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Party Etiquette

(15 Posts)
waitforrose Mon 12-Oct-15 12:24:05

I have a ds aged 7 in year 3 with a total of 15 boys in the year group. One boy, whom my son has had in his circle of friends since age 3 recently handed out some invitations in class for his birthday party. 4 boys were left out. One of them being my son. We had tears, confusion, more tears and a total loss of confidence and self esteem in spite of all our consoling efforts. The boy in question, feeling pumped up by the popularity of a nerf gun party, decided to play games in the playground role-playing characters for the party, letting all the invited ones play and the other 4 "not allowed to play".
This went on for a week before I enquired to his class teacher whether my son had been mean/had a falling out etc. "not at all, she replied. He's one of the sweetest natured boys in the class." I explained about the party clique to which she sighed and said "some parents have no idea the upset they cause." Dam right, I thought.
So my message is this... If you are planning a party, either invite the whole class or all the boys/girls or just a couple of bff's.
I have always insisted on this to my children. If there are children they aren't keen on, then they will probably decline anyway. But this situation was malicious: the four boys not invited are the unsporty ones. They were even told that by birthday boy!! My ds has spent 3 years struggling to gain self esteem and confidence and courage. He is genuinely kind, affectionate and thinks the world of his friends. He has spent the last fortnight questioning his vulnerable confidence. Please please consider these points, dear mothers, before you scribble out selective invites. I will never think of this other mother as anything else but a spiteful cow from now on with a spoilt son.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 12-Oct-15 12:53:45

I think you might get a bit of a roasting here OP. It's not nice no...but you don't know for sure that the venue hasn't a limit on it....so the Birthday boy may have been told "Pick 10 friends...as we're only allowed 11 to the party"

So he chose who he wanted.

The situation isn't necassarily malicious but the child's playground behaviour was very bad.

It's normal though...horrid but normal...I've two DDs aged 7 and 11 and have seen all this and more and mine are no less sensitive than yours.

AbeSaidYes Mon 12-Oct-15 13:02:07

Clearly he did invite a few close friends.

Your bigger issue should surely be to ask the school what they plan to do about the bullying in the playground.

waitforrose Mon 19-Oct-15 09:55:44

My post was more about making parents aware that they are causing ructions when they are selective. Therefore they should take responsibility for the consequences... My findings are generally that cliquey Mafia type mothers have children the same.

Jaxsbum Mon 19-Oct-15 09:58:18

sorry but hard as it is, no child should be forced to invite people to their part.

but you should take up the nasty stuff with the school.

MythicalKings Mon 19-Oct-15 10:01:57

The nasty stuff in the playground shouldn't be happening but leaving 4 out of a group of 15 isn't a spiteful thing. As has been said, there may be a limit of 12, so party boy chose 11.

RavyRach1971 Wed 18-Nov-15 06:29:33

My daughter was one of four girls who weren't invited to a joint birthday party recently. There are only 11 girls in her class. As one of the birthday girls was discussing the up coming party my daughter asked if she was invited. The birthday girl listed all the girls who were invited and told my daughter that if she was especially nice to her, she would maybe bring her a piece of her birthday cake to school. That to me is disgusting behaviour and completely intentional. Made my blood boil.

Taylor22 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:41:54

My child's party is for my child.
It's unfortunate that yours wasn't invited and the things happening in school should be tackled and dealt with immediately however you need to explain to your son that in life he can't be invited to everything.

Buttercup443 Thu 21-Jan-16 17:06:30

In Germany we invite as many children as the age the child turns. My DD turned 5 so 5 guests were invited.

I understand your concern and of course it must have been very upsetting for your DS. As pps have pointed out life is not always as we expect it and we all have to learn how to handle disappointment.

Maybe it would help your DS to know that it might not have been his kind of party anyway. Whatever NERF guns are but it sounds like your boy might have other interests smile

hibbleddible Tue 01-Mar-16 17:01:45

I agree with you op. We have always done whole class invites so no one is left out, but we couldn't afford to do that/weren't able we would discreetly invite a couple of friends. The point is that no child should feel that they are left out.

The limit on numbers by venues is not an excuse. The parents should have had the foresight to see the hurt that could be caused by leaving out a minority, and found a venue to accommodate.

It's for this reason that we always just hire a space and do the catering ourselves: that way numbers don't matter (within reason!)

uhoh1973 Wed 23-Mar-16 20:46:31

I totally agree that bullying and social exclusion is not nice but I don't see you can impose rules on who invites who. Spiteful cow seems ridiculously over the top. There are all kinds of reasons for why people do or don't invite people and I certainly wouldn't hang my or anyone else's self esteem off it. We have just given out DC's party invites. The class is 26. We also have family friends. Entertaining 26+ children is well beyond my stress levels. We invited all the other little girls to the party including a girl who did not invite DC to her party. Her mother seemed surprised we were inviting her but I figure it keeps it easy... I certainly don't consider this other child's mother a spiteful cow. I have other things in life to worry about.

Spandexpants007 Wed 23-Mar-16 21:03:27

I think you are over reacting. Basically the boy invited 2/3 of the boys and that's only 1/3 of the whole class. Lots of people weren't going!

The thing is, your son (like ever other child) will have to face the disappointment of not being invited to a party at some point. You need to help him develop the coping mechanisms.

Obviously the playground behaviour was unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated.

Spandexpants007 Wed 23-Mar-16 21:04:34

It's irrelevant that the other boys are sporty

CocktailQueen Wed 23-Mar-16 21:09:45

I don't think the party is the problem here - dc have to get used to not being invited to everything. They have to build resilience. Plus, there may have been a restriction on numbers.

If DS was having a party there are some boy's in his class I wouldn't invite due to previous behaviour, too. Not saying this was the case with your DS, but it's another scenario.

But the playground behaviour is totally shit and unacceptable, and the teacher needs to stamp that out pronto. Party boy doesn't sound very nice - you may have dodged a bullet there.

How about doing something nice with your son on the day of the party?

Tamarandave Sun 15-May-16 19:10:58

Or...just dont have parties. Saves all the expense, hassle, sugar highs and general stress. Just have a family get together instead...much nicer

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