choices help to build self confidence whereas constantly making him do what you want does the opposite
Busyhonest Yes exactly. I always gave my dcs choices, if they wanted to wear coats etc. There's a stage when children need to show their own personalities and be treated with it in mind. I used to just bring their coat with me when they didn't want one on (the weather was not important!).
It sounds like he has disappointed you rather than ruined the party. Party behavior is a hard thing to figure out- many adults hate parties!- so it’s too much to expect a two year old to know what he is supposed to do. If he is being disruptive or destructive then do take him home with a brief polite explanation to the host. If he seems upset, also take him home. But if he is just doing his own thing I would leave him alone. He may yet join in the fun, and parallel play is completely normal at that age.
Poor boy. He must be overwhelmed. I read somewhere that for parties for young kids the number of invitees should be the child’s age plus 1. Four/five kids would be much easier for a 21/2 year old to cope with.
He doesn't know what he's 'supposed ' to do at a party , he's only 2 !
Presumably you've left now but for future reference (mum of 3 DCs here) if a child particularly one as young as yours doesn't/can't settle at a party, then I would usually take them outside "for a breath of air or a walk. Sometimes they need a break from the action and activities and after 5 or 10 minutes peace they feel able to rejoin the group with a fresh approach, knowing what to expect inside. Other times they will have a meltdown on the thought of returning to the party, at which point I'd make a very polite, low-key and clean exit. Don't get drawn into chats about this and that, get your stuff together quietly, thank the host, wave to any other parents who catch your eye. Delays on exit could lead to a meltdown!
Don't be tempted to go into detail about your DC's behaviour, your host will be busy anyway and also it's not your DS's fault if he can't engage with the party, it's just the way it goes sometimes. Perhaps he's teething. Even if he isn't (you won't always know if the big back molars are coming out) and you feel you must give a reason then just say he's teething, it's a good enough reason and could be very likely.
For those saying parties for the under 4s is a waste of money, I disagree. If you grow up acclimatised to parties and the format. The giving of a gift, singing as the cake arrives and the fun of games or dancing then it is far easier as the child grows to relax and enjoy the experience. As the parent stays for the duration, the child has the option to explore parties in safety and confidence. Learning how to behave ( or not!) in a gentle low expectation environment.
If financially you can’t afford a big party a small one with a cake is a good dry run for the many to come later in life.
Op your child may be one of those children that simply do not like parties. You will see it evolve as he grows. It will become more obvious then. I am very outgoing socially, but my dd loathes parties. It certainly isn’t a reflection on you or your parenting.
Honestly op, your attitude towards your very young child is quite odd. You seem to be complaining about his social skills and worrying that he is being rude because he isn't the life and soul of the party!
He's tiny. He doesn't understand and is confused and under the weather - I really doubt that he was ruining it for everyone!
I think you are projecting your anxieties onto him tbh.
Missing the point somewhat, but you had 40 - 50 guests for your child's second birthday!! No wonder he wasn't the life and soul of the party.
I thought the party rule for number of guests was age if birthday child plus 2?...
I'd take him home if he's sick but not if he's just shy.
Some kids find these birthday parties so overwhelming. My eldest, now nine found the noise of the children and the entertainment too much to cope with and we would spend most of the party climbing on something outside, until food time - quiet time. Some hosts were offended as they paid a lot for entertainers but it is important to remember that kids who are sensitive to all that stimulation simply find it overwhelming and can’t enjoy the situation. Only recently has my eldest enjoyed parties and that is because they are now more sport focused and less over-stimulating entertainment and screaming preschoolers.
My son used to be like this and I made things worse by worrying. The minute I just accepted him and stopped worrying about him all the time things got a lot easier. Next party it will be someone else's son. Don't worry.
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