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to think that small children shouldn't be bullied into playing party games?

(18 Posts)
Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 30-Aug-08 00:27:14

Ok, bit of background. My dd1 is 4 and started school 2 wks ago. She was invited to her first party last Wednesday. The mum had invited the whole class, which is a composite p1/p2 class to the party and organised a children's "entertainer" to organise the games etc. As my dd was a bit reluctant I decided to stay to make sure she was ok, and she was, after a bit of a slow start. My concern came from another little boy, whose mum said he had been reluctant to attend the party as he didn't really like parties. His mum left, but his granny stayed with him. The little boy was sitting watching from the side. Mum organising the party and the entertainer guy tried to get him to join in, and he politely said no.

He wasn't upset, or clinging to his granny. He just didn't want to play. I thought that was fair enough, but throughout the whole party the entertainer harangued him and the host-mum cajoled him, putting him on the spot in front of all the other kids, putting pressure on him to play- actually plaeding with him, saying that if he played this game, he wouldn't have to play any others! He kept refusing.

the entertainer started boasting that he had never been "beaten" and that he WOULD get this little boy to play- all sorts of incentives were given to try to persuade him, but he wouldn't give in. His granny was getting embarrassed, but I was getting mad! She started saying to me, apologetically, that he was actually a "great" wee boy- I agreed. I said he was obviously a little boy who knew his own mind, and didn't give in to pressure, and that was to be commended.

The host-mum and entertainer continued to harass him and he he continued to hold out. Finally he decided he was ready to join in a game, and the entertainer did a big "See! I KNEW I'd do it!" which royally pissed me off- the kid decided to play because a game came up that interested him, that's all!!

Now, I may well be being clouded by the fact that the entertainer seemed awful to me- he shouted at the kids and his joking was a bit rough. Don't get me wrong- I don't THINK I am an overprotective mother, but maybe I am. I just felt that the priority wsa that the little boy should join in with the others to please the adults rather than himself. Again, I appreciate that there are things in life that kids have to do whether they actually want to or not, and I have no qualms about that, but the assumptions that ALL children WILL enjoy ALL party games is ludicrous to me, and I don't see party games in the realm of "things they need to do"- surely it should be about them having fun?

I actually left the party feeling quite upset. It was like that little boy's wants were completely overridden, and his personal feelings about party games were irrelevant. He was just happy to sit quietly and watch the other kids, then eat a bit of cake, but that wasn't allowed, somehow. Again, I have to admit that watching my own dd looking lost and a bit bemused throughout the games, in the midst of a lot of older, more confident children, may have affected my judgement somewhat, but I really felt quite strongly about the way the situation was handled, and I think his granny was a bit hacked off too, but didn't want to make a scene.

Or am I being unreasonable? DO all childen love party games, if only they can be persuaded to join in by random adults?

354kidz Sat 30-Aug-08 00:55:06

many many times my son who was very shy at parties got "harrassed" but then i had to stp in many a time in saying look he doesnt want to join him so can u leave him now ( wiv a stern look) as many times he has ended up crying cause the person has gone on and on which in the end i get angry as the other mum's start on him!
So i do understand the problem here and i understand the entertainer has a job to do but at the end of the day he has to leave a party wiv all the kids smiling and not upset!!
Don't know if helped just putting my experience across..

cornsilk Sat 30-Aug-08 00:58:17

Some adults just don't know when to stop do they?

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 30-Aug-08 00:58:24

Thanks! That's exactly what I mean! I really can't see how adults badgering kids into playing is productive or helpful! Had it been MY kid, I would have done as you did, and told the git guy to leave her alone and if his games were any good she might want to join in! WHY do people feel the need to pester kids like this?

354kidz Sat 30-Aug-08 00:59:40

I know been ther seen it many a time lol..

BloodySmartarse Sat 30-Aug-08 01:01:43

entertainer and host mum sound like they were unreasonable
why would you harass a kid who wasnt interested?
plenty of kids there who werte, no? why not give all the attention to them?? weird.

i agree, they shouldve left him be.

macwoozy Sat 30-Aug-08 01:02:01

I'd be pissed off too. He should have just left the poor child alone.

Kimi Sat 30-Aug-08 01:02:08

I have two boys now aged 8 (tomorrow) and 12.
We spend an arm and a leg on parties, never less the 30 children, but at no point would any child be made to join in if they did not want to, we have a massive SN amount so we know it is each to their own.

Think the mother was trying to hrd

354kidz Sat 30-Aug-08 01:04:34

U usually get one child that don't wanna play (ha mine)i mean ask a couple of times yes as prob shy but harrassed is not what it should be!!!

ravenAK Sat 30-Aug-08 01:04:54

The entertainer was clearly a bit crap.

Any children's entertainer worth their pay would be able to distinguish between
a) shy child, wanting to join it but scared b) potentially disruptive child, needs to be got on side &
c) quiet self possessed child, will join in if & when he's good & ready.

It does sound as if he (entertainer) was a bit unsure of himself so felt he needed all the kids taking part.

354kidz Sat 30-Aug-08 01:05:56

yes true!

anniemac Sat 30-Aug-08 01:06:48

Message withdrawn

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 30-Aug-08 01:11:14

Agree- entertainer WAS crap!! But apart from the kid that wasn't joining in, there were 25 others desperate for a chance and they never got it! birthday girl and her big brother and sister were "picked" for every game. He kept telling the kids he would pick the ones who sat the nicest and they would all be trying their little earnest best, but he just picked not-playing kid/ birthday girl/ her sibs for every game! But I appreciate that I am fairly new to all this, as this is the first of my 3 kids to enter the big bad world of school, and I wasn't sure if this was just the way it was, tbh. The host mum was raving about this particular guy, but I just didn't get it!

Kimi Sat 30-Aug-08 01:15:21

Due to DS1s SN and the SN of some of his friends we have learned to cope with all comers.
Shy we can do, in nice not pushy way

ShyBaby Sat 30-Aug-08 01:15:28

That would be awful. As a kid I was very timid.

Ths is how it worked for me:

I liked the parties. I was slow to join in at first despite really wanting to, but if everyone left me alone i'd creep in and have a good time.

Im much the same now. If I go out with friends they know to not hassle me to have a dance and at some point I will and have a really good time. But last year I went out with a friend who knows me well, and her friends. I was happy enough standing there with my drink and one woman kept coming up to me and literally trying to drag me onto the dance floor by my arm.

I left the pub before I felt the urge to smack her.

Now had I been left alone I would have joined in when I was ready. Dd is much the same, she likes to creep in quietly, no pressure. My close friends understand this and leave her to it, knowing she'll join in eventually.

solidgoldbrass Sat 30-Aug-08 01:17:03

He sounds like a right wanker. Mind you, it always amazes me that some 'entertainers' (and party hosts) do this to adults as well and think it's OK. And had it been my DS I would have said 'Leave. Him. ALone.' in my best Exorcist voice grin

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 30-Aug-08 01:24:52

Ah, good! Glad I'm not a mad hysterical mummy for thinking this way!!! I'm a reasonably confident person, but if you put me in a room full of people I'd only known a week or so and expected me to run about high-fiving them all, I doubt I'd be keen! I think what annoyed me the most was that he (the entertainer) took it as a personal insult/ challenge, when I felt it shouldn't be about him at all!

Shybaby- I can appreciate how you felt about that woman. That's why I feel it must be even worse for a small child who is being harangued by two grown-ups: it just seems like bullying, almost.

Anniemac- yeah, granny, should have been more assertive, but from conversation with her I got the impression she wasn't a very confident person herself, although grandson seemed quite happy with his stance.

2shoes Sat 30-Aug-08 11:58:09

I invited 2 little people to dd's party(she is 13 but has sn) and I don't think they joined in a single game. they seemed happy enough though. watching and eating

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